Chapter 2.3 Nation-Building And Social Integration Theory


{A}3.1 Nation-building{/A}


The term “nation-building” came into vogue among historically oriented political scientists in the 1950s and 1960s. Its main proponents included such leaders of the American academic community as Karl Deutsch, Charles Tilly, and Reinhard Bendix. Nation-building theory was primarily used to describe the processes of national integration and consolidation that ledleading up to the estab­lishment of the modern nation-state--as distinct from various form of traditional states, such as feudal and dynastic states, church states, empires, etc. “Nation-building” is an architectural metaphor which, strictly speaking, implies the existence of consciously acting agents such as architects, engineers, carpenters, and the like. However, as used by political scientists, the term coversdescribed not only conscious strategies initiated by state leaders but also un­planned societal change.[1] In the apt phrase of Øyvind Østerud, to political science the concept of “nation-building” became for political  science in a sense be­came what “industrialization” was to social economy: an indispens­able tool for detecting, describing and analyzingthe detection, description and analysis of the macrohistorical and sociological dynamics that have producedproducing the modern state.[2]


The traditional, pre-modern state was made up of isolated com­munities with parochial cultures at the “bottom” of society and a distant, and aloof, state structure at “the top,” that was largely content with collecting taxes and keeping order. Through nation-building these two spheres were brought into more intimate contact with each other. The mMembers of the local communities were drawn upwards into the larger society through education and political participation. The state authorities, in turn,on the other hand, expanded their demands on, and obligations towards, the members of society by offering a wide array of services and in­tegrative social networks. The subjects of the monarch were gradually and imperceptibly turned into citizens of the nation-state. Substate cultures and loyalties either vanished or lost their political importance, being superseded by loyalties toward the larger entity, the state.


In Stein Rokkan‘s model saw, nation-building was seen as consisting of four analytically distinct aspects.[3]  In Western Europe these as­pects had usually followed each other in more or less the same order. Thus, they could be regarded not only as aspects but also as phases of nation-building.


The first phase resulted in economic and cultural unification at elite level. The second phase brought ever larger sectors of the masses into the system through conscription into the army, enrollment into compulsory schools, etc. The burgeoning mass media created channels for direct contact between the central elites and periphery populations and generated widespread feelings of identity with the political system at large.


In the third phase, the subject masses were brought into active participation in the workings of the territorial political system. Finally, in the last stage the administrative apparatus of the state expanded. Public welfare Sservices of public welfare were established and nation-wide policies for the equalization of economic conditions were designed.


In the oldest nation-states of Europe, along the Atlantic rim, the earliest stage of these processes commenced in the Middle Aages and lasted until the French Revolution. While it iswas impossible to pin-point exactly when the entire nation-building process was completed, it certainly went onlasted for several centuries. In the ideal variant, each consecutive phase set in only afteras the previous one had run its course. This ensuredsecured the lowest possible level of social upheavals and disruptions, Rokkan believed.




In the mid-1970s,The discussions on nation-building took a new turn. in the mid-1970s. In a seminal article pointedly titledcalled “Nation-building or Nnation-destroying?” Walker Connor launched a blistering attack on the school of thought associated with Karl Deutsch and his students.[4] Connor noted that the nation-building literature was preoccupied with social cleavages of various kinds--between burghers and peasants, nobles and commoners, elites and masses--but virtually or totally ignored ethnic diversity. This Connorhe regarded as an inexcusable sin of omission, since, according to hisin Connor's computation, only 9 percent of the states of the world could be regarded as ethnically homogeneous.


Since “nation-building” in the Deutschian tradition meant assimila­tion into the larger society and the eradication of ethnic pecu­liarities, Connor believed that in world history it had produced more nation-destroying than nation-building. However, the effi­ciency of active engineering in nation-building engineering, he heldbelieved, had generally been greatly exaggerated. Very often it was counter­productive, regularly producing. It regularly produced a backlash of ethnic revival­ism. Complete assimilation of ethnic minorities had largely failed all over the world, even in thate alleged stronghold of consum­mated nation-building, Western Europe, Connor maintained.


Another reason behind the fundamental flaws of nation-building theory Connor found in the terminological confusion caused by the diverse usages of the word “nation.” As heHe pointed out, that this term sometimes is used with reference to cultural groups and peoples, while at other times it describes political entities (states), cf. expressions such as “United Nations” and “international poli­tics.” Even more misleading, he felt, was the tendency to use the term “nation” to describe the total population of a particular state without regard for its ethnic composition.


