The search for the 'Russian idea' is nothing new. It began in the 19th century, and, since the advent of glasnost, intellectuals have been debating anew how to modernize their country without abandoning tradition. Elena Chinyaeva argues that Russians' desire to retain their national heritage while joining the club of developed democracies should not be construed as isolationist or anti-Western, although their search for a new national idea-recently spearheaded by President Boris Yeltsin-could stand to be more forward looking

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