The Rise and decline of ethnic mobilization and sovereignty in Tatarstan

Dinç, Deniz
This thesis analyzes the rise and decline of the intertwined concepts of ethnic mobilization and sovereignty in the case of Tatarstan. The rise and fall of the ethnic revival of the Tatars is examined within a micro perspective as a part of the ongoing concept of autonomous sovereignty. The post-Soviet sovereignty experience of Tatarstan is evaluated within a macro chronological perspective taking the concept of state capacity into account. Research findings of this study reveal that the ethno-national nomenklatura network under the leadership of Mintimer Shaimiev was always the determinant in shaping the content of the ethnic revival in Tatarstan compared with the other rival actors, TOTs and Democratic Opposition. The legacy of the Soviet nationality policies formed a solid ethnicity regime structure, which created and constrained the Tatar nomenklatura elites. Thanks to this historical legacy, the Tatar nomenklatura elites mobilized and instrumentalized nationalism for their elite survival strategy and self-gain in the period of ethnic revival. During the 1990s, due to the expansion of the sovereignty of Tatarstan, the Tatar nomenklatura elites focused on obtaining as many concessions as possible from the federal center by putting forward the discourse of sovereignty. However, starting from the 2000s until today, the Tatar ethno-national nomenklatura exhibited a very submissive attitude against the overcentralization policies of Moscow. Having forgotten the sovereignty discourse of the 1990s, the Tatar elites currently chase federal subsidies and investments, which reveals how their pragmatic nationalist view easily adopts the new political conjectures  


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Citation Formats
D. Dinç, “The Rise and decline of ethnic mobilization and sovereignty in Tatarstan,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2017.