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ETHNICITY, NATIONALISM, AND ETHNIC CONFLICT

The Nature of Ethnicity

At the core of the workshop discussions were competing definitions and approaches to the understanding of ethnicity or ethnic identity. These covered a broad spectrum, but, in line with a typology described by Crawford Young in his presentation, they can be roughly categorized as belonging to one of three approaches: in the primordialist view, ethnicity is seen as natural, innate and inescapable; in the instrumentalist view, ethnicity is above all a weapon used by elites in the competitive pursuit of material or political advantage; in the constructivist view, the essence of identity is that it is socially constructed and the study of ethnicity focuses on the processes by which ethnic identities form, evolve, and dissolve.

Proponents of the primordial approach view ethnicity as a fundamental social category, whereas instrumentalist and constructivist views consider it to be a modern invention that developed out of a particular historical context. Instrumentalists see a collectivity’s claims to ethnicity as based on a political myth—a myth that is consciously created, propagated, and often manipulated, by elites that are seeking power, material advantages, or both. Constructivists agree with the view of ethnicity as a modern phenomenon, but posit a process of identity formation in which cultural elites play significant, but not necessarily manipulative or exclusive roles. According to this perspective, such identities frequently develop out of a recognition and articulation of a shared experience of discrimination, subjugation, and subordination. In contrast to the primordial position, adherents of the latter two approaches tend to see ethnic boundaries as constantly appropriating and eliminating elements, that is, as permeable and relatively fluid. Constructivists, in particular, emphasize that individuals can have multiple identities (for example, parent, Russian, scholar) and, sometimes, nested ones (for example, Muscovite, Russian and European).

Views of Nationalism

The concept of nationalism was a source of considerable debate throughout the workshop. Participants advanced an



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Balancing and Sharing Political Power in Multiethnic Societies ETHNICITY, NATIONALISM, AND ETHNIC CONFLICT The Nature of Ethnicity At the core of the workshop discussions were competing definitions and approaches to the understanding of ethnicity or ethnic identity. These covered a broad spectrum, but, in line with a typology described by Crawford Young in his presentation, they can be roughly categorized as belonging to one of three approaches: in the primordialist view, ethnicity is seen as natural, innate and inescapable; in the instrumentalist view, ethnicity is above all a weapon used by elites in the competitive pursuit of material or political advantage; in the constructivist view, the essence of identity is that it is socially constructed and the study of ethnicity focuses on the processes by which ethnic identities form, evolve, and dissolve. Proponents of the primordial approach view ethnicity as a fundamental social category, whereas instrumentalist and constructivist views consider it to be a modern invention that developed out of a particular historical context. Instrumentalists see a collectivity’s claims to ethnicity as based on a political myth—a myth that is consciously created, propagated, and often manipulated, by elites that are seeking power, material advantages, or both. Constructivists agree with the view of ethnicity as a modern phenomenon, but posit a process of identity formation in which cultural elites play significant, but not necessarily manipulative or exclusive roles. According to this perspective, such identities frequently develop out of a recognition and articulation of a shared experience of discrimination, subjugation, and subordination. In contrast to the primordial position, adherents of the latter two approaches tend to see ethnic boundaries as constantly appropriating and eliminating elements, that is, as permeable and relatively fluid. Constructivists, in particular, emphasize that individuals can have multiple identities (for example, parent, Russian, scholar) and, sometimes, nested ones (for example, Muscovite, Russian and European). Views of Nationalism The concept of nationalism was a source of considerable debate throughout the workshop. Participants advanced an

