Nation-building as a process is never complete and issues related to identity, nation, state and regime-building are recurrent in the post-Soviet region. This comparative, inter-disciplinary volume explores how nation-building tools emerged and evolved over the last twenty years. Featuring in-depth case studies from countries throughout the post-Soviet space it compares various aspects of nation-building and identity formation projects. Approaching the issue from a variety of disciplines, and geographical areas, contributors illustrate chapter by chapter how different state and non-state actors utilise traditional instruments of nation-construction in new ways while also developing non-traditional tools and strategies to provide a contemporary account of how nation-formation efforts evolve and diverge.
Nation-building as a process is never complete and issues related to identity, nation, state and regime-building are recurrent in the post-Soviet region. This comparative, inter-disciplinary volume explores how nation-building tools emerged and evolved over the last twenty years. Featuring in-depth case studies from countries throughout the post-Soviet space it compares various aspects of nation-building and identity formation projects. Approaching the issue from a variety of disciplines, and geographical areas, contributors illustrate chapter by chapter how different state and non-state actors utilise traditional instruments of nation-construction in new ways while also developing non-traditional tools and strategies to provide a contemporary account of how nation-formation efforts evolve and diverge.
Introduction : Nation-Building in the post-Soviet Space: old, new and changing Tools / Rico Isaacs and Abel Polese -- Memory and Nation-Building in Georgia / Fabio De Leonardis -- Minority Assimilation and Nation-Building in Kazakhstan / Yves-Marie Davenel and Eunsil Yim -- Religion and Nation-Building in Crimea / Makbule Buhari Gulmez -- Language, Schools and Nation-Building in Tatarstan / Teresa Wigglesworth-Baker -- Language, Economy and Nation-Building in the Republic of Sakha / Aimar Ventsel -- Language, Law and Nation-Building in Georgia / Karli Storm -- Cinema and Nation-Building in Kazakhstan / Rico Isaacs -- Personality Cults and Nation-Building in Turkmenistan / Abel Polese and Slavomir Horák -- Media Events and Nation-Building in Azerbaijan / Elisabeth Militz -- Public Construction and Nation-Building in Tajikistan / Filippo Menga -- Elections and Nation-Building in Abkhazia / Donnacha Beacháin -- Health and Nation-Building in Russia / Saglar Bougdaeva -- Conclusion / Rico Isaacs and Abel Polese
This book explores the function of the “everyday” in the formation, consolidation and performance of national, sub-national and local identities in the former socialist region. Based on extensive original research including fieldwork, the book demonstrates how the study of everyday and mundane practices is a meaningful and useful way of understanding the socio-political processes of identity formation both at the top and bottom level of a state. The book covers a wide range of countries including the Baltic States, Ukraine, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia, and considers “everyday” banal practices, including those related to consumption, kinship, embodiment, mobility, music, and the use of objects and artifacts. Overall, the book draws on, and contributes to, theory; and shows how the process of nation-building is not just undertaken by formal actors, such as the state, its institutions and political elites.
Is globalization in danger of diluting national identities and 'transnationalizing' cultures? How can societies attempt to manage globalization and become developed while maintaining a viable national identity? In this 2007 study of three globalizing states and cities in post-Soviet Eurasia - Russia (Astrakhan), Kazakhstan (Almaty), and Azerbaijan (Baku) - Douglas W. Blum provides an empirical examination of national identity formation, exploring how cultures, particularly youth cultures, have been affected by global forces. Blum argues that social discourse regarding youth cultural trends - coupled with official and non-official approaches to youth policy - complement patterns of state-society relations and modes of response to globalization. His findings show that the nations studied have embraced certain aspects of modernity and liberalism, while rejecting others, but have also reasserted the place of national traditions.
