The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939 (The Wilder House Series in Politics, History and Culture)

The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939 (The Wilder House Series in Politics, History and Culture)

Terry Martin

Language: English

Pages: 528

ISBN: 0801486777

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The Soviet Union was the first of Europe's multiethnic states to confront the rising tide of nationalism by systematically promoting the national consciousness of its ethnic minorities and establishing for them many of the institutional forms characteristic of the modern nation-state. In the 1920s, the Bolshevik government, seeking to defuse nationalist sentiment, created tens of thousands of national territories. It trained new national leaders, established national languages, and financed the production of national-language cultural products.This was a massive and fascinating historical experiment in governing a multiethnic state. Terry Martin provides a comprehensive survey and interpretation, based on newly available archival sources, of the Soviet management of the nationalities question. He traces the conflicts and tensions created by the geographic definition of national territories, the establishment of dozens of official national languages, and the world's first mass "affirmative action" programs. Martin examines the contradictions inherent in the Soviet nationality policy, which sought simultaneously to foster the growth of national consciousness among its minority populations while dictating the exact content of their cultures; to sponsor national liberation movements in neighboring countries, while eliminating all foreign influence on the Soviet Union's many diaspora nationalities. Martin explores the political logic of Stalin's policies as he responded to a perceived threat to Soviet unity in the 1930s by re-establishing the Russians as the state's leading nationality and deporting numerous "enemy nations."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russians for the crucial white-collar positions. Even when ethnicized patron-client networks did gain a dominant position in the Brezhnev period, they still had to rely overwhelmingly on Russian specialists. 281 This still leaves the issue of the incorporation of non-Russians into the central elite. Why was this not a more salient part of korenizatsiia? Were non-Russians excluded from the central elite? Of course they were not. The Mfirmative Action Empire assumed a non-national central state

the Uzbek language and culture) within which he could express it. An Uzbek living outside Uzbekistan, however, lacked this environment, and Soviet policy opposed the establishment of extraterritorial organizations to provide that environment.7 Yet, this Uzbek was neither expected nor encouraged to assimilate. The problem, then, was how to find an adequate supportive environment for territorially dispersed national minorities. This chapter analyzes the Soviet Union's historically unique response

Stenogra.ficheskii otchet (Kzyl-Orda, 1925): biull. evening (05.I2.25): 3ยท 134 6-ia vsekazakskaia konferentsiia VKP/b/. Stenograficheskii otchet (Kzyl-Orda, 1927): 235. 135 GARF 3316/64-j22o (1926): 14-ob. 136 RTsKhiDNI I7/85/105 (1926-I927): 750b. 130 S"ezdy 131 N. 62 Implementing the Affirmative Action Empire driving the attacked from their homes. 137 Kazakhs and Kirgiz appointed to govern Russian regions regularly refused to punish native wrongdoers. In August 1925, armed Kazakhs seized a

ustanov," Visti VUTsiK, no. 114 (22.05.24); P. Kobyli~ts'kyi, "Do ukrainizatsii," no. 166 (24.07.24): I; M. Vaisfligel', "Pro ukrainizatsiiu radaparatu," no. 229 (o8.Io.24): I; P. Solodub, "Spravy ukrainizatsii," Bil'shoryk, no. I6o (I8.o7.24): 1. 35 TIDAHOUI/2o/I977 (1925): 148-151; Chubar, "Pytannia ukrainizatsii," 6. 36 Vaisfligel', "Pro ukrainizatsiiu radaparatu," 1. 37 TsDAHOU I/20/I977 (I925): 7; I/2o/I978 (I925): 3; Biulleten' VIII-oi vseukrainskoi konferentsii, biul. 4: 205. 38 Mykola

Ukrainian-language, whereas the other 85 percent was Russian-language literature imported from the RSFSR. 189 The accelerated centralization that accompanied the implementation of the first five-year plan intensified this Russian central influence and became a major factor in the failure of comprehensive Ukrainization. Increased centralization was one of the factors that slowed the Ukrainization of higher education. According to the original 1924 Narkompros plans, all VUZy not servicing national

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