Spring 2022


, 4 pts, GU4434


Various forms of ethnic politics have characterized politics in many states throughout Eurasia since 1991, from nationalist separatism to violent conflict to political competition among ethnic minorities and majorities. This course is designed to encourage students to think deeply about the relationship between ethnicity and politics. We will consider several questions. First, why does ethnicity become politicized? We investigate this question by examining nationalist secessionism and ethnic conflict—phenomena that mushroomed at the end of the Cold War. We will focus on East Central Europe and the former Soviet Union, devoting special attention to the cases of Yugoslavia, the USSR, Moldova, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and Chechnya. However, we will also study cases in which the dog didn’t bark, i.e. places where nationalist mobilization and ethnic violence either did not occur, or emerged and then receded as in the ethnic republics of the Russian Federation (including the “Muslim” regions of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan, etc.). In the second part of the course, we will analyze ethnic politics after independent statehood was achieved throughout the post-Soviet space. How do nationalist state-builders try to construct a nation and a state at the same time? Have they incorporated or discriminated against minorities living within “their” states? How have ethnic minorities responded? We will study Ukraine, the Baltics and Kazakhstan where ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking populations form large portions of the population, devoting particular attention to the crisis in Ukraine. We will also examine how the post-conflict regions of Bosnia and Kosovo have dealt with ethnic pluralism. These cases allow us to gain greater understanding of how multi-ethnic states use forms of federalism, consociationalism, and power-sharing as state-building strategies.

Section Number
Call Number
Day, Time & Location
TR 2:40PM-3:55PM To be announced
Elise Giuliano