While reserving the term “nation” for ethnic groups only, Connor discarded all objective cultural markers as valid identity demar­cations for these units. Neither common language, com­mon religion, nor any other shared cultural reservoir within a group qualified as a genuine sign of nationhood. Any such at­tempt to objectivize the nation was to mistake the cultural mani­festations of a nation for its essence. The true nature of the eth­nos was in all and every case the sense of common ancestry shared by its members, Connor asserted. The nation is the ulti­mate extended family. To be sure, hardly ever could a common origin of the members of the nation be proven. In fact, very of­ten it can be established that a nation stems from diverse ethnic sources. The belief in athe common genetic origin can therefore usually be shown to be pure myth. Nonetheless, adherence to this myth has remained a sine qua non for every nation, Connor maintained.[5]


Later theoreticians developed Connor’s understanding in two different directions. The “modernists”--such as Benedict Anderson, Tom Nairn, Ernest Gellner and, Eric HobsbawmHobsbawn--, etcstrongly underlined the myth aspect of the nation. In a celebrated book-title, Benedict Anderson coined the expression “imagined communities” to describe modern nations. The nation is a product of imagina­tion in the sense that the members of the community do not know each other personally and can only imagine themselves to be in communion with each other. However, Anderson distanced himself from Gellner and HobsbawmHobsbawn who took the “imagination” metaphor one step further, interpreting and interpreted it in the direction of “invention” and “fabrication.” The nation should not be defined as “false consciousness” Anderson insisted. Such Ddefinitions like that would imply that there are such things as “true communities” which can be juxtaposed to “artificial” nations. “In fact, all communities larger than primordial villages of face-to-face contact (and per­haps even these) are imagined'.”[6]


At the same time, Anthony Smith, Rasma Karklins. and others developed Connor’s themes further in another direction, stressing strongly emphasizing the ethnic aspect of the nation. While agreeing with the modernists that “nations” as we know them are recent phenom­ena, Smith insisted that they have a long prehistory, evolving out of ethnic cores. Of the conglomerate of ethnic groups existing in earlier ages, some developed into would-be nations aspiring for nationhood and a state of their own, with a few eventually acquiring it. Why do The successes of some groups succeed while others fail? Often thisand the failures of others must often be explained as a result of historical contingencies, a con­fluence of felicitous circumstances,--but it may also be due to the but also of active efforts of determined nationalists, the nation-builders.[7]


Smith and his disciples retained but re-employed the term “nation-building” introduced by the earlier, modernist school of thought. In accordance with their “neo-primordialist” under­standing of all modern nations as products of age-old ethnic building material they heavilystrongly underlined the cultural, symbolic, (ethnic) and myth-making aspects of the nation-building:.


{EXT}Even for the most recently created states, ethnic homo­geneity and cultural unity are paramount considerations. Even where their societies are genuinely “plural” and there is an ideological commitment to pluralism and cul­tural toleration, the elites of the new states find them­selves compelled, by their own ideals and the logic of the ethnic situation, to forge new myths and symbols of their emergent nations and a new “political culture” of anti-colonialism and the post-colonial (African or Asian) state.[8] {/EXT)



{A}3.2 Social integration{/A}


.In the liberal tradition of the 19th century we may identify two somewhat diver­gent views on national integration. may be identified. OneA dominant line of thought regarded the cultural and linguistic dissolution of the minorities into “high cultures” as not only historically in­evitable but also as indisputably beneficial to the minorities themselves. This process was often labeled “assimilation,” “acculturation” or “amalgamation” rather than “integration,” but no clear distinctions were made among these concepts. It goes without saying that an individual fully assimilated into the na­tional culture also would be successfully integrated into the larger society.


A classic expression of the assimilationist view may be found in John Stuart Mill‘s Considerations on Representative Government:


{EXT)Experience proves that it is possible for one nationality to merge and be absorbed in another: and when it was originally an inferior and more backward portion of the human race the absorption is greatly to its advantage. Nobody can suppose that it is not more beneficial to a Breton, or a Basque of French Navarre, to be brought into the current of the ideas and feelings of a highly civilized and cultivated people--to be a member of the French nationality, admitted on equal terms to all the privileges of French citizenship, sharing the advantages of French protection, and the dignity of French power--than to sulk on his own rocks...[9]{/EXT}


A somewhat different view was taken by Lord Acton. He was more inclined to see cultural diversity as a blessing for the members of society and a safeguard against tyranny: “The presence of different nations under the same sovereignty  . . .  provides against the servility which flourishes under the shadow of a single authority, by bal­ancing interests, multiplying associations, and giving the subject the restraint and support of a combined opin­ion.”[10] Not unity and uniformity, but diversity and harmony ought to reign in society, Acton maintained. However, by no means did he regard all cultures as equal or equally worthy of preservation. On the contrary, one of the main reasons why people from different cultures ought to be included in the same state was that “inferior races” could therebyin that way could be raised, by learning from intellectually superior nationalities:.


