When we consider what the data suggest in light of the opportunistic nature of Czech radical nationalist politics, it seems reasonable to conclude that while the Czech radicals generally supported the improvement of the condition of women in Czech society, their overt feminism must be read as both a true feminism and as part of a larger pragmatic political strategy aimed at gaining the largest voice in Czech politics, despite their post-1918 protestations to the contrary. It does not ring true that the leaders of the National Socialist Party were committed to their feminist agenda out of purely idealistic commitment to women as equal participants in the political life of the Czech nation. While assigning to the radicals a strong dose of such idealism, it is also plausible that their support for wider political rights for women was part of their larger strategy to expand the Czech voting rolls as widely as possible in order (they hoped) to swamp their elite nationalist adversaries, and that their insistence on protective legislation for women was designed to appeal to the anxieties of Czech male workers who could (and did) vote for the National Socialists in large numbers. The socioeconomic and voting data presented here offer support, albeit not conclusive support, for such a view-namely, that the Czech radicals used their feminism as they did other elements of their discourse to capitalize on local economic anxieties to radicalize the population in support of the National Socialist program.
In 1918, Czech feminists, buoyed by their intense faith in the democratic nature of the Czech nation, had assumed that creating a democracy in the Czech lands would be enough to bring women the rights they felt all individuals deserved. However, as their failed attempt to legalize women's civil equality made clear, few Czechs shared their egalitarian definition of democracy or their conception of citizenship. As they struggled to align their beliefs about democracy and gender difference, most Czechs eventually came to the conclusion that even a democratic nation could not afford to get rid of such differences; in fact, the good of the nation depended on maintaining the social distinctions between the sexes. The words of the Constitution notwithstanding, citizenship would not become a genderless category, and the legal rights granted to women and men would continue to be different, based on their different social roles. Although each sex had a right to freedom, that too was a gendered right rather than a universal one: it could never be allowed to contradict the dictates of the "natural" gender system. Women's rights would be based on the idea of womanhood rather than personhood, on what was best for their place as wife and mother. For many Czech women, a version of citizenship that allowed them to be politically active while protecting their roles as wives and mothers seemed like the best of all worlds. However, as the double earners discovered after being summarily fired in 1938, gender difference was a shaky ground on which to build a case for citizenship rights. As the definition of what was socially appropriate for women changed, so did their rights. Without recourse to a universal standard of citizenship, Czech women would find that they had no rights that could not be successfully challenged under the guise of protecting either family or femininity.
Both Yugoslav wars and Yugoslav basketball were conspicuous in Western media in the 1990s. While CNN transmitted scenes of horror from battlefields of Bosnia and Kosovo, several dozen professional athletes of Yugoslav background could be seen in action on U. S. sport channels. Yugoslavs, by far the most numerous among foreign players in the strongest basketball league in the world—the American professional basketball league (NBA)—sparked the audience's curiosity about their background and the peculiar Yugoslav style of basketball. The literature concerning the Yugoslav crisis and Balkan wars noted sporadic outbursts of ethnic hatred in sport arenas, but did not provide any detailed information on the otherwise important role of sport in Yugoslav history and society. Not even highly competent volumes such as Beyond Yugoslavia , which highlighted the country's culture, arts, religion, economy, and military, paid attention to what Yugoslavs called “the most important secondary issue in the world”—sport. Yet sport reveals not merely the pastimes of the Yugoslav peoples, but also the varieties of nationalism in the former Yugoslavia, including probably the most neglected of all local nationalisms: the official communist-era patriotic ideology of interethnic “brotherhood and unity.” The goal of this article is to highlight this type of nationalism manifested via state-directed sport using as a case study the most successful basketball program outside the United States.
