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The new Saint Petersburg: trapped in time (1)?

The naming of St. Petersburg follows a distinct pattern. Emerging in the context of early modern Russia, the city gained a name that, through its Dutch and German, rather than Russian, connotations signaled some degree of cultural openness. The choice was very much in line with the overall attempt to bring Russia in touch with the Enlightenment and make it part of European civilization, thereby breaking the isolation caused by Russia's somewhat peripheral location in Europe. Petrograd, the name used for a short period after World War I, expressed a different logic. Spurred by the anti-German feelings that prevailed in 1914, burg was translated into the Russian grad. Moreover, the religious connotations were dropped. With Peter the Great and Russia's own history as a point of departure, the name represented a step in the direction of national closure. Leningrad, the name assumed in 1924 five days after Lenin's death, strengthened this feature even further.

Naming obviously matters, and my concern here is with how we might interpret the recent reemergence of the old name of St. Petersburg, a name originally given by Tsar Peter I after his patron saint, Peter the Apostle. The question is what such a renaming, passed through a popular referendum in September 1991 and complicated by the fact that the city was also administratively detached from the surrounding Leningrad region with its old Soviet-era name, means both in the new Russia and, more generally, in post-Wall Europe.

City names are often societally deeply rooted and sedimented. If they are changed, it is probably for rather profound reasons. So, what spurred the return of the name St. Petersburg? What hides behind the city's radically different view of itself and how has the new name been thematized in the discourse that has followed, remembering that the impact of renaming may be enabling as well as constraining? In what way have these changes in self-perception, signaling an ability to break with previous mental and political borders, been reflected in the policies pursued vis-a-vis the intra-Russian as well as the external environments? Are the changes merely symbolic or do they express a broader background and have more concrete consequences in public policies? The argument to be developed here, though a constructivist approach that focuses on the boundary practices, both intellectual and material, of a regional actor, may provide essential insights not just about St. Petersburg itself but also the unfolding of political space both in Russia and in the EU-Russia relationship more generally.

Turning Back or Looking Forward?

There is no doubt that abandoning the Soviet-era name of Leningrad implies a repositioning of the city in both temporal and spatial terms. It does so in providing the St. Petersburg with an old/ new symbolic frame, distinguishing the city from the Leningrad oblast and lifting it out of a number of constraints embedded in the city's posture in the context of the socialist project. There is, at least in principle, much power involved in the move. Installing such a "lens," or "prism," tapping into an alternative memory, allows the city to see itself--and perhaps also Russia at large--in a different perspective. Going back to the name St. Petersburg brings back memories of a time when Russia endeavored to be part of a singular European civilization, instead of striving for a distinct one of its own. The name chosen enables the emergence of new, more relational, and perhaps increasingly self-reflective, visions. The move in the sphere of symbolisms has at least potentially a liberating impact, with some elements residing in the past being restored in order to provide for an altered sense of place and belonging.

An interpretation along these lines has been presented by a group of German scholars. (2) In their view, St. Petersburg is not just linking itself with an historical European identity, but is again in tune with time and able to cope with various aspects of change in being truly post-Soviet. A previous pattern of adaptation is once more confirmed with the renaming of St. Petersburg having ligatures of an Eastern response to the postmodern challenge. They argue that this mirrors the challenges of the current era, taking stock of its critical potential, and reflecting general trends in the development of political space far better than any other site in Russia, primarily as an expression of attempts to combine local and global.

A very different reading is also possible, one that sees the city as well on its way to becoming trapped in time. It could be claimed, for example, that in the context of an inability to link up with European integration and commonalities along contemporary lines, the consequence of internal obstacles or limits set by a more international discourse on Russia, St. Petersburg signals being one of "us" merely by the use of unifying historical symbols. Debordering takes place through upgrading memories of a period that most of Europe left behind long ago and without anything more contemporary being added to this elementary move. It thereby signals a move toward "the past as a future."

In sorting out these two rather different interpretations, in judging whether the renaming of the city expresses a wish to anchor itself in the past or points more in the direction of the future, it is worth noting that there are two main ontologies and "prisms" at play. These are not just different in time but also provide for rather distinct features of the unfolding of political space. One is premodern and points in the direction of an imperial understanding of Russia and Europe. Such a figure, having the shape of concentric rings, allows for rather flexible borders, and it is not premised on any strict (modern) need for homogeneity. Matters seen as essential take place at the core, but once this is secured, there is also place for considerable plurality and a fading out of centrality and "we"-ness toward the outer spheres. (3) However, amid this plurality, the requirements of centralizing power and of forming a dense core prevails. Such a premodern move--important as such in shaping identities and reconfiguring political space--would in the case of St. Petersburg basically stand for a turning back to "authentic" and uncontaminated Russian values and imperial postures that are felt to be immutable even in the context of the current turmoil. If the ontology behind the renaming has such a premodern character, the choice expresses a kind of back-to-the-past aspiration--an attempt to close down rather than open up toward the new and changing environment.

The second and more forward-looking lens would be postmodern in nature. It allows for debordering, but, in contrast to the premodern one, also tolerates a considerable degree of decentralization. It would be in line with the formation of a rather multi-centered Europe, a Europe of Olympic rings, with regionality as an essential constitutive principle. The adoption of the old name, one with roots in the past, would in such a context not stand for nostalgia and a longing for the "good old times," but rather would testify to an ability to cope creatively with the new challenges that resonate with globalization/localization. The redeployment of symbolic resources located in the past would go hand in hand with a networking of cities, the implementation of various transborder and cross-border endeavors, as an engagement with region building. Along similar lines, one could also expect to come across efforts to link into the reemergence of "northernness" as a master-signifier of European political space and, more specifically, of the EU's Northern Dimension. In this view, renaming would be part of an attempt to break down the rigidity of the EU-Russia border, thereby contributing to a decentralization of both Russia and the European Union. The policies of not-so-central actors but with a capacity to influence borders and practices of bordering would be important for the overall unfolding of political space. Being culturally part of both East and West as well as of both Russia and Europe, St. Petersburg in particular could contribute to the breaking down of the self/other divisions of the Cold War period, and the application of a postmodern analytical lens might constitute an essential aspect of such a task.

It goes without saying that the two lenses outlined here are not categorically distinct from each other; nor do they stand out as two totally different models, each with its own underlying logic. They are both related to the modern project and contain some similarities such as tolerance for plurality and flexible borders. What keeps them apart consists above all in the way that centralization/decentralization is being viewed. My aim is thus to treat the two prisms merely as heuristic tools helpful in illuminating essential aspect of the process of renaming and to trace the more profound ontological modes of thinking that might reside in the background. It would be futile to think that the deeply ingrained modern project, with an emphasis on homogeneity, centrality, clear external borders, and statist security as a core constitutive argument for the formation of a distinct self/other relationship, has suddenly lost its grip. Surely it has not completely crumbled or been surpassed by either premodern or postmodern alternatives. Rather, what is at stake involves tendencies: the tendency to remain with historical memories and to resist radical breaks and, simultaneously, the tendency to tune into the new.