{EXT}Exhausted and decaying nations are revived by the con­tact of a younger vitality. Nations in which the elements of organization and the capacity for government have been lost  . . .  are restored and educated anew under the discipline of a stronger and less corrupted race.[11] {/EXT}


In fact, Acton was prepared to use such phrases as “the cauldron of the State” in which a “fusion” takes place throughby which the vigor, the knowledge, and the capacity of one portion of mankind may be communicated to another. Thus, his arguments for a multicul­tural state are leading us towards a surprising result: under the tutelage of a superior nationality, members of the less advanced cultures in the state will shed many of their distinctive traits and learn true civilization. Exactly how much will remain of their pe­culiar identities (to use a modern word which Acton does not employ), remains unclear,[12] but his vision of social integration was not as far removed from John Stuart Mill’s as many ob­servers have been led to believe.


Most of what was written on nation-building and integration in the 1960s and 1970s stood in the combined tradition of Mill and Acton. To Karl Deutsch and his disciples, nation-building and na­tional integration were, so to speak, but two sides of the same coin, indeed, simply two ways of describing the same process. A major object of nation-building was to wield the disparate population elements into a congruent whole, by forging new loyalties and identities at the national (= state) level at the expense of localism and particularistic identification. Deutsch specified four stages by which he expected this process to take place:. Open or latent resistance to political amalgamation into a common national state; minimal integration to the point of passive compliance with the orders of such an amal­gamated government; deeper political integration to the point of active support for such a common state but with continuing ethnic or cultural group cohesion and diver­sity, and finally, the coincidence of political amalgamation and integration with the assimilation of all groups to a common language and culture.[13]


The modernists saw successful assimilation as a prerequisite for upward social mobilization for members of minority cultures. Only those individuals who mastered the language and the cul­tural code of the dominant group could aspire for achievement. In most of his writings Deutsch also saw the creation of the homogeneous society, with equal opportunities for all groups, as fully attainable.[14]


Walker Connor took issue with the assimilation theory of the modernizationists on two accounts. He did not believe that the eradication of cultural differences in society was necessarily a good thing.[15] Also, he questioned the one-to-one relationship between modernization and cultural homogenization.


{EXT}The continuous spread of modern communication and transportation facilities, as well as statewide social insti­tutions such as public school systems, can have a great influence upon programs of assimilation. But can the na­ture of that influence be predicted? It is a truism that centralized communications and increased contacts help to dissolve regional cultural distinctions within a state such as the United States. Yet, if one is dealing not with minor variations of the same culture, but with two distinct and self-differentiating cultures, are not increased contacts between the two apt to increase antagonism?[16] {/EXT}


In later articles Connor dropped the question mark and more and more fiercely insisted that this was indeed the case. Advances in communication and transportation tend to increase the cultural awareness amongof the minorities by making their members more con­scious of the distinctions that set their own community apart from other groups. The individual comes to identify more and more ever-more closely identifies with his own in-group, contrasting and contrasts himself to the immediate sur­roundings.[17]


This view was accepted and even somewhat sharpened by Arend Lijphart, another pioneer of the new trend in integration theory. Lijphart distinguished between essentially homogeneous soci­eties, where increased contacts are likely to lead to an increase in mutual understanding and further homogenization, on the one hand, and “plural societies,” where close contacts are likely to pro­duce strain and hostility, on the other. In societies of the latter type, segregation among the dominant cultural groups would be preferable to integration, he maintained. “Clear boundaries be­tween the segments of a plural society have the advantage of limiting mutual contacts and consequently of limiting the chances of ever-present potential antagonisms to erupt into actual hostili­ty.”[18]


The writings of Lijphart and Connor, as expressed by Anthony Birch, produced “a minor revolution” in thinking about the pro­cesses of national integration,. as Anthony Birch put it.[19] It would certainly be wrong to see this as a switch from the assimilationist vision of Mill to the more pluralist vision of Acton:, their “revolution” was far more radical than that. Whereas Acton remained a firmstrong believer in the blessings of cross-cultural intercourse, and for that very rea­son extolled the multinational state as an unqualified good, Connor and especially Lijphart on the contrary not only accepted but relished the abundance of plural states. They were skepticalskeptical not only toof the possibility but indeed also toof the desirability of assimilation.


On the issue of assimilation, Ernest Gellner took a stance in- be­tween the two positions sketched above. Himself a Central European thoroughly integrated into British academeia, he shared the conviction of the early liberals and modernizationists that full as­similation of cultural minorities was highly desirable, but he was somewhat more pessimistic about its feasibility. Gellner identi­fied what he called “entropy resistance” as a major obstacle to successful assimilation, and, by the same token, to the social mobilization of minorities. By “entropy” Gellner meant the inher­ent tendency of modern industrial society to erase social and re­gional barriers, creating a homogeneous, equalized society. The territorial and work units of industrial societies are basically ad hoc, he pointed out: “Membership is fluid, has a great turnover, and does not generally engage or commit the loyalty and identity of members. In brief, the old structures are dissipated and largely replaced by an internally random and fluid totality, within which there is not much (certainly when compared with the preceding agrarian society) by way of genuine substruc­tures.”[20]


However, some group attributes, Gellner maintained, have a marked tendency not to become, over time, evenly dispersed throughout society over time. Very often these entropy- resistant, ineradi­cable traits are of a physical/physiological nature, such as black skin (or, to stick to Gellner’s more surrealistic variant: blue pig­mentation). Whenever a high number of persons with of blue (black) complexion are located near the bottom of the social lad­der, colorcolor may become an easily detectable identity marker checking the upward social drift of all blue people. A convenient tool for social stigmatization and oppression of the have-nots has thus been found.


