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AnthroLab: Post-soviet Conflicts, Cartographic Discoursesand Unmixing of Peoples

Zeit: 10.07.2015 10:00 h
Ort: Deutschhausstr. 3, Hörsaal A 109


Dr. Sergey Rumyansev

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In 2008, after the war between Russia and Georgia the second wave of territorial conflicts has started in the post-Soviet space. Hopes that  the list of conflicts unleashed during the fall of the Soviet Union would end with events taken place in the Caucasus and Moldova have  proved unfounded.

Each post-soviet conflict and attempts to redraw boundaries was brutal and bloody. For instance in Azerbaijan and Armenia, the end of the 1980s until the first half of the 1990s were marked by a massive forced displacement of the population. The current developments make you think about a possible third wave of conflicts over redrawing boundaries and control of the post-Soviet space. Answers to the question why such conflicts break out more than two decades after the collapse of the USSR and authorities’ decisions often have broad support from a population are to be found not only in the post-Soviet economy and the specificity in the relations among the ex-Soviet republics, but in the modern nationalist ideologies.

Nationalist political discourses being constructed by the post-Soviet elites draw resources in interconnected primordial and essentialist conceptions of ethnic groups, ethnicity, myths of “historical territories”, theories of ethnogenesis, etc. established in the Soviet Union. Discursive historicization and essentialization of “national borders”, the widely believed myths of “historical territories” and essentialist cartographic discourses are constantly used by politicians. They are widely represented in the media as well as in the history textbooks. The myths of “historical territories” and essentialist cartographic discourses play a key role in provoking and justifying conflicts in the post-Soviet space. Entering into overt conflict, each of the parties (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia and Ukraine and others.) justifies and explains its actions by a need to control their own “historical territories”.

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Anja Bohnenberger

Zuletzt aktualisiert: 26.05.2015 · Polchert

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