Nation, Empire-State and Nation-State: Beyond Usual Misinterpretations

Alexei I. Alexei I. Miller
2020 Russia in Global Affairs  
A close look at the history of 19th century Europe shows that the most significant nation-building projects were carried out in the core areas of empires and were closely connected with the development of these empires and their place in the global system of inter-imperial rivalry. Nations were created by states, and empires supplied these states with resources. All key elements of modernity-bureaucracy, industrialization, urbanization, etc.-emerged and developed in empires. The Russian Empire
more » ... The Russian Empire was the construction site of RUSSIA IN GLOBAL AFFAIRS 90 Nation, Empire-State and Nation-State: Beyond Usual Misinterpretations the Russian nation. The Soviet project of gathering the space which previously belonged to the Russian Empire was inspired by fundamentally different ideas: "Great Russian chauvinism" as the main threat to Soviet power; the denial of the all-Russian nation concept; institutionalization and territorialization of ethnicity; and positive discrimination against non-Russians as compensation for dominance of ethnic Russians in the Russian Empire. The post-imperial character of modern Russia clearly indicates that the imperial legacy tangibly permeates our modern life, its intellectual, institutional, and other dimensions. Attempts to ignore this legacy or drastically "clear out the ruins" will not yield favorable results. The task is to create a design of the future in which its authors will be able to take an unbiased look at the legacy of empires, free from the inherited intellectual restrictions and hackneyed stereotypes.
doi:10.31278/1810-6374-2020-18-2-90-107 fatcat:vktm7qrbprhazafkaculye4iqe