The outcome is thus not one of absolute shifts. Yet one may expect that both models, each with its own ontology, presage changes such as a proliferation of identities, a pluralization of histories, as well as a destabilization of authority. Moreover, it is the renaming itself that suggests that we need to think in these broader terms on the level of ontology by exploring how the new St. Petersburg relates to practices of centralization, bordering, and region building, as well as to networking that reaches beyond a system of states.

Part of Soviet Avant-Garde

To start with, it seems that abandoning Leningrad and the return to St. Petersburg constitute rather fundamental moves. There is more to it than just a renaming of a major city. The switch may also be viewed as forming a key site in the discourse on current-day Russia. Larger than Berlin, St. Petersburg, located in Northern Europe, is a true metropolis, with some 4.6 million inhabitants. Like Moscow, it has a dual position in being constitutionally both a city and a separate subject as "a city of federal importance." More than any other Russian region, it has many of the features of a city-state. As the city forms a vast conglomerate of urban space, St. Petersburg is of considerable importance for its broader environment. As the new name appears to stand for a profound identity transformation, the question emerges whether such a move in the sphere of naming has also been followed up in terms of social transformation and in terms of more tangible realities.

There are good reasons to argue that Leningrad was intentionally set up as an antithesis to St. Petersburg, and that these two configurations represent opposing postures in the construction of political space. Interestingly enough, both the Soviet and the post-Soviet periods have experienced an active policy of naming. They have both witnessed a desire to arrest and delineate place in their own way and to break with historical continuities. Leningrad was, for its part, rather easy to categorize and place into perspective. It stood out as a provincial part of a larger, homogeneous, and quite hierarchic whole dictated by the principle of statist sovereignty. Some plans to return to the position of a gateway existed early on, but they never materialized. The core was located elsewhere, and from the beginning of the 1930s Leningrad was subjected to the overall plan of developing the Soviet Union, an object of thinking that was taking place elsewhere. It was above all allotted the task of producing industrial products to satisfy the needs of the Soviet Union, and, later, also to contribute to the trade with other socialist countries. Considerable parts of the Soviet heavy industry, including shipyards, production of nuclear plants, the aircraft industry, and space technology, were concentrated over time in Leningrad. The fact that most of this was related to military preparations made Leningrad particularly vulnerable to central planning and investments devised on that basis.

In 1931, a previously unified and functional region was divided into two by the split into the Leningrad city and the Leningrad oblast. With the strict bordering with the rest of Europe, Leningrad lost, in addition to its environs, its position as a center for innovation and the role of mediating between the Western world and the rest of the country. The drying up of foreign trade further isolated the city and contributed to its peripheralization.

Leningrad stood for something rather modern in the sense of being molded to fit a Soviet notion of an avant-garde; that is, as exemplary, ahead of its time and different from the imperial-era St. Petersburg understood as a remnant from the past. The socialist project and the needs of the new core--that is, Moscow--also dictated how Leningrad was staged, and it was consequently depicted as a kind of "Potemkin village for the restaging of the revolution while Moscow was consolidating itself as the seat of Soviet power." (5) Relegated to a mere locality and yet (owing to its potential more than to any actual policies) constantly suspected of harboring intentions of breaking with such a limited role and the principles underpinning the period of Soviet rule, Leningrad had an aura of something closed and protective. The totalitarianism of the period, with its stress on continuous threat and grievance, forged it into a strictly bordered constellation of either/or. The city became unyielding to reforms and symbolized heroic resistance against invading foreign forces in defense of the fatherland. It was premised on a clear self/other distinction and allotted the function of serving as an outpost, one protecting the country against external influences from Finland, Scandinavia, Europe, and the West more generally. This symbolism made it easy in the West also to regard Leningrad in terms of alterity and to perceive it as representing a different, competing civilization, thereby providing it with features of Europe's "other."

As Lenin's town, the city had a firm and clearly defined position in Soviet ideology as well as a distinct hierarchy of influence and power within a rather monolithic Soviet Union. The border lines were quite firm as the overall project was about socialism in a single country, one that represented progress and was destined to be carried forth by the force of history. There were no traces of autonomous development, and the city hardly overspilled the boundaries set by statist--and Moscow-dominated--policies. On the contrary, it was firmly attached to various statist and rather modern concerns. It was, on a more general note, embedded in a distinct geopolitical discourse, and based on firm borders. There was, consistent with this, a strong military industry forming up to 80 percent of the city's overall industrial potential as well as a hardworking KGB, and in general the city was constructed as part and parcel of an anti-Western stance.

The strong othering entailed in such a discourse led to perceptions of Russia and Europe being two worlds apart. This outlook severed the city not only from its nearby environment but also its own past, with St. Petersburg being understood as the other of Leningrad.

Opening Up Toward Europe

The new St. Petersburg, no longer Soviet but part of a Russian heritage, has a much more pluralist feel about it. It draws upon an alternative memory emanating from an earlier period and is far less easy to pin down in categorical terms. The city is not just an outcome of statist arrangements, as already indicated by the religious connotations of its name, although a variety of state-related aspects are also present. St. Petersburg is often spoken of as the most Western, cosmopolitan, and advanced of all Russian cities. (6) Moreover, there is strong emphasis on the cultural aspects of the entity, St. Petersburg being often called the cultural capital of Russia, this delineation also referring to the presence of some critical thinking.

Yet, on the other hand, the city does not have connotations of being avant-garde, of being destined to follow a fixed route and an externally given logic. The new name does not point to a destined or utopian future but resides within history. Moreover, contrary to many other border regions, there is no profound "periphery complex" inherited from the past to be discerned in the case of St. Petersburg. (7) The city, being located at a distance from the core and close to an external border, has a distinct identity of its own and harbors a reputation as a democratic stronghold chiefly voting for reformist parties and politicians. (8)

The town of Peter the Apostle has, in general, a standing of its own in the form of not bending easily to outside pressure. For example, the gubernatorial elections in May 2000, with Vladimir Yakolev being elected despite some efforts of President Putin to secure a different outcome, may be interpreted as evidence of such a semiautonomous aspiration (9)--albeit that, more recently, a more conciliatory attitude appears to have carried the day. It also appears that the Petersburgers rather actively nurture and discuss their identity. The tercentenary celebrations of the year 2003 have further contributed to this. (10) Proposals to improve and elevate the city's status are frequent. Occasionally, these proposals are about reconquering the position of Russia's capital. The underlying logic is, then, one of competing with Moscow, with statism and sovereignty as the core constitutive principles, although many of the proposals also reach beyond such a (modern or, for that matter, premodern) logic. (11) For a while, a movement advocating a totally autonomous position existed, but recently this seems to have died out.

What appears to be crucial in the current discourse is that elements of metropolitanism, regionalism, and a relinking to northernness can be traced, and, more generally, the representational frame of St. Petersburg appears to be city-centered, rather than statist. The features of metropolitanism, to the extent that they are really there, imply that some seeds of deterritorialization are present. The city's character is expressed by labels such as the northern Palmyra, the northern Venice, the northern Amsterdam, or the northern Rome, all modeled according to known foreign (mainly European) cities, although images such as Northern Gate and Window to Europe have been employed as well.