The Roma or Gypsies entered Romania's historic provinces, Wallachia and Moldavia, in the twelfth century. Over the next 200 years, the Roma, who had come to the Balkans from northern India, were enslaved. By the fifteenth century, the practice of Gypsy slavery was widespread throughout the two provinces. In part, their enslavement came about as a means of securing Gypsy skills as craftsmen, metalsmiths, musicians, and equine specialists. Over time, a complex body of laws was passed in Wallachia and Moldavia to strengthen the control of Romanian noblemen over their Gypsy slaves ( robi ). However, by the eighteenth century, some mild efforts were undertaken to better the plight of Romanian Gypsy slaves.
Keywords: Russia; USSR; Stalin; populism; nationalism Abstract This article argues that the formation of a mass sense of Russian national identity was a recent, contingent event that first began to take shape under Stalin. Surveying the new literature on Russian nationalism, it contends that elite expressions of "Russianness" and bureaucratic proclamations of "official nationality" or russification should not be conflated with the advent of a truly mass sense of grassroots identity. Borrowing from an array of theorists, it argues that such a sense of identity only becomes possible after the establishment of necessary social institutions - universal schooling, a modern army, etc. Inasmuch as these institutions come into being only after the formation of the Soviet Union, this article focuses on how a mass sense of Russian national identity began to form under a rapid and unpredictable series of ideological shifts that occurred during the Stalinist 1930s and 1940s. This article's major contribution is its description of this development as not only contingent, but accidental. Drawing a clear line between russocentric propaganda and full-blown Russian nationalism, it argues that the ideological initiatives that precipitated mass identity formation in the USSR were populist rather than nationalist. In this sense, Stalinism has much more in common with Pernism than it does with truly national regimes.
Research on diasporic youth identities in the British and American context has stressed hybridity, heterogeneity and multiplicity. This paper draws upon ethnographic research undertaken with Armenian girls to explore some of the tensions and ambivalences of negotiating diasporic identities in the Russian context. Diasporic identities are constructed through gender, and this paper illustrates how research participants negotiate their identities in relation to both belonging to the Armenian community and wider Russian society. At the same time, this paper examines how research participants draw differently on diasporic identifications in order to overcome tensions and ambivalences in their everyday lives. The paper shows that research participants are not inclined to reject their cultural roots in favor of new hybrid identities, but are able to recognize and appropriate different cultures in their identity negotiations.
"The aim of this article is to analyze changes in the ethnic structure in the Baltics. The publication of the results of the 1989 Census data allows one to analyze the dynamics of ethnic structure in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania since the 1920s." The author notes that "as a result of significant changes in all demographic processes in the 90s, the proportion of the titular nationalities in all three Baltic States has increased for the first time, while the proportion of Slavs, particularly of Russians, decreased."
The devaluation of history by the public, press, politicians, and social scientists presents a formidable challenge to us as historians. Surely we have a vocational interest in reminding them of our ability to discern the continuity between the past and present as an instrument for determining the likely course of future developments. To this I would add a second, moral imperative to repay the tax and tuition paying public that sustains us by contributing to the formulation of public policy. The past decade has demonstrated the tragic alternative. In the aftermath of Srebrenica, Operation Storm and NATO action in Bosnia and Kosovo, there has evolved a broad consensus that attributes the war, genocide, and the subsequent need for costly, long-term Western intervention to a failure to learn from the lessons of history. I would suggest that part of our responsibility lies in a failure of historians to teach these lessons beyond the narrow confines of the ivory tower. Perhaps most remiss have been Habsburg scholars, who have failed to share what they have learned about the multiethnic experience in a 'Western' institutional environment that upholds the rule of law and codes of professional conduct. To Balkan and Habsburg historians alike, I say that it is not so difficult for a reasonably intelligent person to understand how we have gotten to this terrible juncture in Central Europe, or to envision where we are heading. The answers to our questions are not unteachable, just untaught. Looking over the events of the past decade, I would suggest a number of historically informed insights that bridge the gap between scholarly discourse and the lay public's self-professed factual ignorance and conceptual confusion.
