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Patriotic discourses in Russia's penal peripheries : remembering the Mordovian Gulag

Pallot, Judith and Piacentini, Laura and Moran, D. (2010) Patriotic discourses in Russia's penal peripheries : remembering the Mordovian Gulag. Europe-Asia Studies, 62 (1). pp. 1-33. ISSN 0966-8136

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Abstract

Using materials gathered during field work in the penal region in the southwest corner of the Republic of Mordoviya in 2007, the authors examine the official representations of the history of the Mordovan gulag from 1930 to the present day. Through an analysis of the penal authority's institutional newspaper, its museum and anniversary celebrations marking the founding of the Mordovan gulag, the authors argue that a stress in the official history on continuity and tradition of service is evidence of growing confidence of this part of the security apparatus after their loss of status in the 1990s associated with the collapse of the penal economy and negative comment by international monitors and domestic penal reformers