The frequent usage of such labels testifies that there are some elements present in the discourse reminiscent of the double role that the city harbored historically. By being simultaneously Russian and European, it rapidly became, one of the modern Europe's key centers of power and Russia's cradle of internationalization. (12) According to Svetlana Byom, the process of naming also testifies that labels such as "a city without memory" and the "first proto-postmodern city" are not without foundation. (13) The first term refers to the city's special nature in not having to be born out of some natural and gradual growth, but having been established in 1703, "unnaturally," in a sweeping manner, without any integral relationship to its environs and by a political decision made in accordance with a purely administrative plan.

Various narratives about the city being "unnatural" and having historically broken out of an "uncivilized" past have been there from early on as the city grew out of an idea of a fresh start for Russia in the midst of a more common degeneration and an inability to open up to some of the requirements of modernity. It represented a breach and stood for an effort to catch up with other parts of Europe by mobilizing the forces of the country into a gigantic endeavor--a pattern that has reoccurred in Russian history. (14) The enormousness of the endeavor also led to rather brutal and repressive measures and gave the city features of an abstraction, a copy, or a mere facade (and it has therefore been seen by various authors and writers as having a rather shaky and uncertain ground, not least because of the considerable repression and suffering involved but also because the city was initially built on a marshland). In some respects, therefore, St. Petersburg has connotations of something unreal, artificial, and voluntarist. It bends in many directions and does not lend itself to any stable interpretation. It is precisely the plurality, flexibility, and an unsettled frame that also now constitutes a core reason why St. Petersburg tends to be quite important for the new Russia, as well as for Europe and European politics more generally.

Furthermore, the reemergence of St. Petersburg represents an attempt to strengthen the culturalization of political space. It provides a very different representational frame compared with that of its predecessor, Leningrad. The renaming that took place at the beginning of the 1990s coincided with a period in which there was much stress on Russia's "return to Europe" or, indeed, "return to civilization." The effort was one of rapid change as well as of linking up with key cultural and societal trends and of removing the previous self/other distinction. Novgorod has, in some sense, followed suit by assuming the name Novgorod the Great in its search for direction and meaning through the elevation of its impressive past. Such moves allow for mobility, debordering, and circulation within a wider sphere. They represent a direction that, compared with some of the other post-Soviet themes in the debate, is less inclined to trigger a sovereignty-related, statist, and security-oriented discourse. Kaliningrad, also located around the Baltic Rim, serves as an example of these latter tendencies. The discourse pertaining to this Russian exclave remained quite traditional, sovereignty-related, and security-focused during most of the 1990s, although the debate on Kaliningrad has more recently begun to express themes such as integration, debordering, and networking. (15)

Thus, the renaming of St. Petersburg may be understood as an attempt to do away with a strictly state-based bordering of political space, with its bifurcated logic of self and other; that is, an attempt to come to terms with an old historical legacy. The key moment in this respect was the separation of Finland, Poland, and the Baltic countries from Russia and Russia's isolation from Western Europe in the context of the events in 1917. The renaming negates the whole period that followed, particularly the years of the Cold War, and is hence rather destabilizing in its consequences. It opens up the broader questions of political identity in the case of Russia and of where to place Russia in relation to the broader European consciousness concerning time and place. Such questions surfaced once the dominant ideology and systemic differences of the Cold War years and the strict division into the East and the West no longer offered ground for staying aloof from broader European trends, including, region building, urbanization, and of networks of urban spaces.

Simultaneously Old and New

Yet the moves of opening new possibilities have remained rather cautious. The traces of the previous period are not to be abolished overnight. Not only would expectations that the old practices of closure would suddenly come to an end be naive, considering the heavy structural legacy of the Soviet period, but the modern symbols of this legacy have been deeply sedimented over time. This is so particularly in view of the wartime experiences, as well as the heavy militarization and Stalinization of the city during the Soviet years. There has been a clear avoidance of a break into something totally unexplored, and anxieties about being faced with an altogether new situation have had to be alleviated. By being simultaneously old and new, the name St. Petersburg avoids much of this dilemma. It pertains to something familiar and undoubtedly part of "our" heritage, while signaling that change has taken place specifically with respect to the Soviet past.

Moreover, the move circumvents the Soviet period in temporal terms. By drawing on a different prism and on broader historical resources, it provides a connection to Russia's past by offering strong links to the old Russian Empire, while at the same time pointing to various possible futures. It articulates a future vision by calling upon the past in a way that transcends the recent isolationist and xenophobic period of Russian history. It aims, perhaps, at establishing a new identity, but does so without denying previous experiences. (Kaliningrad/Konigsberg again involves a more serious dilemma in being largely devoid of historical linkages to Russianness and is therefore deprived of the option of turning its past into a future.) The image of St. Petersburg above all introduces a self-understanding that is far more conducive to a tuning into European integration than some other articulations present in the Russian politico-cultural discourse that aim at influencing the course of future development.

This is not to say that the return to the name St. Petersburg automatically strengthens images of an open and rather Europe-oriented Russia or of the city as part of a transnational, perhaps even antinational, network of urban spaces or global cities. The outcome is not necessarily an entity that is prepared to eagerly encounter region-formation around the Baltic Sea, engage in European integration, and, more generally, contribute to networking in the context of globalization--and to do this without feeling its identity to be threatened and exposed to intolerable challenges. This is not my argument here. The contention is, rather, that in the struggle for the new Russia, it is possible to identify at least some moves that may potentially lead to important innovations in these respects. There are elements in the debate that could pave the way for a Russian entity to develop into one of the significant subjects in the context of the Baltic Sea area, the new Europe or--more specifically-within a network of urban spaces and postmodern politics more generally. St. Petersburg is a reminder that it was once possible to adopt a posture that contained an identity sufficiently unique and yet open for the more general. It constituted a site where it was possible to be simultaneously Russian and European.

For example, the city stood out as major Russian and European financial and banking center, with four times as much capital at its disposal than Moscow. (16) The city was able to cope with some degree of openness and plurality without feeling threatened. It was not the external, but the intra-Russian base that turned out to be the weak point as the post-revolution Soviet Union found the previous situation with relatively open borders and mixed identities unbearable. Russianness was increasingly defined in distinctive terms and by laying stress on radical difference. It became, within the way the modern paradigm was comprehended, something that required drastic centralization, a distance and clear bordering in relation to the nearby environment as well as the rest of Europe and the Western other.

The multifunctionalism of the city declined with the stress on homogeneity and a division into self/other. The city was related to a binary East-West divide in suppressing even further the historical connotations to northernness as an essential cartographic departure in the defining of political space. (17) Consequently, there has been less emphasis on constituting a financial and cultural center, although the element of industry has remained strong. (18) Leningrad was firmly tied to the domestic--basically military--economy of the Soviet Union, and the recent changes have not radically changed this state of affairs.