This paper offers hypotheses on the role that state social welfare measures can play in reflecting nationalism and in aggravating interethnic tensions. Social welfare is often overlooked in theoretical literature on nationalism, because of the widespread assumption that the welfare state promotes social cohesion. However, social welfare systems may face contradictions between the goal of promoting universal access to all citizens on the one hand, and social pressures to recognize particular groups in distinct ways on the other. Examples from the post-Soviet context (particularly Russia) are offered to illustrate the ways in which social welfare issues may be perceived as having ethnic connotations.
The author discusses the transformation of Estonia to a market economy, with a focus on trends in demographic development. "The transition of society in Estonia has been accompanied by significant changes in the demographic behaviour of the population, including nuptiality, fertility, mortality and population migration.... However, this period has been relatively short, and it is premature to conclude which of the current trends are long-term in nature, and which will have only a short-term effect."
The following tables have been compiled on the basis of published census data. In many instances this has necessitated explanatory footnotes for the following reasons:
1. The oldest census results used in the tables are taken from the 1910 Austrian and Hungarian census based on “language” and “religion” categories. The later census results are usually based on declared “nationality.” A significant consequence of this difference is that in the Austrian and Hungarian census Jews can be found either among the German- or the Hungarian-speaking population, while in subsequent census results they are always designated a separate “nationality.” For this reason, additional information is provided in some of the footnotes regarding the Jews.
For most North Americans demography is an esoteric subject more often tied to marketing than to social and political changes. In Latvia, as in most of Eastern Europe and the USSR, demography has long been placed on the forefront of public attention. This wave of attention in the case of Latvia is not a fad of short duration which will be readily displaced by other popular topics. On the contrary, demography has had, is having and will have a tremendous impact on a very broad range of policies and on the long term survival of the Latvian nation. Thus, in order to understand the social and ethnic tensions, the labour squeeze, and the welfare burden of Latvia, it is necessary to understand the multifaceted demographic processes: the real matrix of the political and social environment. This paper reviews the pivotal demographic role of the First and Second World Wars and analyzes population size, sex balance, age structure, urban-rural residence, nuptiality, birth and death rates, migration patterns and ethnic balance.
The Polish-speaking Masurians who inhabited the southern part of East Prussia until 1945 present the clearest and best documented example anywhere in eastern Europe of national identity developing disregarding native language. Although they spoke Polish and lived adjacent to Poland, Masurians gave every indication over quite a long time period of voluntary and nearly unanimous identification with the Prusso-German state and nation. They did so in a region #A>where national identity based on language was the norm, and in spite of two exceptional opportunities which have to be considered: an internationally supervised plebiscite (1920), whose one-sided result only confirmed that identification, and the assignment of Masurians to Poland (1945), which resulted ultimately in the departure of most Masurians for Germany. Aside from its intrinsic interest, the Masurian experience should also appeal to anyone interested in questions of national consciousness and nationalism.
The author examines the flow of the non-Kazakh population from the territory of Kazakhstan since the country became independent in December 1991. "This study [analyzes] the ongoing migration process from...a Kazakh point-of-view--meaning, not from the position of a Kazakh ¿nationalist' but from a pragmatic stance, taking into consideration the specific elements of the situation in the country. In particular, it is suggested that the ¿nationalist' interpretation (which is not actively promoted in the country's internal politics, by the way) is less than ideal as a scientific explanation of this migration, and various other contributing factors will be presented."
This article traces the history of migration flows from Russia to Kazakhstan before 1917 to the present. The present problems in the republic stem from the complicated character of migration. Russian migration of Cossacks and peasants began after Russian annexation in 1731. Migration was intense during the Revolution of 1905-07 and the strongest during 1917-91. Records reveal 1.1 million migrants and 5 million total population in 1900. 6.2 million migrated during 1917-91. During 1917-91 migrants in the early years were victims of collectivization (est. 250000) followed by WWI refugees and migrants from northern provinces fleeing civil war (100000 persons). During the 1930s industrial workers were recruited (1.3 million). "Unreliables" were deported during WWII (1.3 million). Forced evacuees from occupied territories settled during 1941-45 (1.45 million). Spontaneous flows occurred during the 1970s (1 million). There were secret military settlements (250000) labor migrants (200000) and war and ethnic refugees fleeing national conflicts (50000) post-WWII. 42% of Kazakhs died from hunger and epidemics and 33% fled abroad during the early decades of the century. In 1937 population amounted to 2.8 million. Today about 100 nationalities live in Kazakhstan although the largest groups are Kazakhs (43.2%) and Russians (36.4%). In 1993 75.8% of the total work force were non-Kazakh workers. Kazakhs are 60% of rural population but many are migrating to cities that are dominated by Russians. Growing unemployment fostered tensions with the Chechens and may lead to conflicts with Russians.
