This article analyses the semantic space of national and regional identities as represented in the two major state-owned dailies of the city of St. Petersburg, the Sankt-Peterburgskie Vedomosti (run 233,000) and Nevskoe Vremia (run 85,000). The authors show how the national idea in the pro-government newspapers is transmitted through the language of regionalism, and how regional historical memory (like the Blockade of Leningrad) substitutes for the all-national one. National belonging is defined there on the basis of an inclusive and tolerant ideology; not by ethnicity, but by cultural and common historical experience and memory (which is true for regional identity as well). The absence of a clear definition of “nation” together with the rejection of the ethnic resource of regional mobilization explain the fluidity of borders between national and regional identities in the case of St. Petersburg. Sometimes national and regional discourses fully coincide and reinforce each other. The authors see this as a healthy development under the condition that the region is not opposed to the “center.”


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pp. 441-435
Launched on MUSE
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