In general, the heterogeneous both-and elements discernible in the old St. Petersburg were substituted by a far more categorical logic of either/or and inside-out. The Dutch/German and to some extent universal (religious) features of St. Petersburg had to give way before more Russian- and Soviet-oriented connotations and a Soviet-specific version of modernity (sometimes called pseudomodernity in that it was based on technological development without the appropriate institutional and civic basis). The renaming was followed up by the city being deprived of its standing as a capital. Clearly, the Soviet Union was in need of a different approach than the one represented by the heritage of St. Petersburg, and hence the more mundane and yet religious, folkish, and Slavophile Moscow became the dominant center of the USSR. (19) The evolving Russian "we" was less in line with the rationality, extroversion, and internationality that are the hallmarks of St. Petersburg and more in tune with those of Moscow pertaining to ethnicity and Orthodoxy.

From Wall to Gate

The question is thus whether there is now the will, interest, and awareness to tap into the potential that was once left behind. Is it still possible to argue that St. Petersburg constitutes a Russian site that has the ability to reflect and bend to the challenges of each era, including the current more postmodern one? The question pertains, on the one hand, to the unfolding of the Russian "we" in the post-Cold War period (20) and, on the other, the ability of St. Petersburg to utilize the options furnished by the new conditions.

Some essential changes have undoubtedly taken place. As various military threats pertaining to interstate relations have receded, central political control has slackened. Russia is clearly more at ease with itself and its external environs in northern Europe. Such trends have then allowed for some degree of regionalization as well as linking up with the external environment. The growing eminence of northernness as a cartographic signifier, as indicated above all by the European Union's Northern Dimension, enables a somewhat different positioning in time and place. Already, President Yeltsin's penchant for divide-and-rule policy contributed to increased freedoms. (21) Actors located in the vicinity of borders have developed more elaborated forms of subjectivity, and they are less automatically peripheralized than was the case previously. Various options for establishing foreign contacts, inviting investments, and engaging in cross-border trade have been utilized. The external impulses have been considerable and, in the case of St. Petersburg, have led to the formation of an extensive network of twinned cities. Nowadays, the city has fifty-two partner cities, in all continents except Africa, the most active being Turku, Hamburg, Manchester, Antwerp, Milan, Osaka, Rotterdam, Le Havre, Helsinki, Stockholm, and Kotka. (22) Although the network is extensive, however, the option of capitalizing on the new openings has, in general, been used rather cautiously, and connections to foreign cities of its own rank have remained modest; for example, the so-called Baltic Bridge with Hamburg has so far been rather light in content. (23)

The new constellations have also left their mark on the discourse concerning the essence of St. Petersburg. The slogan "St. Petersburg--the Northern Gate" is again very much alive, and Governor Yakolev has launched an initiative, "Petersburg--European Door to Russia." These moves have been provided with substance in terms of trade, investments, and services. In conceptualizing the city's development, the Leontiev Center (a research entity linked with city planning) has coined the phrase strategic plan. The concept is that St. Petersburg should be a gateway not just toward Europe but also, through its maritime links, to Asia. The resulting plan, which has been debated by various political bodies since 1997, sets the target of developing St. Petersburg into "a multifunctional city integrated in Russian and world economy." Moreover, it speaks of the city as an intermediary between these entities, envisioning St. Petersburg as an economically important trade route between Russia and the European Union. (24) External relations are not only seen as being important; they are comprehended as a necessity for the city to promote its further development. (25)

Aspiring for closer contacts with the European Union implies that cooperation in the Baltic Sea region has become a higher priority. This has been acknowledged by the city's administration. (26) The Baltic Initiative, launched in 1997 and supplemented each year, involves eight regional cooperation projects and aspires to enhance St. Petersburg's position in the Baltic Sea region. The aim is one of turning into a gateway and, more particularly, creating an integrated transborder space. (27) The city's plan for its three-hundred-year anniversary, "St. Petersburg: European Cultural Capital 2003," aspired to place the city among the greatest of not only the Baltic cities but also European cities more generally. The European Union's Northern Dimension has been seen as a link to the EU Commission, although the positions taken have been strictly in line with those assumed by Russia in general. The moves have been mercantilist and utilitarian in nature, rather than attempts to use the northern signifier and its symbolic power to capitalize on St. Petersburg historical legacy as a northern actor in European affairs. (28) In addition to the more programmatic moves, the city has established a representation in Turku and a commercial representation in Kotka, both coastal cities in Finland. There is also the so-called Baltic Troika, which involves regular meetings between the mayors of Helsinki, Stockholm, and St. Petersburg.

Clearly, the city has been among, the most active Russian regions in establishing external relations. (29) Altogether, it hosts thirty-five consulates and representations of international organizations, including those of UNESCO and UNIDO, as well as an information bureau of the Nordic Council of Ministers. (30) Moreover, St. Petersburg has been represented in the various Russian delegations to the Council of Baltic Sea States (CBSS) and is an active participant in various regional cross-border cooperations as well as in the Union of Baltic Cities (UBC). It has also established links to the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe. Some aspirations aim at taking stock of the increasingly cooperative city-relations that color Northern Europe in particular. This latter aspect is exemplified by the recently established Baltic Palette cooperation between the cities of Helsinki, Riga, Stockholm, Tallinn, and St. Petersburg. In this respect, St. Petersburg is different from many other Russian regions. Most of them have an underdeveloped conceptualization of their mission and future orientation. They lack a strategic vision and there is a heavy inertia of "old times." Processes of cross-border interaction and globalization are generally weak. (31) This is not the case with St. Petersburg, although even there, much is to be hoped for as to long-term thinking and future scenarios.

The strategies that have been developed have met with some success, St. Petersburg having attracted a considerable amount of foreign investment. These have started to have some effect. Toward the end of the 1990s, some 13 percent of the overall production of the region originated from plants based of foreign capital. (32) The city also has a leading role as an economic attraction among the Russian regions located in northern Europe and among Russian regions in general, although the overall sum of foreign investments is not as impressive as that of Moscow; (33) moreover, the Leningrad oblast has often been seen as more attractive than St. Petersburg. Although St. Petersburg has been able to harvest a considerable amount of overall foreign investment received by the country during the recent decade, Russia's capital has gathered more than one-half of them. One reason why the policy of creating specific "investment corridors" like Moscow and St. Petersburg to foster high-technology development, know-how, and technical expertise has so far yielded only modest results is that Western countries have until now been mostly attracted by projects dealing with transportation and the development of natural resources. (34) This may change in the near future, partly as a result of significant new harbor facilities. The loss of port facilities in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania has compelled St. Petersburg to return to its former role of gateway and mediator between external and intra-Russian spheres. In any case, as Ingvar Oldberg has argued, (35) St. Petersburg already forms "an extrovert region," and border-transcending features have become considerable.

Limited Success

Although the city appears to be at the fore among Russian actors, it also remains clear that the various images of an extensively outward-reaching city have so far had rather limited currency. Ideas about St. Petersburg performing the role of a bridge between Russia and northern Europe have not really struck home: There is a certain discrepancy between identity transformation and more concrete social transformation. Or to put it differently, the city's new identity has been conceptualized in such restrictive terms by going back in time that it tends to restrain, rather than to open up. Interpretations of Europe are often colored by the legacy of the Europe of Empires. Such comprehensions are conducive to anchoring St. Petersburg temporally in a manner that, although they are not conducive to relating to an increasingly networked Baltic Sea region or a postmodern northern Europe, does not bring about a conflict with a Russia seen as a power-political state.