This paper discusses Romani migration to the U.K. from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) in the closing years of the twentieth century, with particular reference to the Czech and Slovak Republics. These case studies were chosen to illustrate wider points because they are the best documented, particularly with regard to illuminating sociological research on motivations for migration. Comparisons with similar migration to Canada shed further light on the situation. Refugees from these CEE countries have met a hostile reception in the U.K. It is argued here, however, that popular ignorance alone does not provide a sufficient explanation for this hostility: rather, the condemnation of Romani asylum seekers is seen as an expression of a deep-rooted and long-standing anxiety in the U.K. about immigration and its potential consequences. In spite of their relatively insignificant numbers, Roma have acted as convenient motifs in this ongoing discourse, being assigned a prominent symbolic role at a time of heightened political sensitivity.
The establishment of the Nemzeti Casino (National Casino) in Pest helped establish civil society in nineteenth-century Hungary. Count István Széchenyi, hoping to modernize Hungary on the English model, established the casino in 1827 as a public forum for the Hungarian nobility. By transcending caste divisions between nobles and bourgeois elites, Széchenyi's casino served as an unofficial parliament and stock exchange, and generally helped cultivate Hungarian patriotism. The Pest Casino inspired a nation-wide trend for casinos, which in turn formed a civil society in opposition to Habsburg absolutism. Yet when the casino movement spread to Hungary's minority nationalities, Jews, Slovaks, Romanians, and particularly Croats, the casino also contributed to national divisions in Hungary's ethnically diverse population that affected the course of the 1848 Revolution.
The article focuses on the historical causes and effects of the social, economic and demographic divisions of the two communities, Macedonians and Albanians, which constitute two very distinct societies put together into one state, and do not form an integrated polity. This deep gulf is caused by significant differences in the structures of communal life, reproductive and economic behavior, and patterns of cultural reproduction. The differences have been mainly created by the social and economic effects of Macedonian nation-building and socialist modernization whose outcomes varied on the two ethnic groups.
The article examines the development of the Yugoslav state's policy of transnational political engagement of Yugoslav citizens on temporary work in the FR Germany during the late 1960s and 1970s. This politicization of labor migrations was shaped by the interplay of the internal turmoil in the Yugoslav federation and the conditions peculiar to West Germany of the time. The change of the state's perception of external migrations is being examined through the extension of the agitation apparatus of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia onto the territory of the FR Germany and the mobilization of economic emigrants against the “hostile” political emigrants residing in that country. The main goal of these measures was to maintain the emigrants' transnational links to their homeland and ensure that their political standing was kept in line with the official Yugoslav ideological tenets until the time of the prospective return migration cycle. The extraterritorial character of these measures, coupled with the specific position of Yugoslavia within the Cold War diplomacy, led to a peculiar ideological interplay and shifting web of cooperation and confrontation between various actors.
