Washington International Law Journal


Douglas Carman


Douglas Carman translated the document and wrote the comment.


The Doctrine of Information Security of the Russian Federation was one of the first policy documents issued by President Vladimir Putin's Security Council. The Doctrine, ostensibly drafted as a security policy document, was severely criticized by the Russian press and civil libertarians for its undue attention to the mass media and the prominence of politicized symbols of identity. The document extends the conventions of security policy discourse into the domain of information, thus legitimizing state intervention in the production of social knowledge. The Doctrine's textual representation of threat, or "discourse of danger," delimits the boundaries of national identity and legitimizes the exercise of control over the principal agent of the cultural production—the mass media. Employing identity politics in the service of a "strong state," the Kremlin has intensified its regulation of the communications infrastructure to ensure the uniformity and stability of the nation's locus of meaning. This translation provides selected sections of the Doctrine to reveal the discursive strategies employed to legitimatize the role of the state in the reproduction of identity, and the accompanying analysis seeks to demonstrate the Kremlin's active performance of this role by subsuming "independent" television under the charge of the state.

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