This tension may have increased rather than decreased during the 1990s. Mayor Anatoli Sobchak had a number of ideas at the beginning of that decade about following up changes introduced in the sphere of identity transformation. He clearly recognized that the city had to be opened up internationally. In line with this, he tried to turn St. Petersburg rapidly into an international financial and trade center, with considerable stress on tourism. However, the plans were diffuse and poorly anchored in local realities--and mentalities, for that matter. The idea of opening up may have been sound as such, but it was not underpinned by a preparedness to do so--for example, in terms of developing the infrastructure needed in terms of airports, roads, or harbor capacity. (36) Neither were the plans anchored in any broader development strategy for Russia. They were, rather, drafted in isolation; perhaps deliberately so, in order to steer free of any uncertain statist interference. It is also to be observed that the political turmoil as well as the lack of required legislation hampered any implementation of the plans. In fact, Russia's banking stayed in the hands of Moscow, implying that the mayor's plans remained underfinanced. Among the twenty largest banks in Russia, only one is located outside Moscow: The Promstroibank in St. Petersburg ranks seventeenth on the list. (37)

The international interests in contributing to Sobchak's scenario of increased openness formed a source of disappointment as well. One has to add, however, that the ability of Sobchak to implement such ideas (or the ability to do so of the new powerholders more generally) often remained limited. (38) The period of Vladimir Yakolev, elected mayor after Sobchak, has been characterized by a more mundane and traditional agenda. Yakolev has to some extent situated himself as an anti-Sobchak in being above all a practitioner with "down to earth" ambitions. Instead of utilizing and carrying on the leap into history, Yakolev has signaled a return to policies of empiricism and gradualism. There is less stress on liberal and unregulated development and more emphasis on seeing St. Petersburg as part of a specific division of labor within the Russian economy, producing, for example, equipment needed in the sphere of oil and gas production.

It may also be observed that the city's leadership has in general been constrained by a Russian resistance toward internationalization, (39) although the idea of developing St. Petersburg into a gateway, and more particularly a hub of transport in the context of the Baltic Sea, is still there and has recently yielded considerable results in the form of new ports being constructed in the city's vicinity. And the national Russian discourse's display of a variety of restraints is felt also in St. Petersburg. The city has to take into account that with the prevailing of nationalistic sentiments and the emphasis on the genuinely Russian, suggestions pointing at a radical opening up toward Europe may fall flat: They risk being interpreted as, in essence, anti-Russian and antinational. This implies that the self/other barrier is to some extent still there. This is due to the preeminence of a geopolitical and state-nation-based way of comprehending international relations and the external environment, as well as a tendency to contrast Russia with Europe and of seeing these two in rather exclusive terms.

This is to say that to some extent the city and its leadership appear to be burdened by experiences of the modern, state-centered period. They have also themselves, on occasions, fallen into the same pattern by challenging Moscow with attempts to reverse the ranking of these two cities in the national hierarchy. The approach chosen tends to be a rather competitive one, perhaps even revanchist. This might be understandable in a historical, pro-national perspective and against the background formed by the Soviet Union as a strictly centered space. However, it is hardly conducive to opening up and to stressing the significance of links with Europe. It may suggest/imply a vision of St. Petersburg as a truly Russian configuration unfolding along old imperial lines. Hence, there is only a somewhat restrained eagerness to link up with the new configuration around the Baltic Rim. Relationships with the Baltic countries, which during the early Gorbachev years and the period of the Baltic national fronts were rather intense, remain cool. A transcending of these barriers would require further moves of desecuritization and debordering in the sphere of identification. (40)

The need for aid that emerged as a result of the August 1998 economic crisis made it important to establish further contacts with Finland, Scandinavia, and other parts of Europe. Yet this aspiration has remained rather cautious, partly because it has taken time and effort to achieve sufficient authority on the local level, establish a firm budget for the city, delimit its property, and so on. The city's aging infrastructure and its severe ecological problems call for considerable investment, leaving limited resources for any renewal of the city. Moreover, the internal power struggle in St. Petersburg seems at times to have been so intense that there has been limited interest and energy left over to establish a distinct foreign-policy profile and give the image of a gateway to northern Europe any real content.

There are also many international constraints. Western discourse on Russia still treats Russia as the West's other, or at most as an apprentice allowed to cross distinct dividing lines only in the longer perspective. As Iver Neumann and Michael Williams demonstrate, this old discursive is still blocking various Russian attempts to break with existing borderlines. (41) Efforts to do so conflict with naturalized memories of Russia and a resistance to any challenge to past traditions.

Against this background, a return to the name of St. Petersburg represents a rather clever move, signaling that there has been a different past with Russia as part of European commonness. The question remains: Does a policy of underlining that Russia once upon time was part of "us" also work under contemporary conditions? Does it imply that Russia, having been once part of a singular European civilization, is automatically treated in inclusive terms?

This is not necessarily the case: History may remain history, pointing to a golden past that never returns. A resort to the rich historical heritage in the case of St. Petersburg, or even Russia at large, may isolate, rather than fulfil, any aspiration for inclusion. The St. Petersburg narrative may well be interpreted as a story about distinct historical efforts to establish "a window to Europe"--efforts that failed, and therefore further underline the otherness of Russia.

It appears, in general, that in the case of St. Petersburg itself, much attention has been focused on the history of the city; there has been less stress on visualizing a new future--one different from the period of Leningrad. (42) The prevailing narratives do not seem to presuppose an opening up of intense interaction between the city and its external environment. This state of affairs suggests that some of the potentials of internationalization are bound to remain untapped. St. Petersburg stands out as an unequal player on the international scene. It does so in lacking some of the options and the drive that is characteristic of many other cities of the same magnitude and historical proportions.

Oldberg tries to provide one explanation of such an outcome by concluding, on the basis of a survey, that "the city has played a leading role in regional policy across Russia, but remains hamstrung by the federal center." (43) That may well have been the case near the end of the 1990s, but is hardly the case now, with President Putin having assumed a clearly visible role as a driving force aspiring for the city's internationalization. The tercentenary celebrations were largely directed and financed by the federal center, and Putin has taken a number of initiatives in order to develop St. Petersburg into a mediating factor between Russia and Europe. (44) He has brought a considerable number of foreign, high-level guests to St. Petersburg during recent years, a trend that peaked during the anniversary celebrations. Moreover, ideas have been coined about the city becoming a site for the second chamber of the Duma, and some ministries are being transferred to St. Petersburg.

