Russian Nationalism between Conflict and Cooperation. "Russia" and the Russians Abroad in the Domestic Policy of the Russian Federation from 1991-96
With the fall of the Soviet Union, 25 million Russian-speaking Soviet citizens were transformed into members of titular non-Russian states. The discussion of their status, and especially the supposed harm done to their rights and interests, has played an increasing role in Russian domestic policy since 1993. This dissertation project first addresses the various concepts of "Russia" - in its manifestation in the form of the Russian Federation, with respect to the Russian-speaking population in neighboring states, as Great Russia (including White Russians and Ukrainians) - and the political interests standing behind these notions. Then the question is raised how, or if, these political interests influence the debate about Russians abroad, and which solutions they propose: protection of minorities, holding referenda, irredentism, etc. The nature of the policy proposed - whether based on cooperation, consensus and maintaining stability, or based on conflict and destabilization - will be examined with respect to whether it moves in accordance with an orientation that is more democratic and citizenship-based or more authoritarian and ethnocentric. The factors, in sum, that influence interethnic and international readiness to cooperate or be in conflict (or be ready to use violence) will be worked out here.