The dominant view about the mobilisation of Kosovo Serbs in the 1980s is that they were little more than passive recipients of the attitudes and actions of high party-state officials, especially Milošević (Milosevic), and dissident intellectuals, who aimed to initiate reassessment of the party’s approach to Yugoslavia’s national question and its policy on Kosovo and Serb–Albanian relations. The paper challenges this view and broader claims of specialists on the former Yugoslavia and communist and non-democratic regimes in general, which lend it credibility. Drawing on previously unavailable sources, the paper argues that various grassroots groups of Kosovo Serbs played a decisive role in the mobilisation of their community, which originated from the post-1966 twist in the politics of inequality and their rapid demographic decline in Kosovo. It shows that the mobilisation of Kosovo Serbs was autonomous through a close look into their protest networks, demands and protest strategies as well as their links with the dissident intellectuals, other confidants and high officials of Yugoslavia, Serbia and Kosovo. The high officials tolerated the mobilisation partly because of the political change that occurred in the first half of the 1980s, partly because of the small scale of mobilisation and partly due to the moderate strategies of the protest groups. Having in mind other episodes of mobilisation in socialist Yugoslavia, such as protests of industrial workers, students and the 1968 and 1981 protests of Kosovo Albanians, it is hardly surprising that changes in political context favourable to a group, rather than a deterioration of its relative position, often lead to the protest of its members - Nebojsa Vladisavljevic.
In this article I present a decade-long affair over the erection of the Monument in Belgrade to those killed in the wars of the 1990s where the official Serbian policy was to manage its contested past through cover ups and cultural reframing rather than public acknowledgement. I demonstrate here that, though the open competitions to erect a monument dedicated to the fallen1 of the wars of the 1990s were an opportunity to negotiate different mnemonic agendas, the ruling political elite, as the dominant actor, promoted Serbian victimhood as it meant to bridge gaps in the opposing domestic and international demands. I suggest here that the mnemonic battle in present-day Serbia proves to be an exemplary case of how a post-conflict nation state mediates its contested past when caught in the gap between the domestic demands and those of international relations.
This essay brings attention to the recent discursive turn in Russian politics that is reflected in the Kremlin's turn to issues of traditional values and morality. Expressed in Russia's domestic and foreign policies, this new “morality politics” is dated by the Pussy Riot trial in 2012 that the Kremlin used to advance its new discursive frame in the public sphere. Although not entirely new in its orientation, this new stage of “morality politics” differs from the earlier policy initiatives in its intensity, scope and political significance for the regime. The moralizing stance taken by the regime is accompanied by a divide and rule political tactic, whereby the establishment has tried to marginalize the protesters from the rest of the Russian public that the regime is attempting to reconsolidate based on traditional, conservative values. The essay interprets this recent morality turn as a strategy selected by the Kremlin to restore the regime's legitimacy that has been shaken by the protests of 2011–2012 and looks at the social and political consequences of the selected strategy.
The Pussy Riot affair was a massive international cause célèbre that ignited a widespread movement of support for the jailed activists around the world. The case tells us a lot about Russian society, the Russian state, and Western perceptions of Russia. It also raises gender as a frame of analysis, something that has been largely overlooked in 20 years of work by mainstream political scientists analyzing Russia's transition to democracy. It has important implications for how Western feminist categories can be applied to the Russian context. This introduction summarizes the main events associated with the trail of the three group members who were accused of staging a “punk prayer” performance in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in February 2012. It also introduces the findings of the six papers that make up this special section.
This article studies the impact of conspiracy theories on post-Soviet Russian nation-building through the analysis of how the Pussy Riot trial was constructed by the Russian media. Conspiracy theory as a phenomenon is defined as a populist tool for relocation of power among different political actors, which creates identities and boosts social cohesion. This interpretation of conspiracy theories helps investigate how the media constructed the image of Pussy Riot and their supporters as a conspiring subversive minority, which threatened the Russian nation. The ability of conspiracy theory for swift social mobilization helped the authorities to strengthen the public support of its policies and model the Russian nation as ethnically and religiously homogeneous.
