- The Russian-Dutch Year of Friendship: Lgbti Rights as a Marker of Antagonism?
- Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie
- Volume | Issue number
- 107 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Regional, Transnational and European Studies (ARTES)
This paper revisits the much-reported political confrontations that took place between Russia and the Netherlands during the 2013 Dutch-Russian ‘year of friendship’. It shows how Dutch media constructed an image of the Netherlands and Russia as representatives of conflicting cultural traditions on account of their different attitudes towards LGBTI (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Intersexual) rights. Advancing from Mouffe's observation that politics is inherently oppositional, this paper aims to nuance such a dichotomous imagery by showing distinct commonalities between Russian and Dutch cultural regimes. In fact, Russian discourses are historically rooted in Soviet conceptions of cultural geography, and appeal to similar associations of anti-colonial and anti-elitist resistance. However, Dutch and Russian popularised discourses of cultural difference should be recognised as one of several dualisms that Europe and the Netherlands have inherited from the Cold War.
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