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Balancing and Sharing Political Power in Multiethnic Societies array of possible definitions, with diverse emphases, connotations, and policy implications. As Ernst Haas (1986) suggested in his examination of this issue, discussions of nationalism are somewhat analogous to those of the proverbial blind men concerning the elephant, as each focuses on a different attribute of the phenomenon and pronounces the part to be the whole. Participants variously described nationalism as a political ideology, a form of collective identity, a cloak for discrimination, and a movement seeking political sovereignty. Elizabeth Kiss in her presentation suggested that nationalism is “a form of political consciousness which revolves around identification with and allegiance to a nation.” Another participant termed nationalism “ethnicity plus an army and a navy,” thereby emphasizing the relationship between the assertion of nationhood and control over the apparatus of the state. A third participant asserted that nationalism was nothing more than an excuse for discrimination, a way for one group to take advantage of others. Over the course of the discussion, the participants arrived at a general consensus that nationalism involves the assertion of political legitimacy and generally includes a claim to state power, or at least self-governance, in the name of a nation or people. The defining characteristics of nationhood, however, remained highly contested. Part of the debate centered on defining membership in a nation and the confusion inherent in the term “nation-state.” In one definition, membership in a nation is equivalent to membership in a state, that is, a political community. The United States is an example: Who can be called “an American” is determined by the physical place of birth or the completion of a set of legal procedures, irrespective of a person’s ethnic or national origin. In another, frequently used, definition, a nation is identified with a particular ethnic group. The difference is captured in the distinction between the Russian terms Russkii, which designates a member of an ethnic group, and Rossiiskii, which designates a member of a political community. Nationalist movements sometimes promote the doctrine that only members of a particular ethnic group should be members of the nation and have full rights to participate in the state.

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Balancing and Sharing Political Power in Multiethnic Societies Nationalist Claims and Nation Building Various participants noted the divergence between the classical model of nationalism, based on nineteenth century developments in central and western Europe, and the nationalism that is characteristic of many recently independent countries in the contemporary period. Nineteenth century Western nationalism was inextricably linked to the development of the European nation-state system in the wake of the French Revolution. Dynastic rule and its ideological basis in the divine right of kings were overthrown, and political legitimacy was invested in “the people.” “The people” were thereby invested with the status of “the nation,” a term previously used only to refer to such socially dominant groups as the aristocracy and the clergy. As this revolutionary transformation spread across the European continent, self-appointed spokesmen recast their ethnic groups as nations and made demands for recognition, sovereignty, and statehood. Educated elites that arose during this age of revolution created “imagined communities” by defining national identities and projecting national consciousness into the past, selectively appropriating the historical records of diverse peoples, and, in some instances, fabricating documents, individuals, and events. In the process of “nation building,” diverse dialects were homogenized and standardized into national languages, as were the disparate customs and cultures of the inhabitants of the territories newly defined as the homelands of nations. Individuals who had previously identified themselves in various ways—as Christians, noblemen, peasants, or as the inhabitants of a particular village, for example— were transformed into Germans, Italians, and Hungarians. Nationalist groups often claim power by appealing to the right to the self-determination of nations. This right became part of the fundamental canon of twentieth century political liberalism in the wake of a second profound transformation of the European state system, the First World War. The right of self-determination, originally formulated by Karl Marx to support the liberation of “the progressive peoples” of Poland and Ireland from the Russian and British empires, remained largely a slogan of the socialist movement until Woodrow Wilson proclaimed it as a democratic war aim in his fourteen points in

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Balancing and Sharing Political Power in Multiethnic Societies 1918. The right was inscribed in the Charter of the League of Nations after the war and, at the end of the Second World War, a similar formulation was incorporated into the founding documents of the United Nations. Workshop participants emphasized that national movements must be understood in the particular historical contexts within which they develop. According to Stanley Tambiah, this approach is particularly necessary for an understanding of twentieth century Third World nationalism and the ways in which it differs from its European progenitors. He suggested that the attempt of the European powers to impose Western-style governments on their dominions produced a defensive nationalism in the colonies. European attempts to modernize their colonial dominions and impose homogenizing policies of nation building led to the creation of indigenous, educated elites that came to perceive the policies as efforts to suppress or eradicate indigenous cultures and peoples. Ironically, many of the nationalist leaders to whom the European powers transferred power on independence had formed part of the former colonial elite and had adopted most of their ideas about state building and governance from colonialist models. On acquiring power, the new elites initiated nation building and modernization strategies similar to those implemented by their colonialist mentors. These policies triggered similar forms of reaction, including the defensive development of intragroup cohesion among population groups that perceived themselves to be threatened or oppressed, and produced a series of separatist movements in the newly independent, multiethnic states of the Third World (for example, in Biafra). Modernization policies have also spawned national antimodernist opposition movements led by educated or semieducated elites (for example, the Iranian revolution). The Power of National Myths Participants agreed that the powerful loyalties and emotions that surround national myths are a significant force in the modern world. From the instrumentalist and constructivist perspectives, these myths and historical beliefs are the products of a social process, but they are no less forceful for being