So far, it would seem that Gellner’s theory of entropy resistance would belong to the research of racial discrimination rather than to the study of ethno-cultural integration. However, Gellner goes on to claim that “some deeply engrained religious–cultural habits possess a vigor and tenacity which can virtually equal those which are rooted in our genetic constitution. [A]n identification with one of two rival local cultures [may be] so firm as to be compa­rable to some physical characteristic.”[21] Thus, while Connor and those who agree with him see the impediments to smooth cul­tural assimilation as stemming from the very logic of moderniza­tion itself, Gellner located these hindrances in traits and charac­teristics which are, usually, borne by only some members in society. are bear­ers of.



{A}3.3 IsThe applicability of Nation-Building/Integration The­ory Applicable To Non-Western Societies?{/A}


As pointed out, The classical theory of nation-building was an endeavor to understand the evolution of Western states. Inevitably, therefore, it reflected Western realities. Nevertheless, its proponents maintained that the theory was applicable also to the study of non-Western societies. This belief was based in part on a linear perception of history which was not always made explicit: all societies were, by the inner logic of human develop­ment, bound to pass through the same stages. In addition, most of the nation-building theorists believed that Western society was really a better society to live in. If they were not compelled by the forces of history to emulate the West, the leaders of non-Western states ought to do so--for their own sake and the sake of their population.


In fact, contrast with the outside world was from the very be­ginning part and parcel of the endeavor. It was certainly not fortuitous that this theory developed in the 1960s. The increased interest in the genesis of states came as a response to the flurry of new state-making in the wake of the decolonization in Africa. Nation-building theorists wanted to underline that “states” could mean very many different things in different set­tings, and that one should not too readily equate these new, hastily created political contraptions with the sturdy, time-tested na­tion-states of old.[22] At the very most, these new members of the international community should be viewed aswere nation-states in the making only. A fair number of the contemporary nation-building pro­jects, it was assumed, would never succeed.[23] Such unfortunatesThese states would either sink back into non-existence, or remain interna­tionally recognized states but devoid of any national character.


Rokkan remarked that the one distinguishing factor that setting na­tion-building in the new states off from the “old” processes was the time factor. Developments which in Western Europe had lasted for centuries, now had to be telescoped into decades. Under such circumstances the various phases could hardly be kept apart, but would overlap or even run parallel. This, in his opin­ion, would produce “fundamentally different conditions.” The risks of wrong turns and discontinuities would multiply. Likewise,Also, the element of conscious social engineering in the nation-building process would increase. Nevertheless, Rokkan felt that the new states could learn from European experiences, “more from the smaller countries than from the large, more from the multicul­turally consociational polities than from the homogeneous dy­nastic states, more from the European latecomers than from the old established nations.”[24]


The assumptions which informed the nation-building debate in the post-colonial era of the 1960s and 1970s have a bearing also upon the debate on nation-building in the post-Communist world of the 1990s. Once againAgain, we see that the state authorities and schol­ars in todaysthe newly independent countries employing the categories and terminology of Western political science to describe--and prescribe--social processes in their own countries, while their Western colleagues hastenurry to remind them that similarities in terminology easily may obscure significant differences in sub­stance.



{A}3.4 Nations and Nation-Building in Eastern Europe{/A}


As pointed out in chapter 1, the key term “nation” may have two very different meanings:, as a community of a state and as a commu­nity of culture, in short, the civic nation vs. the ethnic nation. In the former case, the nation will be coterminous with the popula­tion of a (nation)-state;, in the latter case, it may be both larger and smaller than the population in the state in which it resides.


In Eastern Europe--east of the Elbe--the ethnic understanding of the nation has deep roots, whereas while the civic concept has tended to havetradition­ally had very few adherents.[25] There are probably two impor­tant, interrelated reasons for this. First, in the West the bour­geoisie was the main motor behind the civic nation-state and civic national consciousness, while in Eastern Europe the national bourgeoisie has traditionally been conspicuously absent.[26] Trade and commerce were regarded as not very prestigious occupations, and often relegatedleft to outsiders. As a result, the thin stratum of bour­geoisie that could be found, was very often of foreign stock--di­aspora groups of Jews, Armenians, Germans and Greeks. Such groups were frequently vilified as un-national leeches on the national body.


