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Constructing GrievanceEthnic Nationalism in Russia's Republics$
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Elise Giuliano

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801447457

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801447457.001.0001

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Lessons from Russia

Lessons from Russia

A Critical View of the Relationship between Ethnic Elite Claims and Mass Interests

(p.206) 8 Lessons from Russia
Constructing Grievance

Giuliano Elise

Cornell University Press

This concluding chapter summarizes the book's findings and explains how they challenge common notions regarding the power of ethnicity to influence political behavior. As can be seen in the experiences of Russia's republics, nationalism is a highly contingent and fragile political event rather than a permanent one. This is contrary to the assumption that ethnic groups have fixed, uniform preferences that support a nationalist program—a line of thinking that tends to underestimate the role of politics in shaping people's preferences and to overpredict the incidence of ethnic conflict. This chapter reiterates the finding that popular support for nationalism increased in republics where nationalists articulated a message of ethnic economic inequality, but not in republics where nationalists raised other issues. It also discusses the policy implications of the fact that ordinary people may be convinced by ethnified framings of economic issues put forward by their leaders. Finally, it conments on the claims about ethnic group subordination made by ethnic entrepreneurs in China and Iraq.

Keywords:   ethnicity, political behavior, Russia, nationalism, ethnic groups, ethnic conflict, ethnic economic inequality, ethnic entrepreneurs, China, Iraq

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