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Durham University

School of Modern Languages and Cultures: Russian Studies

Staff in the Department of Russian

Publication details for Professor Andy Byford

2012 'The Russian Diaspora in International Relations: “Compatriots” in Britain', Europe Asia Studies 64, pp. 715-735

Author(s) from Durham


The article examines the harnessing of the contemporary Russian diaspora in certain domains of Russia's international relations. It looks specifically at Russian officialdom's ambivalent efforts at developing and engaging with a global network of state-backed diaspora associations, especially as instruments of cultural outreach. The focus is on the relatively recent implementation of this strategy in the West. The first half of the article discusses the ideological ambiguities of this project in general terms; the second examines how it plays itself out in practice, on the example of the United Kingdom. The article suggests that analysing the ambiguities established in the relationship between state and diasporic structures in this context is vital to understanding the current role of the Russian state in the politics of Russian diasporisation.