Discursive Identity Construction in Messages to the Regional Parliament. Case of the Republic of Tatarstan

Discursive Identity Construction in Messages to the Regional Parliament. Case of the Republic of Tatarstan

Gabdrakhmanova G.F.,

Sh. Mardzhani Institute of History, Tatarstan Academy of Sciences, Kazan, Russia, medi54375@mail.ru

elibrary_id: 292391 | ORCID: 0000-0002-1796-5234 | RESEARCHER_ID: N-1811-2017

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2021.05.10
Rubric: Russia Today

For citation:

Gabdrakhmanova G.F. Discursive Identity Construction in Messages to the Regional Parliament. Case of the Republic of Tatarstan. – Polis. Political Studies. 2021. No. 5. P. 146-160. (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2021.05.10

The study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and the Expert Institute for Social Research (No. 19-011-33001).


The article raises the topic of identity construction in public speeches of the leaders of regional subjects of the country. How and what identities do they build in discourse? What grounds are used by them for the population to identify with the region? Is the ongoing regional identity policy combined with an identity policy implemented at the national level? These issues are considered on the example of one of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation – the Republic of Tatarstan. Texts of the Messages of Tatarstan republic President R.N. Minnikhanov to State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan were explored using the theory of critical discourse analysis. This allowed using linguistic tools to reveal the symbolic space of public speeches of the regional leader. The purpose of their analysis was to identify tactics and techniques used by the regional leader in constructing the discursive reality of identity – all-Russian, regional, ethnic, religious, professional, gender. The head of Tatarstan speaks most of all about professional identity – about the accumulation of human capital in the territory entrusted to him, and about specific areas of the economy. The construction of all-Russian and regional identities illustrates the complexity of their construction and combination. The President of Tatarstan solves this problem with the idea of the consolidation of the Tatarstan community and the stability of the political system of the republic in the name of national security of Russia. He talks a lot about ethnic issues and the image of the region as a territory open to cooperation and creating favorable conditions for investment. All this becomes a brand of Tatarstan. Thus, the proposed approach takes into account various context-sensitive discursive and social practices of the discourse of the identity of a regional leader.


identity, identity policy, regionalist discourse, Message, President of the Republic of Tatarstan, R.N. Minnikhanov, State Council.


Evans D.J. 2019. Welshness in ‘British Wales’: Negotiating National Identity at the Margins. – Nations and Nationalism. Vol. 25. No. 1. Р. 167-190. https://doi.org/10.1111/nana.12390

Fitjar R.D. 2006. Building Regions on Economic Success: Prosperity and Regionalism in Rogaland. – Scandinavian Political Studies. Vol. 29. No. 4. Р. 333-355. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9477.2006.00155.x

Obradović S., Howarth C. 2018. The Power of Politics: How Political Leaders in Serbia Discursively Manage Identity Continuity and Political Change To Shape the Future of the Nation. – European Journal of Social Psychology. Vol. 48. No. 1. P. O25-O35. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2277

van Dijk T.A. 1998. Ideology: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Sage Publications, Inc. 384 р.

Wodak R. 2012. Language, Power and Identity. – Language Teaching. Vol. 45. No. 2. P. 215-233. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0261444811000048


Berger P., Luckmann T. 1995. The Social Construction of Reality. A Treatise on the Sociology of Knowledge. (Russ. ed.: Berger P., Luckmann T. Social’noe konstruirovanie real’nosti. Traktat po sociologii znaniya. Moscow: Medium. 332 р.).

Blinova O.A. 2019. Scottish Regionalist Discourse in British Press. – Nauchnyi dialog. No. 7. P. 39-55. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.24224/2227-1295-2019-7-39-55

Bourdieu P. 2005. Identity and Representation: Elements of Critical Reflection on the Idea of “Region”. – Ab Imperio. No. 3. P. 45-61. (In Russ.)

Drobizheva L.M. 2008. Natsional’no-grazhdanskaya i etnicheskaya identichnost’: problemy pozitivnoi sovmestimosti [National-Civic and Ethnic Identity: Problems of Positive Compatibility]. – Rossiya reformiruyushchayasya. Ezhegodnik [Reforming Russia. Yearbook]. Ed. by M.K. Gorshkov. Vol. 7. Moscow: Institute of Sociology RAS. P. 214-228. (In Russ.)

Drobizheva L.M. 2012. Rossijskaya i etnoregional’naya identichnost’ v Tatarstane ot 1990-yh ko vtoromu desyatiletiyu XXI veka [Russian and Ethno-Regional Identity in Tatarstan from the 1990s to the Second Decade of the 21st Century]. – Konsolidiruyushchie identichnosti i modernizacionnyj resurs v Tatarstane [Consolidating Identities and a Modernization Resource in Tatarstan]. Moscow: Institute of Sociology RAS. P. 22-25. (In Russ.)

Fadeeva L.A. 2015. Identichnost’ kak kategoriya politicheskoi nauki: kognitivnyi potentsial i issledovatel’skoe pole [Identity as a Political Science Category: Cognitive Potential and Research Field]. – Strukturnye transformatsii i razvitie otechestvennykh shkol politologii [Structural Transformations and the Development of Domestic Schools of Political Science]. Ed. by O.V. Gaman-Golutvina. Moscow: Aspect Press. P. 78-92. (In Russ.)

Galaktionova N.A. 2016. Socio-Cultural Image of a Region in Terms of Toponymic Policy (the Case Study of Tyumen and Naberezhnye Chelny). – Russian Journal of Regional Studies. No. 1. P. 152-163. (In Russ.)

