By Anatoly M. Khazanov
A world-renowned anthropologist, Anatoly M. Khazanov deals a witty, insightful, and cautionary research of ethnic nationalism and its pivotal function within the cave in of the Soviet empire.
“Khazanov’s encyclopedic wisdom of the background and tradition of post-Soviet societies, mixed with box learn there because the Nineteen Sixties, informs the case reviews with a unique authoritative voice. This quantity is destined to be a completely valuable reference for the knowledge of ethnic family and the politics of minorities within the ex-USSR into the following century.”—Leonard Plotnicov, editor of Ethnology
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Additional info for After the USSR: Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Politics in Commonwealth of Independent States
Tht: few attempts at establishing all-union democratic movements were stillborn. :, and still are, willing to give priority to nationalistic aspirations and goals. Ethnic solidarity became a foundation of new political identities. No wonder national liberation in the non-Russian parts of the Sovi<:l Union in most cases has actually turned out to be an ethnic liberation ol some groups at the expense of others. The "matrioshka doll," the very hierarchy of nationalities occupying different positions in the ethnic pyr;l mid, has not been destroyed in the newly emerged, independent post Soviet countries; only the positions of different nationalities in this pyn1 mid have been transposed.
This ell-sire could threaten other republics and autonomous formations in the 1'111 ure. Territorial disputes and conflicts. : best known conflict of a territorial nature. beks, Tadjiks, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Buryat, and other ethnic groups are alrc•ady involved in territorial conflicts and disputes. 1. The problem of persons living outside their constituent state or mlonomy. Today, there are about 60 million such people in the CIS; 11ho11t 25 million of them are Russians. Events of the last several years hiiVl' demonstrated that their situation and relations with the dominant nutlonality in whatever republic or country in which they reside are oftnt the source of conflict.
In practically all these states nationalism has replaced communism as the dominating and often statesupported ideology, and all the major political forces have resorted to nationalism to legitimize their grip on power. Much less change has occurred in the composition of the ruling elites, who, with few and incomplete exceptions, still consist mainly of members of the former Communist Party and administration nomenklatura. It is amazing, but by no means surprising, how smoothly the ideological transformation of the ruling elites has taken place: from an ostentatious devotion to communism and a declarative internationalism, which included the constant assertion of love and loyalty to the "elder brother," the Russians, to archnationalism often accompanied by overt or covert negative attitudes toward the same Russians as well as other minorities in their countries.