Les événements dramatiques qui ont secoué l'Europe durant dix années à la suite du démembrement de la Yougoslavie, surtout le dernier épisode retentissant qui a affronté les Serbes et les Albanais pour la paternité de Kosova, ont impliqué l'ensemble de la communauté internationale pour la défense d'un certain modèle de société et de relations entre groupes ethniques. Les opinions publiques en revanche, abasourdies par les bruits médiatiques et intellectualistes, n'ont toujours pas saisi la signification et les raisons du conflit, que tout le monde espère voir finir une fois pour toutes avec ce dernier et final épisode sanglant. Après une introduction sur les caractéristiques de la région définie comme une aire culturelle, ces articles tentent de donner un aperçu historique et géopolitique des Albanais et de leur culture, insistant tour à tour sur la stratification, les particularismes locaux et l'unité culturelle. Ensuite, passant en revue l'histoire du mouvement national et la formation de la nation albanaise au tournant du siècle, ils rendent compte de l'affrontement des nationalismes serbe et albanais qui n'ont pas manqué de s'exacerber à tout moment. Intégrant l'approche anthropologique aux considérations historiques et géopolitiques sur la région et la culture albanaise, ces travaux tentent de renouveler la discussion anthropologique sur l'ethnicité et les relations interethniques, en insistant sur les taxonomies d'identification et la construction des identités sociales. J'ai essayé plus précisément de poser une question qui me paraît essentielle pour la compréhension des phénomènes actuels, à savoir si l'héritage historique et les identités culturelles peuvent raisonnablement, sinon justifier, au moins expliquer les conflits ethniques et le nationalisme, ou au contraire ils servent tout simplement à déterminer et au mieux à rationaliser les relations interethniques entre groupes sociaux.
The Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) is a highly visible institution in Russia, and arguably the most prominent and influential religious or cultural body. The Orthodox Church figures prominently in various discussions as the driving force behind Russia's post-Soviet renewal and recovery. Surveys show that Russians trust the Orthodox Church more than any other public institution, including law courts, trade unions, mass media, the military, the police and the government. Estimates of the number of self-identified Orthodox adherents range from 50 million, which amounts to slightly more than one-third of Russia's population, to 70 million, or roughly one half of the population. A leading newspaper consistently ranks Patriarch Aleksii II, head of the Moscow Patriarchate, the governing body of the Orthodox Church, in the top 15 of the country's most influential political figures. These indicators confirm that the Orthodox Church has a significant role in Russia's post-Soviet development. This is widely accepted by commentators both within and without the Orthodox Church, and within and without Russia.
This article discusses the political success of the far-right Movement for a Better Hungary (Jobbik). Jobbik is usually depicted as owing its success to anti-Roma and anti-establishment sentiment, mobilized with the help of a paramilitary organization, the Hungarian Guard. With the examples of the party programs, the speeches of Jobbik leaders during marches of the Hungarian Guard, and the press releases of the party between 2008 and 2010, this article shows how Jobbik not only attempts to mobilize anti-Roma sentiment, but also tries to present itself as a party taking considerable interest in the economic issues of poverty and inequality triggered by capitalism. It also suggests that the party's success might in fact also be due to this focus on the economy, as well as due to increasing efforts on behalf of the party leadership to differentiate their positions from those of the main center-right party, Fidesz. This could explain how even though authorities banned the Hungarian Guard in July 2009, Jobbik nevertheless doubled its number of voters in the parliamentary elections of April 2010 (and achieved a further increase in absolute vote numbers in 2014) as compared to its electoral outcome in the European Parliament elections of June 2009.
The popular, stereotype perception of Russian anti-Semitism is marred by a number of misconceptions. It is generally believed that it originated among the peasants, partly as a result of religious bigotry and partly as a reaction against an alleged Jewish exploitation. In actual fact, pogroms almost invariably started in towns and cities, and the main instigators were artisans and merchants and other people who plied the same trade as the Jews, later also professionals such as lawyers. Hence, economic competition rather than exploitation was the most important driving force. This is reflected in the writings of Russian anti-Semites and is also how most contemporary Jews understood their causes behind their ordeals. The Jews could be targeted for persecution because they were a diaspora group and did not enjoy the same protection as the indigenous population. Thus, even though the tsarist regime can be cleared of any suspicion that they deliberately whipped up the pogroms, they contributed to them by failing to give the Jews the same rights as other subjects of the empire.