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Balancing and Sharing Political Power in Multiethnic Societies so; from the primordialist viewpoint, the national myths and histories are accepted as given. The recent conflict over the Ayodha temple in India was put forward as a particularly telling case. Those who destroyed the temple justified their acts on the basis of two historical myths: that Lord Rama descended to earth at that location 2,000 years ago and that a Hindu temple on the site was destroyed in order to make way for a mosque in the sixteenth century. Hindu scholarship refutes the first belief and the historical record provides little evidence for the second. How should this episode and the ensuing intercommunal strife be understood? The fervor displayed by the participants in the attack on the temple demonstrates the power of belief in primordialist historical myths, as well as the fact that the beliefs are no less strong when the “history” is in error. The constructivist perspective explains the beliefs and their divergence from the religious teachings on which they are claimed to be based in terms of the modern context in which political Hinduism has developed. The instrumentalist approach emphasizes the interests of particular political actors who may have instigated the attack and who clearly benefited from the resulting social polarization and instability. Nationalism on the Territory of the Former Soviet Union The contemporary upsurge of nationalist movements in the former Soviet Union received considerable attention at the workshop. The presentations and discussions focused on the particular circumstances surrounding conflicts and other expressions of nationalism in the North Caucasus, Central Asia, the Volga region, and the Baltic, including the situations of the Ingush, Kalmyk, and Tatar peoples and issues of the treatment of ethnic minorities in Bashkortostan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, and Latvia. It was emphasized that each situation of ethnic expression or conflict has arisen out of a particular set of cultural and historical circumstances, but that they share a number of characteristics because all of the groups and regions shared the experience and institutions of Soviet rule, as well as Gorbachev’s reforms, and all are now attempting to deal with similar crises arising out of the post-Soviet political and economic transition.

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Balancing and Sharing Political Power in Multiethnic Societies In each case, fundamental political institutions have been delegitimized and old elites have had to either step aside or recast themselves to maintain their positions. Nationalism provides one of the primary channels for political action throughout the former Soviet Union for a number of reasons. Preeminent among them is the fact that the Soviet system was organized around a hierarchy of units—from union republics to autonomous regions—each identified by law and by name with an ethnic group. This provided a ready-made institutional structure, from the political sphere to the cultural sphere, for the development of political movements identified with nationalities. Ironically, Soviet policies designed to coopt and harness national elites resulted in nationally conscious groups being in a position to use these structures in the interests of their groups when the center’s control collapsed. The inclusion of nationality as a fundamental category in the Soviet internal passport also reinforced the conception of nationality as a primordial social category. Nationalist movements are also reaping the reward of having been denounced and repressed throughout the Soviet period as antisocialist and anti-Soviet. Participants also emphasized the reality and severity of nationally based oppression during the Soviet period. Numerous peoples experienced unprecedented oppression and mass forced relocation under the Soviet regime (these so-called “punished peoples” included the Ingush, Chechens, Crimean Tatars, and the Meskhetian Turks). Others suffered the denial of their most basic rights or the destruction of their physical environment under the guise of building or defending a supposedly universalistic and internationalist ideal. People with such experiences are inclined to support nationalist programs in opposition and reaction to universalistic, internationalist principles that have been, in their experience, merely cloaks for political and cultural domination by elites or majorities from which they were excluded. A Typology of Ethnic Conflicts in the Former Soviet Union Ethnically based conflicts in the former Soviet Union are impressive in their variety. Although each situation is unique, Gail Lapidus suggested the following typology as a means to