In addition, the imperial, dynastic state held itsthe ground much longer in Eastern Europe than along the Atlantic rim. Both the Habsburg and the Romanov empires collapsed only as a result of the cataclysm that was World War I. cataclysm. The appellation and identity of these two states were in principle unrelated to the nations which werewas politically dominant, the Germans and the Russians. Both states represented cultural and ethnic patchworks, in the Habsburg domains, the Germans made up less than 25 percent of the total popula­tion in the 19th century.[27] In the Russian census of 1897 146 nationalities were listed;, the largest of them, the Russians, constitutedmade up only 45 percent.[28] In the Habsburg as well as the Romanov empires, local privileges and customary laws held sway in many regions to the very end.


The cultural and territorial heterogeneity of the East European empires was not a result of their size only. It also reflected the fact that their rulers were far less energetic and systematic na­tion-builders than were their Western counterparts.[29] As long as internal peace was retained and taxes paid, they werewere basically rela­tively uninterested in the inner life of the various linguistic and religious groups of the state. Left to their own devices, these communities could over time develop strong national identities based on their cultural particularities. As long as the state was imperial, the nation could remained cultural and non-state.


In Russia, the ethnic understanding of the nation was reinforced rather than weakened after the Bolshevik take-over.[30] As early as in 1903, Lenin’s party declared the right of all nations to self-determination, “nations” here being unequivocally identified with the (major) ethnic groups of the empire. However, as soon ast the cCommunist power had been consolidated, the promised right to secede from the state becamewas so heavily circumscribed as to be renderedcome totally unattainable. Instead, national homelands in the form of Union republics and autonomous republics were instituted as a kind of substitute nation-states. These territorial units were given the name and, up to a point, the cultural imprint of the dominant ethnic group, the so-called “titular nations.”


In tThe 1920s and early 1930s saw, a vigorous policy of promoting (often this meant: creating) new elites among these groups was pursued.[31] This is Uusually referred to as the policy of korenizatsiya or “nativization,,but one leading Western expert on Soviet nationality policies prefers to call it the Soviet policy of “nation-building.”[32]


In most respects, the USSR was a strictly unitary state in which the powers of the center were formidable. ThroughoutDuring most of Soviet history, the federal element in the state structure was largely dismissed as a mere sham. However, in the finalduring the last years of the Brezhnev period, the ethnically based federation became imbuedwas filled with a certain degree of real content. Although this trend fell short of a complete return to the korenizatsiya period, federalism did becoame an important fact of Soviet life.[33]


The Union republics of the Soviet Union were strange half-way houses between civic and ethnic units. In the two-layer Union legislature they were represented in the Chamber of Nationali­ties. The Deputies to this chamber were chosen not among the titular nationalities only, but among all residents of the republic. In some cases only a minority of the deputies from a certain au­tonomous formation actually belonged to the titular group. As far as these deputies had any political clout at all, they were expected to rep­resent the interests of the territorial unit, not of the titular eth­nic group.


To the other chamber of the Supreme Soviet, the Chamber of the Union, the delegates were chosen according to the territorial principle, and ethnicity played no role. The real organs of power--the Politburo, the Secretariat of the Central Committee, the KGB and the Armed Forces--were also formally ethnically neutral, but in reality ethnic Russians (and to some extent other East Slavs) were clearly overrepresented.[34]


Thus, not only the Union republics, but also the very Union itself was a curious hybrid of an ethnic and a civic state: on the one hand, it was a multinational state based on a non-ethnic ideology (Soviet Marxism), on the other--an ethnic empire based on the power dominance of the largest nation, the Russians. This duality gave rise to a perennial debate on the nature of Soviet national­ity policy--“internationalism or Russification?”[35]


Russian culture, and especially the Russian language, certainly enjoyed a privileged position and was forced on the non-Russians as well. Nonetheless, it should be borne in mind that the au­tonomous formations did in fact give the various titular groups some special rights within their respective territories. Indeed, whatever privileges and protection the non-Russians enjoyed in the Soviet Union, (primarily in the fields of culture, education and language policy), they enjoyed only within “their” republics. Members of the nationality living in other parts of the Union had no special rights, even if they should happen to dwelllive in a compact ethnic community. Such diaspora groups were more exposed to assimilation than the core group. The important lesson which drawn from this arrangement by the Soviet nationalities elites drew from this arrangement was that protection of minority rights “necessarily” takes the form of terri­torial arrangements. Non-territorial schemes of minority protec­tion was something they had no experience with. The Austro-Marxist idea of cultural (non-territorial) autonomy had been rejected by the fu­ture People’s Commissar of Nationalities, Joseph Stalin, as early as in 1913, and remained a dead issue.was never since returned to.[36]


At the same time, Soviet authorities did nothing to create ethni­cally pure Union republics in the demographic sense. The many ethnic groups had for centuries been living heavilystrongly intermingled with each other, and considerable inter-republican migration in the Soviet period further complicated the ethnic map.[37] This is the dual legacy which the new states of Eurasia have to come to grips with today aswhen they today they embark upon their various nation-building projects: on the one hand, an exclusionary nation con­cept which equates the nation with the ethnic group. On the other hand, a medley of disparate ethnic groups living on the territory of the state.



