ECMI Publications Database

#105: Majorities and Minorities in Post-Soviet Space
Federica Prina and Aziz Berdiqulov
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The concepts of ‘majority’ and ‘minority’ are challenging terms to define in a clear and precise manner, especially in the unique environments of post-Soviet space. Linking the definitional complexities of ‘majority’ to the post-Soviet and postcolonial condition, this paper examines the majority-minority dynamics through the lenses of the fluidity of groups, the interaction of communities and the power differentials between communities. In doing so, the paper analyses cases from two post-Soviet countries. First, the case of Russia illustrates contentious identification of majority and minority communities, where an alternative vocabulary for definition of ‘minority’ and ‘majority’ emerged along with alternative understanding of related concepts. Second, the case of Tajikistan looks at the interplay of majority-minority concepts and discusses how the Russian community as a former ‘political majority’ adjusts to its new status of non-dominant group, while the Tajik community becomes the single subject of the nation-building policies.

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