In sum, despite considerable obstacles, St. Petersburg appears to have gained the profile and aspiration of a global city, an endeavor that also brings it occasionally into an alliance with Mayor Yuri Luzhkov's Moscow. In this context, the two cities are not to be viewed as competitors in a statist and pronational context, but as "potential gates to the global world" (45) or "oases of post-industrialism and quasi-Western lifestyle," (46) although both tend to remain "islands of globalization" within a political landscape still governed by sovereignty-related departures and a Great Power ideology. In other words, there are features pointing in a postmodern direction and St. Petersburg contributing to a Europe of Olympic rings, but these features tend to be weak. Rather, the strong urge to secure the existence of a distinct core and to preserve Russia as homogeneous political space speak for modern, or premodern, preferences, which implies that the future is still premised basically on statist departures or, at most, the figure of a Europe of Empires.

An Integral Part of Europe

There are still forceful voices in the debate, both on the Russian side and abroad, that operate within the context of a classical geopolitical analysis, thereby contributing to securitization and bordering. Talk about "vacuums" or "grey zones"--that is, of properties that are thought to have resulted from the implosion of the previous setting--has not died out. Likewise, warnings against the various dangers that may originate with the perceived "instabilities" in the relationship between Russia and the Baltic countries may still be heard. However, St. Petersburg has a significant presence, and it seems that the renaming is beginning to work, albeit slowly, as a discursive strategy offering a new prism through which to envisage political possibilities. The disappearance of the previous horizon of expectations has freed creativity and stimulated new thinking--although it has also enabled significant levels of crime and corruption. (47)

The renaming works so as to open up what the more conventional, geopolitical, and state-related stories serve to freeze and naturalize. Openings are indeed needed since the city is located in a part of Europe where borders are changing and regional initiatives are blossoming--for example, in the Council of Baltic Sea States (CBSS), the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC), a considerable number of "Euroregions," and the European Union's Northern Dimension, an initiative that calls for dialogue, regionalization, and partnership across the EU's northern borders. The presence of such integrative trends tends to soften the more extreme voices, tune down concerns operating within the context of a traditional security mode, and departs from the concepts of survival and strict, as well as divisive, sovereignty. The new features of the political landscape instead bring the debate into the direction of identity politics in terms of cultural self-defense and, more generally, into pursuing questions about the meaning of one's location in a rapidly changing environment.

The challenge is formidable, particularly in the case of Russia. Viatcheslav Morozov formulates it as follows: "A search for an alternative identity, not directly based on the idea of the Russian/Soviet statehood, would almost certainly require a dramatic break with the past." (48) Russia, he argues, has to secede in a certain manner from itself, although he adds that the leap could perhaps be first made by some Russian region or city. St. Petersburg is one of the prime candidates on his list of decentralizing agents. It could be easier for an entity like St. Petersburg, with the desecuritization that is already there in the discourses on metropolitanism and regionalism, to establish links across previous divides. Schemes of cooperation may be introduced that run contrary to previously sacrosanct borderlines. The argument is that identity transformation and social transformation can be brought in line with each other in the context of region building around the Baltic Rim. Opening up is easier for an actor that does not remain trapped within the modernist discourse: "Russia cannot become a Baltic country, but St. Petersburg and especially Kaliningrad can become Baltic cities." (49)

The renaming of St. Petersburg is a clear demonstration that the city has been able to get rid of many of the constraints of the previous period. A liberation has taken place, at least in the ideational sphere, although the legacy of the Soviet past still weighs heavily in many others. The resources available in the field of economy for responding to the challenges of glocalization--that is, to a novel organization of the relation between local and global--have remained modest. Yet the renaming constitutes an important and symbolically powerful move, indicating that there are alternative memories and options available in Russia, other than clinging to the remnants of a past with its outmoded ideas of progress and a promised land. In being anchored in Russia's own history, it also helps avoid the familiar option of blindly imitating Western models and practices. Opening various temporal and spatial frontiers by digging into one's own past offers alternatives to a freezing into historical immobility or a reactionary appeal to religion, nationalism, or ethnicity.

Tapping into memory along the lines suggested by the experience of St. Petersburg helps to carve out a kind of (to invoke a vocabulary used by Zaki Laidi) "local time" in relation to "world time." (50) Since Russia at large appears to feel rather uncertain about its relation to "world time," the rediscovery and obvious playing with elements of the city's historical experience singles out St. Petersburg as a special site within Russian political space. Russia, as a wider framework of reference, lacks a strong integrative drive at the supranational level. (51)

Moreover, the country tends to remain quite insecure in the lace of strong local expressions of identity. Space and time are still comprehended almost exclusively in statecentric, core-oriented terms, and the unfolding of political space is measured predominantly in a modern and rather hierarchic manner. Instead of allowing for diversity, the usage of region-specific resources, and encouragement of the emergence of local inroads into world time, the reaction has often been one of contesting the claim that such a time is a legitimate challenge in the first place. There is little outright resistance, but there is much reluctance (the image of West being seen as a cultural offense that aims at undermining Russia) in embarking upon an avenue that tends to require an emphasis on diversity, rather than homogeneity, and debordering, instead of bordering. The formation of linkages between the local and the global are, if taken very far, discouraged. They are perceived as encroachments on the power of the federal authorities and interpreted as efforts to circumvent the more state-centered and concentric ways of organizing political space. The challenges are experienced, on a more general level, as enhancing the loss of a previous horizon. Such moves are thus depicted as rather troubling, as destabilizing the unity between territory, history, and the statist endeavor. An ontology of fixity, stability, and continuity tends to dominate the all-Russian approaches toward developments around the Baltic Rim.

Obviously, elements of tension are present in the policies pursued by St. Petersburg and Russia as a whole, although the reading could also be that St. Petersburg is ahead of many other parts of Russia. It is, at least in principle, able to mediate and show the way in constituting a kind of "third," postbinary way between imitating the West and just staying put without shaking off the Soviet heritage. More generally, the move may form an important building block in the postsocialist reconstruction of identities as well as social practices. The choices to be made are not just those of either/or, but also of both/and. In this sense, the reappearance of St. Petersburg undermines the bifurcated, Huntingtonian conceptualizations of post-Cold War political constellations. Without explicitly pitting itself against any other direction except those represented by the former Leningrad and the Soviet project at large, the city shows that there are also elements in the Russian heritage that can be redeployed and reinvented. By affirming that Russia is in some of its aspects firmly European, the historically familiar may serve as an inroad to the new. It helps to reclaim lost ground and undermines more divisive discourses present both on the Russian and more broadly the European scenes. And at best it allows the question of political identity to be answered by debordering, rather than bordering. Russia's repertoire of choices increases as the alternative selves do not just boil down to those of the foreign and the domestic, with a clear border to guarantee the difference.

Moreover, Europeanization gets a more familiar meaning as it does not require that Russia totally abandons its old self. The transition from a firm self/other divide does not have to imply that Russia is cast in the role of a student and learner in order to become, in due time and if passing all the tests, one of "us." A strategy of remembrance and of elevating alternative memories of St. Petersburg as a truly European city allows Russia to assume a much more offensive posture. The city may opt for a much more equal position, in that a discourse that provides St. Petersburg with some central standing is not just about Russia; it is also about Europe and the European heritage at large, thereby allowing for the claim that Russia is not just involved for reasons of its own but also in order to help Europe to reunite with and rediscover some of its own heritage.