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Balancing and Sharing Political Power in Multiethnic Societies understanding both the differences and similarities between various ethnically based conflicts in the region and for developing policies for their prevention and management. At the most general level, the typology differentiates between conflicts that occur at an interstate level (for example, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine over the Crimea) and those that occur within the boundaries of states. Lapidus divided conflicts within states into several categories: those involving indigenous minorities (for example, the Lezgin in Azerbaijan and Dagestan), those involving settler communities (for example, the Russians in the Baltic), those that involve minorities that were forcibly relocated (for example, the Crimean Tatars), and those arising from efforts to redefine the relations between formerly autonomous regions and the governments of the successor states (for example, Abkhazia in Georgia and Tatarstan in Russia). Acts of communal violence, such as those witnessed in the Osh and Ferghana valleys of Central Asia, were considered to fall into a separate category. Lapidus suggested that these outbreaks represented the displacement of economic grievances onto vulnerable populations and that they had more to do with the severe economic conditions in the region and the large numbers of unemployed male youths than the ethnicity of either the perpetrators or the victims. A number of contemporary conflicts, and potential conflicts, in the former Soviet Union were analyzed at the workshop. Leokadiia Drobizheva focused on the large Russian expatriate communities in the newly independent states, an issue that is already posing complex policy problems both for the governments of the new states and Russia. Lapidus suggested that the experience of the French expatriate community in Algeria might serve as the most useful analogue for understanding the situation currently confronting the Russians in the Baltic. Although, many Russians have lived in these areas for generations, they are frequently perceived at the local level as interlopers, colonial oppressors, or remnants of the disgraced Soviet past. Demands to rectify the power and property imbalances of the former system can spill over into demands to dispossess and displace a formerly powerful group that now forms a vulnerable minority. Such demands can not only produce local

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Balancing and Sharing Political Power in Multiethnic Societies conflicts, but also provoke interstate conflicts, if, for instance, Russia attempted to step in and act as their protector. Similar issues of intervention may also arise in disputes involving populations that form majorities in one state and minorities in another (for example, the Uzbeks in Tajikistan). Another type of contemporary conflict involves the populations of formerly autonomous areas (for example, the Tatars and the Sakha (Yakuts) in Russia and the Abkhaz in Georgia). In both Russia and Georgia, the demands of formerly autonomous areas for greater autonomy or independence are frequently perceived by the central government and many members of the dominant nationality as endangering the territorial integrity and economic viability of the state. In the Georgian case they are also perceived as constituting a “fifth column,” a potential pretext for external (that is, Russian) interference in internal Georgian affairs. Workshop participants also emphasized that inappropriate interventions and insensitive policies on the part of local, state, and federal authorities can also provoke violence in ethnically charged situations. A series of presentations and a documentary on the contemporary conflict in North Ossetia provided graphic evidence on this point. The decision of the Russian Federation Supreme Soviet to mandate the restoration of Ingush autonomy without first resolving the critical issue of the region’s borders and the local authorities’ decision to distribute ammunition were both considered to have played a destabilizing role in a highly volatile situation. CHALLENGES OF INTERETHNIC RELATIONS Nationalism and Democratization The process of democratization often alters the expression of ethnic identity and increases the intensity of nationalist claims. Stanley Tambiah pointed out that democratization in the Third World has frequently been accompanied by increased collective violence and “ethnonationalist” conflict (that is, conflicts over state power fueled by ethnic mobilization or ethnic claims). He suggested that this phenomenon might be the result of the fact that so much is at stake in newly democratizing states—

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Balancing and Sharing Political Power in Multiethnic Societies including the restructuring of economies, the redistribution of property, and access to positions of wealth and status. In newly defined states, the very rules of the game—constitutional structures and legal systems—are still at issue. Election outcomes potentially affect not only the identity of the individuals who will draft and apply the rules, but also the collective well-being of prominent groups in the country, groups that are frequently ethnically identified. As a result, violence tends to center around the election process—during the campaigns, during voting, and in response to the publication of the results. Even the boundaries of a state are often contested in newly defined states. This becomes a critical issue when unrestricted majoritarian politics ensures that the dominant group will have unfettered control of the state and its distributive and repressive apparatus. Depending upon how the boundaries are drawn, one group or another may find itself in the majority, that is, in a dominating position within the state or substate political units. When political divisions match ethnic ones and elections are winner-take-all, losers often perceive themselves as a permanent political as well as ethnic minority, which will be denied legitimate mechanisms for the redress of grievances. This situation often spawns the radicalization of dissent and the creation of guerrilla or terrorist movements and can lead to civil war. Group Rights and Human Rights The relationship between human rights and group rights was an issue during several workshop sessions, including the final roundtable. Human rights is a quintessentially modern construct, an outgrowth of Enlightenment rationalism and its attempt to determine universalistic principles for human societies. Grounded in international law in the United Nations (U.N.) Universal Declaration of Human Rights and a series of subsequent U.N. covenants and protocols, the concept of human rights is based on the view that all people are fundamentally equal and should receive equal protections and entitlements from the states in which they live. Those protections and entitlements include: the right to equal protection before the law, to move and reside freely within the borders of the

