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Constructing Ethnopolitics in the Soviet Union: Samizdat, Deprivation and the Rise of Ethnic Nationalism

Constructing Ethnopolitics in the Soviet Union: Samizdat, Deprivation and the Rise of Ethnic Nationalism (Hardback)

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The "nationality question" was long central to Soviet thought and policy, and the failure to provide a convincing answer played a major role in the break up of the Soviet Union into ethnically or nationally defined states. Dina Zisserman-Brodsky explores various explanations of nationalism and its resurgence through a close examination of dissident writings of diverse ethnic groups in the former Soviet Union, thereby bridging macro-theory with micro-politics. Dissident ethnic networks were a crucial independent institution in the Soviet Union, and a basis of civil society. Voicing the discontent and resentment of the periphery at the policies of the centre or metropole, the dissident writings - known as samizdat - highlighted anger at deprivations imposed in the political, cultural, social and economic spheres. Ethnic dissident writings drew on values both internal to the Soviet system and international as sources of legitimation they met a divided reaction among Russians, with some privileging the unity of the Soviet Union and others sympathetic to the rhetoric of national rights.

This focus on national, rather than individual, rights helps explain developments since the fall of the Soviet Union, including the prevalence of authoritarian governments in newly independent states of the former Soviet Union.

History & PoliticsPolitics & governmentPolitical ideologiesMarxism & CommunismHistory & PoliticsPolitics & governmentPolitical ideologiesNationalismPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesSocial groupsEthnic studies Publisher: Palgrave USA Publication Date: 04/07/2003 ISBN-13: 9781403961914  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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DINA ZISSERMAN-BRODSKY is a lecturer in the Department of Russia and Slavic Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

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