{A}3.5 The applicability of Is nation-building/integration the­ory applicable to post-Communist realities?{/A}


.ThroughoutAll over the former Soviet Union the new leaders have pro­claimed their states as national states or “nation-states.” As Rogers Brubaker has suggested, that they might perhaps more appropriately be called “nationalizing states.” They are ethnically heterogeneous, “yet conceived as nation-states, whose dominant elites promote (to varying degrees) the language, culture, demographic position, economic flourishing, or political hegemony of the nominally state-bearing nation.”[38]


The distinction between nation-states and “nationalizing states” is analytically useful, but is one of stages and degrees rather than of qualitative differences. As Anthony Smith has argued, even the oldest nation-states in Western Europe, such as France, seem to have evolved out of ethnic cores.[39] Also, Moreover, the forging of a national identity is, in a sense, is a never-ending process: thus,. In  this sense all “nation-states” are also “nationalizing states.” In Ernest Renan’s celebrated expression, the nation is constituted and reconstituted in “a daily referendum.”[40] Like a house which has to be kept up and repaired continuously once the construction period is over,after the completion of the construction period, nation-building in “nationalizing states” gradually shades into what we might call “nation-maintenance.”


Even so, nation-building in newly independent states does not necessarily have to repeat the experiences of Western Europe or end up with the same architectural solutions. While there is hardly any question of whether the leaders of the post-Soviet states will pursue a policy of nation-building (they have repeatedly said that they will), we will need to find out what kind of nation-building this is supposed to be.


Rogers Brubaker has suggested a tripartite typology of alterna­tive nation-building models in the nationalizing states in the new Europe:.

1. The model of the civic state, the state of and for its citizens, ir­respective of ethnicity.

2. The model of the bi- or multinational state, as the state of and for two or more ethnocultural core nations.

3. The hybrid model of minority rights in which the state is un­derstood as a national, but not a nationalizing state. Members of minority groups are guaranteed not only equal rights as citizens and thus protected, in principle, against differentialist nationaliz­ing practices but also certain specific minority rights, notably in the domain of language and education and are thus protected, in principle, against assimilationist nationalizing practices.[41]


In the civic state, ethnicity and ethnic nationality haves no place, while in the bi- or multinational state, they haveit has a major public sig­nificance. In the former case, the constituent units of the polity are individuals, in the latter--ethnonational groups. The third model draws onborrows elements from both. of them.


Another typology, overlapping with Brubaker’s, has been sug­gested by Alexander Motyl.[42] Although hisMotyl's typology is particularly geared towards the Ukrainian situation, in particular, but in principle it is appli­cable to all post-Soviet states. Motyl contrasts two types of ethnic nation-building--exclusive and inclusive--with a political/territorial model which, for all practical purposes, is identical with Brubaker’s civic model. The exclusive variant, which is based on the linguistic, religious and cultural traditions of the titular na­tion only, has relatively few adherents in the Former Soviet Union, Motyl notes with relief. Its disruptive potential may therefore easily be exaggerated. The real temptation for contem­porary post-Soviet nation-builders, he believes, is the inclusive model. This model is not necessarily inconsistent with a state-based national idea, but it nevertheless views the ethnically de­fined titular nation as the cornerstone of state-buildingstatebuilding. WhatInstead, Motyl strongly advocates isrecommends the political, non-ethnic model of nation-building.


Jack Snyder has remarked that civic nationalism normally ap­pears in well-institutionalized democracies.[43] Ethnic nationalism, in contrast, appears in an institutional vacuum. Therefore, it pre­dominates when institutions collapse, when existing institutions are not fulfilling peoples basic needs, and when satisfactory al­ternative structures are not readily available. This, Snyder believes, is the main reason why ethnic nationalism has been so prominent after the collapse of the Soviet state.


Certainly, in the new states of Eurasia strong, smoothly-functioningwell-working state organs are a scarce commodity. The establishment of such insti­tutions will inevitably be a protracted process. Nevertheless, they are slowly coming into existence. According toFollowing Snyder, then, one would think that the time factor should would work in favorfavor of civic nationalism. Gradually, the new state leaders will feel that they have the necessary tools and the political security they need to implement a color-blind and culturally neutral variety of nation-building. Brubaker, however, disagrees. He recognizes that since the civic model has a certain international legitimacy, civic prin­ciples have been incorporated into some constitutional texts and are being evoked in some public declarations:.


