Macrosocial Roots of Ethnonationalist Revival: Modes of Narration and Value Configurations
The article examines the causes of the recent revival of the ethnic version of national identity in the global public discourse, signified by the alleged failure of multiculturalism in Europe. The two most widespread hypotheses are innateness of ethnonationalism to the irrational side of human nature and ethnonationalism as a form of xenophobia due to increased migration. Both these hypotheses are rejected as a result of an empirical research. Firstly, narrative analysis of 500 national identity narratives reveals inner reflexivity and rationality of ethnonationalist discourse. Secondly, factor and cluster analysis of the relevant data of the most recent wave of the World Values Survey suggest that national commitment and multiculturalism constitute two uncorrelated dimensions of nationalism and that, while ethnonationalism is prevalent in approximately three quarters of the countries, xenophobic nationalism is characteristic only for a small fraction of the globe. This triangulation of qualitative and quantitative methods of studying national identity result in an integrated explanatory model for the macrosocial roots of ethnonationalism as an interplay of a specific mode of narration and certain sets of values, which suggests unobvious ways of implementing ideals of multiculturalism.
Russia’s Skinheads: exploring and rethinking subcultural lives provides a through examination of the phenomenon of skinheads, explaining its nature and its significance, and assessing how far Russian skinhead subculture is at the “lumpen” end of the extreme nationalist ideological spectrum. There are large numbers of skinheads in Russia, responsible for a significant number of xenophobic attacks, including 97 deaths in 2008 alone, making this book relevant to Russian specialists as well as to sociologists of youth subculture. It provides a practical example of how to investigate youth subculture in depth over an extended period – in this case through empirical research following a specific group over six years – and goes on to argue that Russian skinhead subculture is not a direct import from the West, and that youth cultural practices should not be reduced to expressions of consumer choice. It presents an understanding of the Russian skinheads as a product of individuals` whole, and evolving, lives, and thereby compels sociologists to rethink how they conceive the nature of subcultures.
Most contemporary sociologists’ aversion towards nationalism contrasts with the alleged nationalist views of one of the key classics of sociology, Max Weber. The considerable accumulated scholarship on the issue presents a unified belief that Weber was indeed a nationalist yet varies considerably in the significance attributed to the issue. Most authors entrench Weber’s nationalism within biographical studies of Weber’s political views as an individual beyond Weberian sociological theorizing. A different approach suggests that the notions of nationality in Weber’s works do have certain theoretical value as potentially capable of enriching the current understanding of the nation. The present article aims to bring together the notions of nationality dispersed within Weber’s various writings with the Weberian methodological individualism. The main argument of the article is that individualism and nationalism in Weber’s thought are not a contradiction despite the collectivism associated with the essentialist view of the nation. Instead, they represent a reflection of the fundamental shift from an earlier view of society as a meganthropos towards the pluralist problematization of the micromacro link definitive for the modern social theory. Analyzing the internal logic of this change provides new insights into the currently debated issue of retraditionalization, especially in relation to the ongoing renaissance of nationalism.
This paper aims to explain the alternation of phases in the Soviet nationalities policy through developments in foreign policy, demonstrating the alternation of ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ waves. Drawing upon Randall Collins’ geopolitical theory within a broader historical macrosociology perspective, I examine the effect of geopolitical tensions on the patterns of nationalities policy. Collins argues that geopolitical stability positively affects multiculturalism, while periods of geopolitical tension are associated with assimilation. I test Collins’ theory using a dataset on USSR engagement in international conflicts between 1926 and 1991. The results conform to our theoretical expectations: international security issues have a significant effect on Soviet nationalities policy.
“Empire Speaks Out” is a result of the collaborative international research project whose participants aim to reconstruct the origin, development, and changing modes of self-description and representation of the heterogeneous political, social, and cultural space of the Russian Empire. The collection offers an alternative to the study of empire as an essentialized historical phenomenon, i.e. to those studies that construe empire retrospectively by projecting the categories of modern nation-centered social sciences onto the imperial past. It stresses dynamic transformations, adaptation, and reproduction of imperial patterns of sociability and governance. Chapters of the collection show how languages of rationalization derived from modern public politics, scientific discourses of applied knowledge (law, sociology, political economy, geography, ethnography, physical anthropology) and social self-organization influenced processes of transformation of the imperial space.
The conventional wisdom holds that in the modern world global processes are opposed to national institutions and cultural values. In criticizing this viewpoint, Y.Bakhmetjev hypothesizes that it is based on the conceptual simplification of the notions of nationalism and globalization at the theoretical level, which turned into the speculative analysis of reality. The theoretical analysis conducted by the author, including the analysis through the deconstruction of the relevant notions and concepts that are based on the latter, points to the need of rethinking the political aspects of nationalism and globalization, as well as connection between nation and national state.
The diverse and contested nature of the contemporary skinhead scene makes it impossible to identify a single common body regime, or set of gender norms, characteristic of the skinhead (sub)culture. This chapter explores one example of how these fraternal bonds and spaces are constituted. It pays particular attention to practices of the body (individual and collective) within the group and how these practices were enacted to confirm its skinhead identity while shaping a particular regime of closeness and intimacy. It considers, firstly, the group as a particular form of fraternity based on homosocial bonds of friendship, closeness and (dis)trust. Secondly, the aesthetics and the ethics of intimacy within the group are discussed. In particular practices of displaying the – naked and bare – body of the skinhead are considered as well as tests of, and conflicts over, the meaning of the intimacies that these practices forge. Finally, the chapter explores these practices in the context of the wider and competing masculinities through which they are enacted.
There are many puzzles facing the analyst trying to understand the trajectory of Russian politics. Why did democracy fail in the 1990s? How was a small, corrupt elite able to seize control of the commanding heights of the economy, becoming fabulously wealthy in the process? Among the puzzles is also the failure of Russian nationalists to capitalise on the public’s deep dissatisfac- tion with the performance of the Russian economy in the 1990s. Then, after the accession to power of Vladimir Putin in 2000, the new, patriotic leader confounded the nationalists by sticking with many of the policies of the liberal market reformers: eschewing protectionism and trying to maintain and deepen Russia’s integra- tion into the global economy.
Putin concluded that Russia’s viability as a great power required him to accelerate economic modernisation and deepen global integration. Other leaders of developing countries, such as the populist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Brazil and the nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India, came to a similar conclusion, and tried to adopt select elements of the neoliberal policy package without alienating their domestic con- stituencies. These international comparisons are an important reminder that Russia’s dilemma of embracing the global economy while preserving national identity is not unique.