The Dark Double: US Media, Russia, and the Politics of Values

ISBN : 9780190919337

Andrei P. Tsygankov
192 Pages
140 x 210 mm
Pub date
May 2019
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Although many observers argue that US-Russia relations are a simple reflection of elites' political and economic preferences in both countries, these preferences tend to arise from pre-existing belief systems that are deeply rooted in the public and accentuated by mass media. In Dark Double, Andrei P. Tsygankov focuses on the driving power of values and media, in addition to political and economic interests, in structuring US-Russia relations. By analyzing mainstream US newspapers and other media sources, Tsygankov identifies five media narratives involving Russia since the Cold War's end and studies them through a framework of three inter-related factors: historic and cultural differences between the two countries, inter-state competition, and polarizing domestic politics. He shows how Americans' negative views toward Russia draw from a deep wellspring of suspicion and are further enhanced by a biased media that regularly exploits such negativity, Russia's centralization of power and anti-American attitudes. Given the intensity of our current impasse with Russia, Dark Double represents an important intervention that forces us to think about the sources of conflict in a new way.


List of Figures and Tables
1. Values and Media in US-Russia Relations
2. Fears of Russia, Suppressed and Revealed
3. American Universal Values and Russia
4. Russia Fights Back
5. Russophobia in the Age of Donald Trump
6. Conclusion

About the author: 

Andrei P. Tsygankov is Professor at the departments of Political Science and International Relations at San Francisco State University. He has published widely in the West, and his books have been translated in Russian and Chinese. He is the author of Russia and the West from Alexander to Putin (2012), Russophobia (2009) and is the editor of The Routledge Handbook of Russian Foreign Policy (2018).

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