{EXT}But these civic principles remain external. It is hard to imagine a civic understanding coming to prevail given the pervasively institutionalized understanding of nationality as fundamentally ethnocultural rather than political, as sharply distinct from citizenship, and as grounding claims to “ownership” of polities--(which, after all, were ex­pressly constructed of and for their eponymous ethnocul­tural nations).[44] {/EXT}


It is not difficult to find evidence in support of Brubaker‘s conclusion. What follows below is a random selection of quotations from post-Soviet academics.


In April 1994, a KazakhKazak law professor tried to define the difference between “national” (natsional’nyy”) sovereignty and “popular” (narodnyy) sovereignty. He concluded that “in character” KazakhstanKazakstan is a national state of the KazakhKazak nation, but “in content” it is a democratic, law-governed state. These two aspects, in his view, do not contradict each other.


{EXT}To my mind, a national state stems from the fulfillment of a nation’s right to self-determination. In our case, this means the KazakhKazak nation, as the indigenous nation which has an historical and unalienable right to fulfill its right to self-determination on its own territory.[45] {/EXT}


The ethnic understanding of the nation is here unmistakable.


In 1997 a Latvian professor of sociology reminded his readers that a national state is not the same as a monoethnic state,--that, in fact, an absolute monoethnic society does not exist anywhere. Therefore, he believed, also Latvia can become a national state. “The idea of the national state is that it ensures the security of the ethnic nation in the long run,” he concluded.[46]


The ethnocentrism of the statements quoted above are perhaps not representative of the whole spectrum of the nation-building debate in their respective countries. On the other hand,However, it should be pointed out that  this kind of thinking may be found also among post-Soviet scholars who represent liberal traditions clearly oriented toward the West and Western values. The prominent Estonian scholar and former Estonian minister of nationalities, Klara Hallik, asks: “Is it pos­sible to combine the idea of a nation state with the integration of the non-citizens and democratic perspectives of the state?”[47] Also Hallik’s ques­tion is based on an ethnic understanding of “the nation.” She explicitly states that “restored national state­hood must guarantee the ethnic security of the Estonian nation.” 'The “Estonian nation” is here, is equated with the ethnic Estonians.


In her question Hallik links the concept of the nation-state directly to the issue of integration, as did also the pioneers of classical nation-building theory. However, the way she poses theis question would probably made little sense to them. The early nation-building theorists, as we have seen, defined nation-building as the inclusion of parochial, cul­turally anomalous groups into the greater polity. Reinhard Bendix, for one, saw the extension of citizenship to members of ever-larger groups as the very hallmark of successful nation-building.[48] Clearly, the key concepts of the debate have undergone significant transmutations since they were first formulated. These transmutations we must keep in mind when we next turn to todays nation-building strategies in the former Soviet republicsKazakstan.

[1] Carl J. Friedrich, “Nation-Building?,”  in Karl Deutsch and William Foltz, eds.,  Nationbuilding (New York: Atherton, 1963): 28; Charles Tilly, ed., The formation of national states in Europe (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1975).

[2] Øyvind Østerud, Utviklingsteori og historisk endring (Oslo: Gyldendal, 1978): 117ff.

[3] Stein  Rokkan, “Dimensions of state formation and nationbuilding. A possible paradigm for reasearch on variations within Europe,”  in Tilly, The formation of national states: 570ff.

[4] Walker Connor, Ethnonationalism. The Quest for Understanding (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994): 22-66. First published in 1972.

[5] Ibid. First published in 1978.

[6] Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities (London: Verso, 1994): 6.

[7] Anthony D. Smith, “Nationalism and the Historians,” in Anthony D. Smith, ed.,  Ethnicity and Nationalis (Leiden: E.J.Brill, 1992): 74.

[8] Anthony D. Smith, The Ethnic Origins of Nations (Oxford: Blackwell, 1986): 147.

[9] John Stuart Mill, On Liberty and Considerations on Representative Government (Oxford: Blackwell, 1946): 294-95.

[10]  John Emerich Edward Acton, Essays in the Liberal Interpretation of History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press,1967): 149. Originally published in 1862.

[11] Ibid.: 150.

[12] On the one hand, he saw the multinational character  of Austria as one of the assets of this state. In the Habsburg domains no single nation was so predominant as to be able to overcome and absorb the others. One the other hand, Acton accepted the idea that, in the course of time, “a State may produce a nationality.” Acton, Essays: 152 and 156. 

[13] Karl Deutsch, “Nation-building and national development: Some issues for political research,” in Deutsch and Foltz, Nationbuilding: 7–8.

[14] Connor pointed out that there was some vacillations and inner inconsistencies in Deutsch's writings on the subject. Connor, Ethnonationalism: 30-35. Deutsch's basic optimism was at times interrupted by fits of pessimism. The upbeat mood prevailed, however, and resonated in a number of scholarly works on ethnic integration in the 1970s.

[15] He described  it as “succumbing to foreign cultural inroads.” Connor, Ethnonationalism: 139.

