Regimes of Ethnicity and Nationhood in Germany, Russia, and Turkey

Regimes of Ethnicity and Nationhood in Germany, Russia, and Turkey

by Sener Akturk


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This is a book about what it meant to be German, Soviet, Russian, and Turkish in the twentieth century, and how that definition radically changed at the turn of the twenty-first century. Germany's ethnic citizenship law, the Soviet Union's inscription of ethnic origins in personal identification documents, and Turkey's prohibition on the public use of minority languages, all put in place in the early twentieth century, underpinned the definition of nationhood in these countries. Despite many challenges from political and societal actors, these policies did not change for many decades, until around the turn of the twenty-first century, when Russia removed ethnicity from the internal passport, Germany changed its citizenship law, and Turkish public television began to broadcast in minority languages. How did such tremendous changes occur? Using a new typology of “regimes of ethnicity” and a close study of primary documents and numerous interviews, Sener Akturk argues that the coincidence of three key factors – counterelites, new discourses, and hegemonic majorities – explains successful change in state policies toward ethnicity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107021433
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 11/30/2012
Series: Problems of International Politics
Pages: 328
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Sener Akturk is a faculty member at Koç University. He holds degrees from the University of Chicago (BA, MA 2003) and the University of California, Berkeley (MA 2004, PhD 2009). He has spent extended periods in Vienna (2001), Berlin (2007) and Moscow (2004, 2007) for language study and doctoral research, and he was a visiting researcher at Europa Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Germany, in 2007. Prior to his current appointment, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and a visiting lecturer at the Department of Government at Harvard University. He received a Marie Curie International Reintegration Grant from the European Commission for his research. He has published more than thirty articles in international and national refereed academic journals including World Politics, Post-Soviet Affairs, the European Journal of Sociology, Middle Eastern Studies, Nationalities Papers, Ab Imperio, Turkish Studies and Theoria. He has authored chapters in edited books published in Turkey, Russia, Hungary and the United States.

Table of Contents

Part I. Theoretical Framework and Empirical Overview: 1. Regimes of ethnicity: comparative analysis of Germany, Soviet Union, post-Soviet Russia, and Turkey; Part II. Germany: 2. The challenges to the monoethnic regime in Germany, 1955–1982; 3. The construction of an assimilationist discourse and political hegemony: transition from a monoethnic to an antiethnic regime in Germany, 1982–2000; Part III. Turkey: 4. Challenges to the ethnicity regime in Turkey: Alevi and Kurdish demands for recognition, 1923–1980; 5. From social democracy to Islamic multiculturalism: failed and successful attempts to reform the ethnicity regime in Turkey, 1980–2009; Part IV. Soviet Union and the Russian Federation: 6. The nation that wasn't there?: Sovetskii narod discourse, nation-building, and passport ethnicity, 1953–1983; 7. Ethnic diversity and state-building in post-Soviet Russia: removal of ethnicity from the internal passport and its aftermath, 1992–2008; Part V. Conclusion: 8. Dynamics of persistence and change in ethnicity regimes.

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