For 60 years, the international community has limited the right of territories to gain independence without the permission of the “parent state.” Such limits were, however, challenged when Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia, in February 2008. As a result, Belgrade referred the matter to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). On 22 July 2010, it came back with its long-awaited decision. Taking a narrow view of the question, the majority argued that, in general, declarations of independence, as mere statements, do not violate international law unless stated otherwise by the Security Council. Thus, Kosovo's declaration of independence cannot be considered as being wholly “unique” - as those states that supported its statehood have claimed. On the key questions of whether Kosovo's secession is legal, or if it is even a state, they chose to avoid controversy. On these points, the international community is no clearer now than it was before the case.
South Tyrol (Italy), with its three officially recognized language groups (Germans, Italians and Ladins), is a successful model of how a minority problem can be solved. It is based upon the principle of dissociative conflict resolution, which means separating the language groups as much as possible between themselves, as well as the principle of consociational democracy, which focuses primarily on the cooperation between the language groups' elites. In the last few years it has been observed that while the institutional frame has not changed, society has, thereby starting to undermine the existing political and institutional system from below. This concerns mainly the ethnic division, which is being questioned more and more by civil society, as well as aspects of cooperation between the elites. As a consequence of this process, South Tyrol's autonomy is moving toward further integration, with the latter again translating into strengthening the two factors of territoriality and identity.
This study draws on ethnographic research conducted in a small village, Baltinava in Latvia, 2.5 kilometres from the border with Russia. The research examines how ethnic Russian women create a specific Latvian Russian identity by contrasting themselves from ethnic Latvians and Russians who live in Russia and identifying with both groups at the same time. To narrate their lives and to make them meaningful, real and/or perceived “attributes” are combined to draw boundaries between “us” and “them.” Thus, the same thing such as language can be used not only both to distinguish themselves from Russians in Russia or Latvians but also to form coherent identities and to emphasize similarities. This study suggests that ethnicities cannot be reduced to a list of set ethnic groups that are very often used in official government statistics. Ethnic identities have to be viewed as fluid and situational. Moreover, this study shows the dialectic nature of ethnicity. On the one hand, external political, historical and social processes create and recreate ethnic categories and definitions. Yet, on the other hand, the women in this study are active agents creating meaningful and symbolic ethnic boundaries.
The Pussy Riot story is clearly a story the West wanted to hear. Western journalists, politicians, and celebrities were unanimously inspired by the youthfulness and rebellion of courageous Russian feminists. Their life experience perfectly resonates with the core of these young women's messages. For Russians, however, even for those who share the most liberal values, it is not so simple. Public polls and several months of heated debates have shown that virtually everyone in this deeply conservative country has struggled to make sense of the Pussy Riot performance. So, what do Westerners not understand about Russia and what are the problems of translating feminism(s) into different cultural contexts? How does feminist protest deprived of its roots function here, and why do women in Russia not understand that Pussy Riot's story personally concerns all of them? This essay outlines the difference between Russian and Western readings of the Pussy Riot performance and, using the case of public response in Russia, contemplates the reasons for the failure of feminism in this part of the world.
This article examines the current heroization of Ukrainian nationalist leader, Stepan Bandera, as manifested in monuments and commemorative practices. It offers a topographic survey that reveals the extent and variety of modes of Bandera heroization. It examines the esthetic and historical controversies that surround Bandera memorialization. It enquires into the personal motivations and political strategies that underlie the effort to project the chosen image of Bandera upon the public space in highly visible terms. It suggests that the campaign in favor of memorializing Bandera can best be understood in performative terms. It is in depicting Bandera as a hero of Ukraine that Bandera becomes a hero of Ukraine.