[16] Ibid.: 21. Reprint from 1966.

[17] Ibid: 37 (Reprint from 1972); Ibid: 171 (Reprint from 1979).

[18] Arend Lijphart, Democracy in Plural Societies (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977): 88.

[19] Anthony H. Birch, Nationalism and National  Integration (London: Unwin Hyman, 1989): 70.

[20] Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism (Oxford: Blackwell, 1990): 63.

[21] Ibid.: 71.

[22] Friedrich, “Nation-Building?”: 32.

[23] Joseph R.  Strayer, “The Historical Experience of Nationbuilding in Europe,” in Deutsch and Foltz,  Nationbuilding: 25.

[24] Rokkan, “Dimensions”: 600.

[25] Hans Kohn, The Idea of Nationalism (New York: Macmillan, 1946); André Liebich, “Nations, states, minorities: why is Eastern Europe different?,”  Dissent,  Summer 1995.

[26] Peter F.  Sugar and Ivo Lederer, eds., Nationalism in Eastern Europe (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994); Richard Pipes, Russia under the old Regime (Harmondworth: Penguin, 1979): 191–221.

[27] Raymond Pearson, National minorities in Eastern Europe (London: Macmillan, 1983).

[28] Theodor Shanin, Russia as a “developing society”  (London: Macmillan, 1985): 58.

[29] Andreas Kappeler, Russland als Vielvölkerreich (Munich: Beck, 1993).

[30] Yuriy Slezkine, “The USSR as a Communal Apartment, or How a Socialist State Promoted Ethnic Particularism,”  Slavic Review 53, 2, 1994, pp. 414-452; Ronald Grigor Suny, The revenge of the past.  Nationalism, Revolution and the collapse of the Soviet Union (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1993).

[31] Hélène Carrère d’Encausse, The Great Challenge. Nationalities and the Bolshevik State, 1917-1930  (London: Holmes and Meier, 1992).

[32] Gerhard Simon, Nationalism and Policy Towards the Nationalities in the Soviet Union (Boulder, CO: Westview, 1991). By this term Simon was referring , on the one hand, referred to the purposeful policy of the party and the state to consolidate or create nations, on the other, to the internal processes of change that convert an ethnic community into a nation.

[33] Gregory Gleason, Federalism and Nationalism. The Struggle for Republican Rights in the USSR (Boulder CO: Westview, 1990); Viktor Zaslavsky, The Soviet Union, in Karen Barkey and Mark von Hagen. eds, After Empire. Multiethnic societies and nation-building. The Soviet Union and the Russian, Ottoman, and Habsburg Empires (Boulder CO: Westview press, 1997).

[34] Hélène Carrère d’Encausse, Decline of an Empire. The Soviet Socialist Republics in Revolt (New York: Newsweek, 1979).

[35] Bohdan Nahaylo and Victor Swoboda, Soviet Disunion. A History of Nationalities Problems in the USSR (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1990).

[36] I.V.  Stalin, “Marksizm i natsional’nyy vopros,” in Sochineniya (Moscow:  Ogiz, 1946): 320-332. Reprint from 1913.

[37] Robert A. Lewis, Richard H. Rowland, and Ralph Clem, Nationality and Population Change in Russia and the USSR (New York: Praeger, 1976); Mikk Titma and Nancy B. Tuma, Migration in the Former Soviet Union, (Cologne: Bundesinstituts für ostwissenschaftliche und internationale Studien, 1992).


[38] Rogers Brubaker, Nationalism Reframed. Nationhood and the national question in the New Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996): 57. 

[39] Anthony D. Smith, The Ethnic Origins of Nations (Oxford: Blackwell, 1986).

[40] Ernest Renan, Qu’est-ce qu’une nation? et autres essais politiques (Paris: Presses Pocket, 1992). Originally published in 1882.

[41] Brubaker, Nationalism Reframed: 104-105.

[42] Alexander J. Motyl, Dilemmas of Independence. Ukraine After Totalitarianism (New York: Council of Foreign Relations Press, 1993): 80.

[43] Jack Snyder, “Nationalism and the Crisis of the Post-Soviet State,”  Survival 35, 1, 1993: 12.

[44] Brubaker, Nationalism Reframed: 104-105.

[45] S. Sabikenov, “Natsional’nyy i narodnyy suverenitet. V chem ikh razlichie?,”  Mysl’ (Almaty) 4, 1994: 9.

[46] Elmars  Vebers, Latvijas Valsts un etniskas minoritates (Riga: Latvijas Zinatnu akademijas, 1997): 158.

[47] Klara Hallik, “On the International Context of the interethnic relations in Estonia,”  paper presented at the conference “Democracy and Ethnopolitics,”  Riga, March 9-11, 1994: 9–10.

[48] Reinhard Bendix, Nationbuilding and Citizenship (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977).