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The Gumilev MystiqueBiopolitics, Eurasianism, and the Construction of Community in Modern Russia$
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Mark Bassin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780801445941

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801445941.001.0001

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Ethnicity as Ideology and Politics

Ethnicity as Ideology and Politics

(p.146) 6 Ethnicity as Ideology and Politics
The Gumilev Mystique

Mark Bassin

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines discourses around “ethnos theory” and nationality policy. It first considers Stalinist doctrines that defined the nature of ethnicity as manifested within the individual national groups that made up the Soviet population. It then turns to the Soviet Union as a collective whole, asking how all the individual ethno-territorial entities were attached into a single body, and what the character of the multinational agglomeration that this bonding produced. The chapter next analyzes the special and important position occupied by Gumilev's theories on the ideologically charged force field of ethnos discourse from the 1960s through the 1980s. Gumilev's ideas had a direct influence on the development of mainstream ethnos theory itself, and more generally on thinking about ethnicity in the Soviet Union.

Keywords:   ethnos theory, nationality policy, Stalinism, Lev Nikolaevich Gumilev, ethnicity, Soviet Union

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