This article addresses the relationship between the concepts of national identity and biopolitics by examining a border-transit camp for repatriates, refugees and asylum seekers in Germany. Current studies of detention spaces for migrants have drawn heavily on Agamben’s reflection on the “camp” and “homo-sacer”, where the camp is analyzed as a space in permanent state of exception, in which the government exercises sovereign power over the refugee as the ultimate biopolitical subject. But what groups of people can end up at a camp, and does the government treat all groups in the same way? This article examines the German camp for repatriates, refugees and asylum seekers as a space where the state’s borders are demarcated and controlled through practices of bureaucratic and narrative differentiation between various groups of people. The author uses the concept of detention space to draw a theoretical link between national identity and biopolitics, and demonstrates how the sovereign’s practices of control and differentiation at the camp construct German national identity through defining “nonmembers” of the state. The study draws on ethnographic fieldwork at the German border transit camp Friedland and on a discourse analysis of texts produced at the camp or for the camp.
Exploring the history of Koreans in the Russian Far East from the perspective of New Imperial History, the article demonstrated that political activism of Koreans and policies of the Russian (Soviet), Korean, and Japanese governments resulted in consolidation of two visions of their future. The first vision implied unity between the Koreans living in the Russian Far East with those who stayed in Korea, moved to Japan, or emigrated elsewhere and corresponded to the agenda of building a Korean nation. The second vision implied that the bilingual or Russified Koreans aspired to stay in the Russian Far East permanently, ensuring their own livelihood in the new regional frontier. The two currents interlaced in the project of Korean autonomy in a post-imperial state, first the Far Eastern Republic (FER) and later the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The project involved inclusion of Koreans into the global spread of revolution through the Communist International and left the issue of the duration of Korean presence in the Russian Far East opened. Its ultimate failure in 1926 left the Koreans partly excluded from the Soviet system without the institutional benefits of a national autonomy.
The late 1980s and early 1990s were characterized by the sudden rise of nationalist movements in almost all Soviet ethnic regions. It is argued that the rise of political nationalism since the late 1980s can be explained by development of cultural nationalism in the previous decades, as an unintended outcome of communist nationalities policy. All ethnic regions are examined throughout entire history of the USSR (49 regions, 1917-91), using the structural equation modeling approach. This paper aims to make at least three contributions in the field. Firstly, it is a methodological contribution for studying nationalism: a ‘quantification of history’ approach. Having constructed variables from historical data, I use conventional statistical methods like SEM. Secondly, this paper contributes to the theoretical debate about the role of cultural autonomy in multiethnic states. Finally, the paper statistically proves that the break between early Soviet and Stalinist nationalities policy explains the entire Soviet nationalities policy.
This paper is based on a study which compares repatriation policies of Germany, Russia and Kazakhstan The choice of cases is based on a “most similar case design.” The Russian case results in unsuccessful and unsustainable repatriation, the German case exhibits a change from sustainable repatriation to a slow termination of the program, while the case of Kazakhstan is one of sustainable and relatively successful repatriation. The main argument of the paper is that in order for a repatriation program to be sustainable, the program must contain both a practical component and an ideological component. If a repatriation program lacks ideological backing which permeates other aspects of political life in a state, the repatriation program grinds to a halt. If a repatriation program has ideological backing, but is rendered impractical and does not meet the economic, demographic and labor market needs of a state, then the further development of the program stops. The findings of this study merit further reflection on issues of changing national identities, on the transnational essence of migration pathways, and on the “post-Soviet condition” which has set the stage for all of the aforementioned processes and transformations.
The article examines collective attitudes of American and Russian students towards their
countries’ events they are either proud, or ashamed of. Basing on the quantitative questionnaire
and the in-depth interview with the students of leading Russian and American universities the
authors identify the major differences in these views: time localization, contents structure, either
hard or soft power prevailing. The research stresses that the perceptions of the past have been
one of the core components of national identity and may have an impact on citizens’ political
behaviour in the present. Thus sharp contradictions in assessments of today’s younger generation
and their understanding of the past might influence the relations between Russia and the USA in
Most studies of the post-Soviet space often explicitly or implicitly analyze Russia not as a new independent state but as the political successor of the USSR, thereby almost automatically leading to conclusions about Russian neo-imperialism. This paper explains how distorted discourses on the Soviet legacy originated and how they obstruct equal relations between Russia and other former Soviet republics using the example of the Baltic states.