Since the end of the Cold War it has become common for Finnish academics and politicians alike to frame debates about Finnish national identity in terms of locating Finland somewhere along a continuum between East and West (e.g., Harle and Moisio 2000). Indeed, for politicians properly locating oneself (and therefore Finland) along this continuum has often been seen as central to the winning and losing of elections. For example, the 1994 referendum on EU membership was largely interpreted precisely as an opportunity to relocate Finland further to the West (Jakobson 1998, 111; Arter 1995). Indeed, the tendency to depict Finnish history in terms of a series of ‘westernising’ moves has been notable, but has also betrayed some of the politicised elements of this view (Browning 2002). However, this framing of Finnish national identity discourse is not only sometimes politicised, but arguably is also too simplified and results in blindness towards other identity narratives that have also been important through Finnish history, and that are also evident (but rarely recognised) today as well. In this article we aim to highlight one of these that we argue has played a key role in locating Finland in the world and in formulating notions of what Finland is about, what historical role and mission it has been understood as destined to play, and what futures for the nation have been conceptualised as possible and as providing a source of subjectivity and national dignity. The focus of this article is therefore on the relationship between Finnish nationalism and ideas of ‘marginality’ through Finnish history.
In 1991 the ethnic Russian and Russian-speaking communities, who had migrated to and been resident in the non-Russian regions of both the tsarist empire and Soviet Union, found themselves located beyond the borders of the newly independent Russian Federation. Despite an absence of actual, physical movement, the communities experienced a form of stationary or figurative displacement as the Soviet Union broke up and political borders demarcating their homelands moved over them. This displacement was furthered in subsequent years due to the nature and security of the environment where they lived and their often secure sense of ethnocultural and socio-economic identity being challenged through processes of political and economic transformation and increased levels of instability and uncertainty. This article focuses on members of those Russian communities who are living in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Through an analysis of narratives of their everyday lives it explores how they perceive and understand the “displacement” which has occurred, and how they are responding and actively renegotiating relationships with both their physical homeland—Uzbekistan—and their “historical” homeland—Russia. Furthermore, the article assesses how through these processes of displacement and renegotiation they are reshaping their own identities in the post-Soviet period.
The simplest purpose of a map is a rational one: to educate, to solve a problem, to point someone in the right direction. Maps shape and communicate information, for the sake of improved orientation. But maps exist for states as well as individuals, and they need to be interpreted as expressions of power and knowledge, as Steven Seegel makes clear in his impressive and important new book. "Mapping Europe's Borderlands" takes the familiar problems of state and nation building in Eastern Europe and presents them through an entirely new prism, that of cartography and cartographers. Drawing from sources in eleven languages, including military, historical-pedagogical, and ethnographic maps, as well as geographic texts and related cartographic literature, Seegel explores the role of maps and mapmakers in the east central European borderlands from the Enlightenment to the Treaty of Versailles. For example, Seegel explains how Russia used cartography in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars and, later, formed its geography society as a cover for gathering intelligence. He also explains the importance of maps to the formation of identities and institutions in Poland, Ukraine, and Lithuania, as well as in Russia. Seegel concludes with a consideration of the impact of cartographers' regional and socioeconomic backgrounds, educations, families, career options, and available language choices.
The results of the 2004 Ukrainian presidential elections highlighted the continued existence of regional diversity across Ukraine and the huge task the Ukrainian state faces in reconciling divisions and creating an all-encompassing modern Ukrainian identity. This article seeks to examine perceptions and understandings of identity change in Ukraine from three cities, namely Luhans'k, Kharkiv and Sumy, all adjacent to the Russian-Ukrainian state border, in an effort to deconstruct the mega-region of ‘eastern Ukraine’ and in doing so, argue for the need for further academic scrutiny of inherent nuances within ‘east’ and ‘west’ Ukraine, differences, which more large-scale quantitative research fails to uncover. Data generated from in-depth interviews in schools with school directors, history teachers and schoolchildren are analysed to demonstrate how individuals reflect on the importance of the ‘region’ in Ukraine and secondly the role of Russia in Ukraine's identity politics. The impact of these results on Ukrainian politics and society as well as our understandings of regional diversity across Ukraine is outlined in the conclusions.