Nationalist Mobilization and the Collapse of the Soviet State

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Overview

This study examines the process by which the seemingly impossible in 1987—the disintegration of the Soviet state—became the seemingly inevitable by 1991. It provides an original interpretation of not only the Soviet collapse, but also of the phenomenon of nationalism more generally. Probing the role of nationalist action as both cause and effect, Beissinger utilizes extensive event data and detailed case studies from across the U.S.S.R. during its final years to elicit the shifting relationship between pre-existing structural conditions, institutional constraints, and event-generated influences in the massive nationalist explosions that brought about the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This important book should be an essential tool in a variety of social science disciplines." American Journal of Sociology

"This important book should be an essential tool in a variety of social science disciplines." American Journal of Sociology

"Nationalist Mobilization and the Collapse of the Soviet State is a big, original book brimming with conceptual innovation on two much-visited topics: nationalist movements and the Soviet collapse. Mark Beissinger constructs a rigorous empirical edifice that serves to advance his first-rate theoretical reflection rather than to overwhelm it. This carefully balanced study of nationalist mobilization as a series of waves is a model for those seeking a blend of quantitative and qualitative approaches to worthy subjects...[This book] should prove useful for graduate and sophisticated undergraduate-level courses on transnational movements, nationalism, and post-Soviet politics. The book's carefully constructed arguments and weave of evidence make for absorbing reading and will likely stimulate fruitful discussion." Perspectives on Politics

"Nationalist Mobilization and the Collapse of the Soviet State is a very serious analytical work, which, no doubt, will attract the attention of many political scientists, especially those studying political processes in Russia and the post-Soviet area. . . the work of Mark Beissinger is quite important for the understanding of nationalism as a social and political phenomenon. It is also a good step forward in the research of etho-political processes in the post-Soviet area, especially those connected to the political mobilization of ethnicity. . . [It] has not only theoretical, but also practical importance." European Consortium for Political Research Extremism and Democracy Newsletter, e-Extreme, reviewer Juri Shabajev, Russian Academy of Sciences, Ural Division

"Mark Beissinger's book is the most complete explanation so far of how the collapse of the Soviet Union went from 'the impossible to the inevitable' in the short span of a few years...As Beissinger states in the acknowledgements, this book was thirteen years in the making. It was time well spent. The work will undoubtedly engage a variety of scholars for some time to come." The Russian Review

"Nationalist Mobilization and the Collapse of the Soviet State is a very serious analytical work, which, no doubt, will attract the attention of many political scientists, especially those studying political processes in Russia and the post-Soviet area. . . the work of Mark Beissinger is quite important for the understanding of nationalism as a social and political phenomenon. It is also a good step forward in the research of etho-political processes in the post-Soviet area, especially those connected to the political mobilization of ethnicity. . . [It] has not only theoretical, but also practical importance." European Consortium for Political Research Extremism and Democracy Newsletter, e-Extreme, reviewer Juri Shabajev, Russian Academy of Sciences, Ural Division

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Product Details

Table of Contents

1. From the impossible to the inevitable; 2. The tide and the mobilizational cycle; 3. Structuring nationalism; 4. 'Thickened' history and the mobilization of identity; 5. Tides and the failure of nationalist mobilization; 6. Violence and tides of nationalism; 7. The transcendence of regimes of repression; 8. Russian mobilization and the accumulating 'inevitability' of Soviet collapse; 9. Conclusion: nationhood and event.

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