This move has been particularly clearly visible in the way the tercentenary celebrations were thematized. The more offensive strategy enabled Russia to turn from an apprentice to an actor furnished with the power of heal, and to do so by contributing to a restoration of Europe's lost unity. In other words, by influencing the way the border unfolds and by utilizing a location in the vicinity of the border, actors such as St. Petersburg do not just yield power over themselves: they may also gain subjectivity. By removing themselves from what has been understood to constitute the outer edge of the systemic margins, they gain power in the constitution of what Russia, the European Union, and the relationship between these two entities is basically about.

Turning toward one's own roots in the process of adapting to the circumstances that prevail after the rupture of the socialist project and the end of the Cold War is thus a potentially powerful move. It stands for opening up, rather than entrapment in time. The reemergence of St. Petersburg signals that the competence to use such influence is at least to some extent present. Although the move is a backward-looking one to start with, it may yet work in a liberating manner in opening the way for future-oriented visions. If the policies pursued turn out to be skillful enough, it may be regarded neither as an escape from formidable challenges nor merely as an expression of nostalgia for a golden past. The act of playing on alternative memories may constitute, in some of its aspects, an interesting experiment in turning previously divisive borders into interfaces in order to pool local resources in the face of the extensive challenges, and the dangers of entrapment, that easily peripheralize entities such as St. Petersburg and perhaps even Russia at large.

On the positive interpretation advanced here, the renaming of the city stands out as such an experiment--not just as a limited aspiration for coping with existing realities, but also as the construction of a new horizon of meaning. The erosion of barriers in the post-Cold War situation is not interpreted in terms of estrangement and exclusion but as opening linkages to Russia's own past and allowing Europe to be defined in a manner that, from the start, locates an essential part of Russia on the inside of such a configuration. Europe again turns into a "true" Europe, instead of having over a long period of time been conceived as a "false" one, a project that denies Russia the option of injecting itself into such a constellation. (52) Because of a standing that allows it to regulate Europe's bordering and to turn a border conceived as an outer limit into a margin that signals continuity, Russia may reimagine itself as an actor able to restore what has been lost over time. This offers the prospect of "stitching back the Old Continent and enhancing prospects for greater Europe." (53)

Instead of aspiring for something totally new, perhaps in the form of a utopia that would, after the experiences of the socialist project, be viewed with utmost suspicion, a more modest and historically familiar choice is available. The crisis of expectations that emerged after the fall of the Soviet project may be remedied by the use of elements that originate with one's own past and could be reimagined once the otherness of St. Petersburg evaporated with the fall of the Soviet project.

Significantly, it has been St. Petersburg itself, and to some extent the citizens themselves, that have been able to mark and carve out, by public referendum and debate, a considerable part of the new path. The power of renaming has in St. Petersburg been exercised to some extent in a top-down fashion, but in Russia as a whole the renaming stands for a local initiative and bottom-up move. The city has grasped the options that have opened up without waiting for the dictates of the present world time to impose themselves, either from abroad or through the federal authorities. It has outlined the necessary signposts that eventually may lead the way toward a much more inclusive relationship to the rest of Europe.

More generally, an important opening has seen the light of day, but it is also clear that St. Petersburg has not yet reached very far in terms of the implementation of concrete policies. There is some discrepancy between the new and the old. The city appears to experience difficulties catching up, in terms of regionalization, with the dynamism of the Baltic Sea region. Identity transformation and social transformation are not in synchrony, and hence St. Petersburg has gained some rather hybrid features. The symbolic side appears to be far stronger than the societal one, the situation thus being different from the one that prevails in the case of Moscow, a city with considerable societal change but a rather fixed self-image.

One of the underlying reasons might be a temporal one. The identities constructed in the case of the new St. Petersburg often relate to the imperial Europe of the past and to a Europe of power politics and geopolitical thinking. Such an anchoring is problematic in that the difference between the era of the Russian Empire and the current, more postmodern one is particularly distinct in Europe's North and the Baltic Sea region.

The policy of renaming appears to be framed and premised on the assumption that there is considerable continuity present in terms of Great Power politics. The move rests on conceptualizations of a rather securitized, state-centered, and well-bordered Europe and one that still contains elements of Russia's other, albeit in a less-systematic manner than in the context of the bifurcated East-West divide of the Cold War years. Assuming the name of St. Petersburg disassociates the city from its previous essence as Leningrad. However, it does not go far enough: It does not offer a way out of various state-centered and centralizing concerns and thereby allow access into a more postmodern environment and the pursuit of politics in different registers. The renaming is not used as a denouncement of the imperial and centralizing elements contained in St. Petersburg's legacy and as a way of installing new transnational, or perhaps even antinational, elements into it, and this may go some way in explaining why it remains weak in configuring Europe in postmodern terms--that is, as a "Europe of Olympic Rings."

Some of the preconditions for the old/new horizon to take root are now clearly present, although many obstacles to further development remain strong. The "prism," or "lens," that has been constructed through the process of renaming is burdened by a historical legacy containing powerful expressions of statism, centralism, and securitization. The vision of a Europe of empires can be envisaged more easily than a more decentered Europe of Olympic rings. St. Petersburg's record in mediating and showing the way has remained modest. It offers a remedy to some of the dislocation caused by the eruption of contingency. However, some of the important openings that have emerged do not seem to be easy to catch.

The constraints are numerous, and the liberating aspects of the renaming have been challenged and marginalized by more traditional and time-bound discourses, both internal and external. Some constraints are also ingrained in the way the new name, St. Petersburg, has been comprehended and used. The possibilities of metropolitanism and regionalization have been articulated, but they remain limited and have not been exploited in any decisive manner. The new St. Petersburg appears to be basically depicted as the return of a grand narrative, one resonating with the figure of a Europe of empires, rather than an exercise in simulation and playing with names. The belief, widely heralded after the end of the Cold War, that territorial and mental barriers could be transcended, with Europe being reconstructed in a much more open way along Russian borders, has not materialized. Yet metropolitanism and regionalism form the two most important inroads to a community of belonging based on world time, available also to St. Petersburg and to Russia more broadly.


(1.) I would like to thank the EUR group at COPRI/IIS in Copenhagen, Christopher Browning, Marko Lehti, Viacheslav Morozov, Oleg Reut, and Vladimir Rukavishnikov for comments on drafts of this article.

(2.) Stefan Creuzberger, Maria Kaiser, and Jutta Mannteufel, eds., St. Petersburg, Leningrad, St. Petersburg." Eine Stadt in Spiegel der Zeit (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 2000).

(3.) Cf. Ole Woever, "Three Competing Europes: German, French, and Russian," International Affairs 66, no. 3 (1990): 335-343; Woever, "The Baltic Sea: A Region after Postmodernity?" in Joenniemi, Pertti, ed., Neo-Nationalism or Regionality ? The Restructuring of Political Space around the Baltic Rim (Stockholm: NordREFO, 1997), 293-342.

