Cover Osteuropa 11-12/2015

In Osteuropa 11-12/2015

Food as Politics
Worldliness and Patriotism in the Russian Supermarket

Monica Rüthers

Deutsche Fassung


Russian food production meets only 70 percent of the country’s demand. It is correspondingly clear that the ban on Western food imports adopted in response to the sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States in 2014 is making itself felt on consumers. Despite rising prices, however, there has hardly been any opposition on the part of the population. Patterns of behaviour from Soviet times are back in favour; in addition, for many citizens, the alleged recovery of world power status compensates for the imposed sacrifices in consumption. By means of the embargo, Russia can “cleanse” itself and at the same time show strength and resolve. Patriotic marketing, increasingly widespread, produces curious effects. But in reality, a very different product is often hiding behind a pointedly Russian brand image (as with a pointedly western one).

(Osteuropa 11-12/2015, pp. 89–102)