This book examines the online memory wars in post-Soviet states – where political conflicts take the shape of heated debates about the recent past, and especially World War II and Soviet socialism. To this day, former socialist states face the challenge of constructing national identities, producing national memories, and relating to the Soviet legacy. Their pasts are principally intertwined: changing readings of history in one country generate fierce reactions in others. In this transnational memory war, digital media form a pivotal discursive space – one that provides speakers with radically new commemorative tools. Uniting contributions by leading scholars in the field, Memory, Conflict and New Media is the first book-length publication to analyse how new media serve as a site of political and national identity building in post-socialist states. The book also examines how the construction of online identity is irreversibly affected by thinking about the past in this geopolitical domain. By highlighting post-socialist memory’s digital mediations and digital memory’s transcultural scope, the volume succeeds in a twofold aim: to deepen and refine both (post-socialist) memory theory and digital-memory studies. This book will be of much interest to students of media studies, post-Soviet studies, Eastern European Politics, memory studies and International Relations in general.
Freedom in the World, the Freedom House flagship survey whose findings have been published annually since 1972, is the standard-setting comparative assessment of global political rights and civil liberties. The survey ratings and narrative reports on 195 countries and fifteen territories are used by policymakers, the media, international corporations, civic activists, and human rights defenders to monitor trends in democracy and track improvements and setbacks in freedom worldwide. The Freedom in the World political rights and civil liberties ratings are determined through a multi-layered process of research and evaluation by a team of regional analysts and eminent scholars. The analysts used a broad range of sources of information, including foreign and domestic news reports, academic studies, nongovernmental organizations, think tanks, individual professional contacts, and visits to the region, in conducting their research. The methodology of the survey is derived in large measure from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and these standards are applied to all countries and territories, irrespective of geographical location, ethnic or religious composition, or level of economic development.
Religion has become increasingly important in the sociopolitical life of countries in the former Soviet Union. This volume of essays examines how religion affects conflict and stability in the region and provides recommendations to policymakers.
Research by social scientists on multicultural and multilingual post-Soviet societies is manifold. However, there rarely exists a dialogue between academic fields, traditions and ideologies. This book critically reunites different academic generations and traditions, different disciplines, and different geographical and cultural backgrounds by keeping the plurality of the approaches. The contributions discuss the roles of ideologies, education, and ethnic, linguistic, and religious identities in the post-Soviet nation-building processes. The included case studies show continuities and discontinuities in the ideological and political aspects of nation-building and identity management in post-Soviet societies. (Series: Freiburg Studies in Social Anthropology / Freiburger Sozialanthropologische Studien, Vol. 47) [Subject: Social Anthropology, Sociology, Politics, Soviet Union]
What drives a state's choice to assimilate, accommodate or exclude ethnic groups within its territory? In this innovative work on the international politics of nation-building, Harris Mylonas argues that a state's nation-building policies toward non-core groups - individuals perceived as an ethnic group by the ruling elite of a state - are influenced by both its foreign policy goals and its relations with the external patrons of these groups. Through a detailed study of the Balkans, Mylonas shows that how a state treats a non-core group within its own borders is determined largely by whether the state's foreign policy is revisionist or cleaves to the international status quo, and whether it is allied or in rivalry with that group's external patrons. Mylonas injects international politics into the study of nation-building, building a bridge between international relations and the comparative politics of ethnicity and nationalism.
This edited volume scrutinizes the nature and discourses of nationalisms and identity construction in the post-Soviet Central Asian republics, and elucidates the main strategies and tactics employed at various levels of identity construction in these states.
After the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, the countries that emerged from it faced myriad challenges, including the need to reorganize the organization, financing and provision of health services. Over two decades later, this book analyzes the progress that twelve of these countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan) have made in reforming their health systems. Building on the health system reviews of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies (the HiT series), it illustrates the benefits of international comparisons of health systems, describing the often markedly different paths taken and evaluating the consequences of these choices. This book will be an important resource for those with an interest in health systems and policies in the post-Soviet countries, but also for those interested in health systems in general. It will be of particular use to governments in central and eastern Europe and the former Soviet countries (and those advising them), to international and non-governmental organizations active in the region, and to researchers of health systems and policies.