(4.) Antti Helantera, Venajan talousmaantieteellisen toimintaympiiriston muutos ja Pietarin asema. Maantieteen laitos, kulttuurimaantiede (lisensiaattityo), Helsingin yliopisto, May 2000, p. 18.

(5.) Svetlana Boym, "Leningrad into St. Petersburg: The Dream of Europe on the Margins," in Bo Strath, ed., Europe and the Other and Europe as the Other (Brussels: Peter Lang, 2000), pp. 311-325, at 315.

(6.) Jacob Hedenskog, "The Foreign Relations of Russia's Western Regions," in Ingmar Oldberg and Jacob Hedenskog, In Dire Straits: Russia's Western Regions between Moscow and the West (Stockholm: Defence Research Establishment [FOA], 2000), pp. 55-76, at 62.

(7.) Andrej S. Makarychev, "Islands of Globalization: Regional Russia and the Outside World," Working Paper no. 2 (Zurich: Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule, 2000), p. 23.

(8.) Lars P. Poulsen-Hansen, "Nordvestomradet," in Lars P. Poulsen-Hansen, et al., eds., Regionernes Rusland (Kobenhavn: Dansk udenrigspolitisk institut, 2001), pp. 171-200, at 187.

(9.) Ingmar Oldberg, "Russia's Western Border Regions and Moscow: The Roots of Regionalism," in Oldberg and Hedenskog, note 6, pp. 11-54, at 37-39.

10. Pertti Joenniemi and Vjatsjeslav Morozov, "En politik basert pa minner: St. Petersburgs trehundrearsjubileum" ("The politics of remembering: Saint Petersburg's 300th anniversary"), Nordisk Ostforum 17, no. 1 (2003): 29-49.

(11.) Jacob Hedenskog, "Mellan sjalvstyre och centralstyre: St. Petersburg och dess forhallande till centralmakten under 1990-talet" (Stockholm: Defence Research Establishment, 1999), p. 74.

(12.) Heikki Eskelinen and Perttu Vartiainen, "New Rendezvous in St. Petersburg," in Eija Varis and Sisko Porter, eds., Karelia and St. Petersburg: From Lakeland Interior to European Metropolis (Jyvaikyla: Joensuu University Press, 1996), pp. 231-247, at 231.

(13.) Svetlana Boym, "Nostalgic Memories and Postmodern Survival in Russia," in Bo Strath and Nina Witoszek, eds., The Postmodern Challenge: Perspectives on East and West (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1999), pp. 143-170, at 149.

(14.) Cf. Dennis J. B. Shaw, "A Strong and Prosperous Condition': The Geography of State Building and Social Reform in Peter the Great's Russia," Political Geography 18, no. 8 (1999): 991-1016.

(15.) Pertti Joenniemi, "Kaliningrad as a Discursive Battle-field," Working Paper no. 25 (Copenhagen Peace Research Institute, 1999).

(16.) Helantera, note 4, p. 15.

(17.) Pertti Joenniemi and Alexander Sergounin, "Russia and the EU's Northern Dimension," paper, International Studies Association, Chicago, February 20-24, 2001.

(18.) James H. Bater, St. Petersburg: Industrialization and Change (London: Edward Arnold, 1976).

(19.) Cf. Olga Vendina, "Moskau und Petersburg: Stadtmythen als Spiegelung ihrer Rivalitat," Osteuropa 50, no. 12 (2000): 1299-1315.

(20.) Viacheslav Morozov, "The Baltic States in Russian Foreign Policy Discourse: Can Russia Become a Baltic Country?" Working Paper no. 8 (Copenhagen Peace Research Institute, 2001).

(21.) Oldberg, note 9.

(22.) Dmitri Suslov, "St. Petersburg's External Relations: A Survey," unpublished paper prepared for the Schleswig-Holstein Peace Research Institute (SHIP), 2000, p. 1.

(23.) Ibid.

(24.) Strategic Plan of St. Petersburg, 1998, p. 43; see Helantera, note 4.

(25.) Suslov, note 22.

(26.) Ibid., p. 5.

(27.) Anais Marin, "Influencing Foreign Policy Decision-Making: Paradiplomacies of Russia's NorthWestern Regions in the 1990s," paper for the 6th ICCEES Congress, Tampere,July 2000, p. 42.

(28.) Suslov, note 22, pp. 13-14, 17.

(29.) Eduard Kuzmin, "Russia: The Center, the Regions, and the Outside World," InternationalAffairs 45, no. 1 (1999): 105-123, at 109.

(30.) Marin, note 27, p. 28.

(32.) Makarychev, note 7, p. 30.

(32.) Poulsen-Hansen, note 8, p. 186.

(33.) Hedenskog, note 6, p. 74.

(34.) Makarychev, note 7, p. 26.

(35.) Oldberg, note 9, p. 27.

(36.) Nina Oding, "Investment Needs of St. Petersburg Economy and the Possibilities of Meeting Them." Review of Economics in Transition (Idantalouksien katsauksia) no. 6 (1995): 27-46, at 33-35.

(37.) Helantera, note 4, p. 71.

(38.) Robert W. Orttung, From Leningrad to St. Petersburg: Democratization in a Russian City (London: Macmillan, 1995).

(39.) Rosemary Mellor, "Through a Glass Darkly: Investigating the St. Petersburg Administration," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 21, no. 1 (1997): 87-91.

(40.) Morozov, note 20, p. 27.

(41.) Michael C. Williams and Iver B. Neumann, "From Alliance to Security Community: NATO, Russia, and the Power of Identity," Millennium 29, no. 2 (2000): 357-387.

(42.) Joenniemi and Morozov, note 20, 31-32.

(43.) Oldberg, note 9, p. 48.

(44.) Suslov, note 22, p. 18.

(45.) Makarychev, note 7, p. 34.

(46.) Sergei Medvedev, "Russia's Futures: Implications for the EU, the North and the Baltic Region," Programme on the Northern Dimension of the CFSP, Vol. 8, Helsinki: Finnish Institute of International Affairs, 2000, 62.

(47.) Mellor, note 39; Helena Rytovuori-Apunen, "The Cultural Capital and Its Counterpoint: Post-Soviet Identities on the Scene of the Crime Problem in Northwestern Russia," paper presented at an International Studies Association meeting, Vienna, September 1998.

(48.) Morozov, note 20, p. 30.

(49.) Ibid.

(50.) Zaki Laidi, A World without Meaning: The Crisis of Meaning in International Politics (London: Routledge, 1998).

(51.) Makarychev, note 7, p. 12.

(52.) Iver B. Neumann, Russia and the Idea of Europe: A Study in Identity and International Relations (New York: Routledge, 1996).

(53.) Dmitri Trenin, "Security Cooperation in North-Eastern Europe: A Russian Perspective," in Dmitri Trenin and Peter van Ham, eds., Russia and the United States in Northern European Security, Programme of the Northern Dimension of the CFSP, Finnish Institute of International Affairs. vol. 5 (Helsinki, 2000), p. 20.

Pertti Joenniemi, Danish Institute for International Studies, Strandgade 56 DK-1401, Copenhagen K, Denmark. E-mail:
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