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Balancing and Sharing Political Power in Multiethnic Societies state, to be protected against arbitrary arrest and detention, and to preserve and use the language and culture of their ethnic group. The status of group rights, including the rights of nations, is a matter of controversy in the international community. Human rights are generally considered to inhere in the individual, a notion that excludes the protection of collectivities of any kind. Proponents of group rights argue that human rights need to be expanded in the contemporary era because they no longer constitute a sufficiently effective defense of the individual against arbitrary actions of a nation-state. Majoritarian democracy too often allows dominant groups within societies to apply the coercive power of the state against numerically smaller groups. When majorities and minorities are ethnically based, this can lead to policies of discrimination, forced assimilation, expulsion, and ethnocide, all of which violate human rights. Carole Nagengast suggested that group rights may offer a means for ensuring respect for human rights in certain contexts, but that where the two come into conflict, human rights should take precedence. Self-Determination The right to self-determination, clearly a group or collective right, is enshrined in various U.N. documents. In the first article of both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, this right is described in the following terms: “all peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right, they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.” However, there is no agreed-upon legal definition of a people. The consensus within the U.N. is that peoples and minorities should be distinguished from each other, and that “peoples” should not be understood in an ethnic sense. Rather, it should be understood as having as its referent “the inhabitants of a specific territory,” and minorities, including ethnically defined groups, should seek the redress of grievances within the boundaries of the states in which they reside. The difficulty in arriving at an agreed formulation for group

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Balancing and Sharing Political Power in Multiethnic Societies rights may also result from the fact that the signatories of these agreements are not representatives of groups, but of the U.N.’s member states. As such, they accord a higher priority to the competing, and sometimes conflicting, principles of territorial integrity and noninterference in each other’s internal affairs than they do to self-determination—the recognition of which carries with it the possibilities of secession and external intervention. International recognition of a state’s independent existence on the basis of a people’s right to self-determination has never been automatic or easily achieved. At the 1919 Versailles negotiations, only the “subject nations” of the enemy alliance were granted independent statehood. Representatives who asserted the rights of peoples subordinated by the victors (for example, the Indians, Irish, and Koreans) were not admitted to the conference. In the contemporary period, a range of criteria have been developed as minimum requirements for the hearing of such claims. The people in question must be clearly differentiated in several key respects from the dominant population of the state in which they reside. Ethnic, cultural, and linguistic differences are necessary, but not sufficient, preconditions. Historically, a clear territorial separation of the populations has also been required. The warfare that has broken out in the wake of the international community’s recognition of a number of the successor states to Yugoslavia—in direct contravention of this requirement—will undoubtedly increase its salience in the future. Although self-determination, including the right to national independence and sovereignty, is a classic strategy for addressing multiethnicity within states, other solutions are possible. Numerous participants discussed the possibility of multiculturalist solutions, which recognize the identity and rights of ethnic minorities and allow them legitimacy and forms of expression within a multiethnic society. The possibilities for multiculturalism are widely debated in the United States and many other countries around the world, and several participants described similar debates in their areas. For example, Rail Kuzeyev described the new draft constitution for Bashkortostan, which rejects an ethnic definition of the new republic in favor of a declaration

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Balancing and Sharing Political Power in Multiethnic Societies of equal rights for all the peoples there. Similarly, Mikhail Saakishvili informed the workshop that the Georgian parliament is considering a new nationalities law based on a concept of cultural autonomy. Valery Tishkov argued strongly in favor of multiculturalist solutions, drawing heavily on the example of Yugoslavia. He asserted that multicultural solutions offer distinct advantages over the attempt to form numerous ministates on the basis of national self-determination. He pointed out that almost all the so-called national units on the former Soviet territory are, in fact, multinational and multicultural and that attempts to change this could only harm the interests of the affected populations. He also emphasized that global trends promote greater interaction between peoples, not isolation, and the formation of larger economic and political units (for example, the European Community) rather than ministates. Various participants pointed out that a claim to political legitimacy and self-determination is not always a claim to independent statehood. Ethnic and other minorities frequently raise more modest claims: for a greater degree of self-government, internal autonomy, special rights to local natural resources, the right to return to and reside in territories they consider historically their own, and the right to educate their children in their own languages. The international community encourages the recognition of such demands, called “internal self-determination.” The variants of internal self-determination include the types of local or regional autonomy accorded in federal or confederal systems. Under such arrangements, language rights, educational policies, cultural matters, and health and welfare policies are typically determined within the autonomous units, while defense, foreign affairs, and international trade relations are handled by the federal authorities. As is clear from the political debates now occurring in many new states, various arrangements of central and local authority are possible under the heading of internal self-determination.

