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Regular version of the site

Article

The USSR as a Multinational State from the Revolution to the Death of Stalin: Western Scholarship Since 1991

This review article examines predominantly English-language research since 1991 on the history of the USSR as a multinational state from 1917 to the end of the Stalin era. Influenced by the rising role of nationality in late Soviet life, the opening of Soviet archives during the Perestroika period, and new developments in the conceptualization of the nation in different disciplines, Western scholarship on the history of the national question in the Soviet Union expanded considerably in the 1990s and is now one of the most vibrant areas of historical research in the Soviet history field. The essay’s central claim is that new research since the end of the Cold War has considerably revised the study of the nationality policies of the early Soviet state, underscoring that the USSR was a paradoxical nationality project that simultaneously engaged in both the construction and the selective undermining and destruction
of national identities. Refs 155.