From the start, the Soviet human space program had an identity crisis. Were cosmonauts heroic pilots steering their craft through the dangers of space, or were they mere passengers riding safely aboard fully automated machines? Tensions between Soviet cosmonauts and space engineers were reflected not only in the internal development of the space program but also in Soviet propaganda that wavered between praising daring heroes and flawless technologies. Soviet Space Mythologies explores the history of the Soviet human space program within a political and cultural context, giving particular attention to the two professional groups—space engineers and cosmonauts—who secretly built and publicly represented the program. Drawing on recent scholarship on memory and identity formation, this book shows how both the myths of Soviet official history and privately circulating counter-myths have served as instruments of collective memory and professional identity. These practices shaped the evolving cultural image of the space age in popular Soviet imagination. Soviet Space Mythologies provides a valuable resource for scholars and students of space history, history of technology, and Soviet (and post-Soviet) history.
In this fascinating study of unfinished nation-building in Belarus, Grigory Ioffe draws on his two dozen research trips to the country to trace Belarus's history, geography, political situation, society, and economy. The ambivalent relationship between Russia and Belarus results in an identity crisis that is not understood by the West, which leads to Western policies toward Belarus that are based on a fallacy of geopolitical thinking. This book will lead readers to a deeper understanding of Belarus, its relationship with Russia, and its still-forming national identity.
This report assesses the annexation of Crimea by Russia (February–March 2014) and the early phases of political mobilization and combat operations in Eastern Ukraine (late February–late May 2014). It examines Russia’s approach, draws inferences from Moscow’s intentions, and evaluates the likelihood of such methods being used again elsewhere.
The break-up of the Soviet Union is a key event of the twentieth century. The 39th IIS congress in Yerevan 2009 focused on causes and consequences of this event and on shifts in the world order that followed in its wake. This volume is an effort to chart these developments in empirical and conceptual terms.
The war in Georgia. Tensions with Ukraine and other nearby countries. Moscow's bid to consolidate its "zone of privileged interests" among the Commonwealth of Independent States. These volatile situations all raise questions about the nature of and prospects for Russia's relations with its neighbors. In this book, Carnegie scholar Dmitri Trenin argues that Moscow needs to drop the notion of creating an exclusive power center out of the post-Soviet space. Like other former European empires, Russia will need to reinvent itself as a global player and as part of a wider community. Trenin's vision of Russia is an open Euro-Pacific country that is savvy in its use of soft power and fully reconciled with its former borderlands and dependents. He acknowledges that this scenario may sound too optimistic but warns that the alternative is not a new version of the historic empire but instead is the ultimate marginalization of Russia.
Informed by in-depth case studies focusing on a wide spectrum of micro and macro post-socialist realities, this book demonstrates the multi-faceted nature of informality and suggests that it is a widely diffused phenomenon, used at all levels of a society and by both winners and losers of post-socialist transition.
This book is a study of regime change in the context of international administration, where the United Nations and other multilateral organisations hold temporary executive authority at the domestic level. Work on the politics of state-building has highlighted how these administration operations can influence nearly every aspect of politics in the country or territory in which they are deployed. This book concentrates in particular on the 'regime-building' practices of these missions, and examines the aims and influences of international administrations in the area of democratic development, as well as their ultimate impact on the process of regime change. Through a comparative analysis of events in Bosnia, Kosovo and East Timor, the book demonstrates how external actors assume positions of power conventionally held by domestic elites, and in so doing gain the ability to affect democratic development in ways unavailable to international actors in more conventional settings. In particular, the case studies highlight the ways in which the democracy promotion objectives of international administrators can have both positive and negative effects on democratization processes, with the presence of international authorities helping to rule out non-democratic options in some areas, while at times undermining democratic development in others. The book identifies the key international actors involved, highlights the mechanisms of influence available to them in these contexts, and explores the crucial mediating role of domestic actors and structures. Oxford Studies in Democratization is a series for scholars and students of comparative politics and related disciplines. Volumes concentrate on the comparative study of the democratization process that accompanied the decline and termination of the cold war. The geographical focus of the series is primarily Latin America, the Caribbean, Southern and Eastern Europe, and relevant experiences in Africa and Asia. The series editor is Laurence Whitehead, Official Fellow, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.

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