Gel’man V.Ya. 2003. Political Elites and Regional Identity Strategies. – The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology. Vol. VI. No. 2. P. 91-105. (In Russ.)

Hayrapetyan A.S., Borozdin M.S. 2014. The Reflection of the “Language” Issue in the Messages of the President of the Russian Federation (1994-2012). – Bulletin of the Saratov State Law Academy. No. 1. P. 181-185. (In Russ.)

Klyuev E.V. 2008. Information-Communication and Psychological-Political Aspects of President V.V. Putin’s Annual Addresses to the Federal Assembly. – Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Language and Literature. No. 1. P. 129-139. (In Russ.)

Kuznetsov V.I. 2014. Annual Addresses of the President of the Russian Federation to the Federal Assembly as a Form of Expressing the Political Course of Country’s Development. – Bulletin of the Moscow Region State University. Series: History and Political Sciences. No. 2. P. 94-99. (In Russ.)

Makarova G.I. 2020. Obraz Tatarstana v strategiyah regional’nyh elit i v massovom soznanii [The Image of Tatarstan in the Strategies of Regional Elites and in the Mass Consciousness]. Kazan: Institute of History named after Sh. Mardzhani under Tatarstan Academy of Sciences. 308 p. (In Russ.)

Malinova O.Yu. 2017. Politika identichnosti kak bor’ba za smysly: Problemy kontseptualizatsii [Identity Politics as a Struggle for Meanings: Problems of Conceptualization]. – Simvolicheskaya politika. Vyp. 5: Politika identichnosti [Symbolic Politics. Vol. 5: Identity Politics]. Moscow: INION RAN. P. 7-20. (In Russ.)

Mukharyamov N.M. 2012. Etnicheskij faktor i politika v Respublike Tatarstan: tendencii 2000-h godov [Ethnic Factor and Politics in the Republic of Tatarstan: Trends of the 2000s]. – Konsolidiruyushchie identichnosti i modernizacionnyj resurs v Tatarstane [Consolidating Identities and a Modernization Resource in Tatarstan]. Moscow: Institute of Sociology RAS. P. 7-21. (In Russ.)

Nazukina M.V. 2016. First Experience of Identity Politics in Perm Region (1990s – early 2000s). – Perm Federal Research Centre Journal. No. 5. P. 38-45. (In Russ.)

Politicheskaya identichnost’ i politika identichnosti: ocherki [Political Identity and Identity Politics: Essays]. 2011. Ed. by O.I. Zaznaev. Kazan’: Otechestvo. 230 p. (In Russ.)

Potapchuk Ye.Yu. 2006. Fifth Essence (Transformation of the Metaphor in Modern Russian Political Discourse). – Polis. Political Studies. No. 5. P. 92-105. (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2006.05.07

Sagitova L.V. 2018. Respublika Tatarstan: politika identichnosti i ee aktory [Republic of Tatarstan: Identity Politics and Its Actors]. Kazan: Sh. Mardzhani Institute of History, Tatarstan Academy of Sciences. 360 p. (In Russ.)

Semenenko I.S. 2008. The Emergence of Corporatism. The Triumph of the Corporation. – Neprikosnovennyi zapas. No. 4-5. P. 8-9. (In Russ.)

Semenenko I.S. 2017a. Politika identichnosti: menyayushchayasya povestka dnya [Identity Politics: A Changing Agenda]. – Symbolic Politics: Collection of Scientific Papers. Vol. 5: Identity Politics. P. 21-40. Мoscow: INION RAN. (In Russ.)

Semenenko I.S. 2017b. Predislovie [Foreword]. – Identichnost: Lichnost, obshchestvo, politika. Entsiklopedicheskoe izdanie [Identity: The Individual, Society, and Politics. An Encyclopedia]. Ed. by I.S. Semenenko. Moscow: Ves Mir. P. 11-17. (In Russ.)

Semenenko I.S., Lapkin V.V., Pantin V.I. 2010. Identity in the System of Coordinates of the World Development. – Polis. Political Studies. No. 3. P. 40-59. (In Russ.)

Shchipkov V.A. 2016. Mifologicheskie osnovaniya sovremennogo regionalistskogo diskursa [The Mythological Foundations of Modern Regionalist Discourse]. Dissertation for the Degree of Candidate of Philosophy. Moscow: MGIMO University. (In Russ.)

Yadov V.A. 1994. Social Identification in a Crisis Society. – Sociological Journal. No. 1. P. 35-52. (In Russ.) 

Content No. 5, 2021

See also:

Smorgunov L.V.,
Political identity and the concept of the political. – Polis. Political Studies. 2012. No6

Krestinina Ye.S.,
Image of «the Other» in the structure of modern identity of russian society. – Polis. Political Studies. 2011. No4

Tkhagapsoyev Kh.G.,
In search of a new methodological paradigm in political science: the identity approach. – Polis. Political Studies. 2013. No4

Andreev D.A.,
Identity as an academic agenda of worldview. – Polis. Political Studies. 2013. No3

Nazukina M.V.,
Regionalism in the “messages” of the heads of subjects of the Russian Federation: a discursive perspective. – Polis. Political Studies. 2022. No2



   2024      2023      2022      2021   
   2020      2019      2018      2017      2016   
   2015      2014      2013      2012      2011   
   2010      2009      2008      2007      2006   
   2005      2004      2003      2002      2001   
   2000      1999      1998      1997      1996   
   1995      1994      1993      1992      1991