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Balancing and Sharing Political Power in Multiethnic Societies BALANCING AND SHARING POWER Multiethnicity as a Typical Condition Participants emphasized that every state and its internal political structure is the result of specific historical processes and that it is inherently risky to attempt to generalize about them. Nevertheless, almost every so-called nation-state is in fact multiethnic, although to widely different degrees. There are almost no truly monoethnic states (with the possible exception of a geographically isolated country such as Iceland). The identification of the nation with the state is therefore at the least a misnomer and at the most a complete fiction. The thorough intermixing of populations in many geographic areas also makes the supposed ideal of “one nation—one state” impossible to achieve on geographic grounds. It was stressed that the attempt to create monoethnic states in mixed geographic areas can lead to the horrors associated with the Holocaust, forced mass migrations, and the contemporary policy of “ethnic cleansing” in the former Yugoslavia. Because nearly all states are multiethnic and because of the current rise of ethnonationalism, ethnicity, nationalism, and the political structures of states are among the most important political issues now facing many countries. Discrimination, repression, and asymmetries of wealth and power within states can lead to guerrilla movements, terrorism, internecine strife, and international warfare. When a group that is discriminated against in one state constitutes a majority in another, the result can be increased tensions, embargoes, and armed intervention in the guise of protecting the rights of the oppressed minority. The Yugoslav example was repeatedly cited as one to be avoided. Because of such threats, the participants generally agreed that it is in the interests of all groups within a multiethnic state, dominant and others, to work to develop political structures that adequately balance and safeguard the interests and rights of all citizens and groups. Attempts to suppress certain ethnic groups—for example, by denying citizenship and voting rights or forcibly redistributing assets or land ownership—have the potential to destabilize governments or induce international conflict.

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Balancing and Sharing Political Power in Multiethnic Societies “Just” Boundaries Some speakers asserted that all borders are historical accidents, the result of the vagaries of battles, bargains struck at the negotiating table, or marriage dowries. The continent of Africa demonstrates, however, that states can resolve many of the issues arising from the artificial boundaries left in the wake of the collapse of empires. The boundaries of the states that emerged in the postwar decolonization epoch in Africa almost invariably coincided with those established by the European imperialists in the course of their competition for colonial conquests. They had little or no basis in any locally determined criteria and were a glaring relic of an earlier period of oppression. However, the attempt to “rectify” these boundaries—to make them conform to the geographic distribution of language or ethnic groups, the historical borders of ancient regimes, or various topographical or strategic features—threatened to unleash potentially intractable interstate conflicts across the continent. In order to avert the devastation of war and turn their attention to improving living standards within their own frontiers, the leaders of the newly independent African states agreed to mutually recognize the existing boundaries. It is particularly noteworthy that despite the many contexts and periods in which there have been bloody ethnic struggles in Africa, these struggles have largely centered around efforts to redraw internal rather than external borders, and have rarely if ever produced interstate warfare. The fact that the anticolonial struggles had taken place within those borders and the victorious, anti-imperial coalitions were developed within that territorial context may have facilitated the resolution of this potentially explosive issue. Can Nationalism Be Compatible with Human Rights? To some participants, the demand for special consideration or privileges for one’s own group necessarily implied a lack of respect for other, “lesser” peoples. Special rights and equal rights, they asserted, are therefore inherently incompatible. Other participants rejected the notion that all political movements

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Balancing and Sharing Political Power in Multiethnic Societies that grant moral weight or value to culturally or ethnically defined communities inevitably foster the politics of exclusion, intolerance, and chauvinism. As noted early in the workshop, nationalism is a polymorphic category and includes democratic and tolerant variants, as well as those that are authoritarian or imperialistic. Various participants noted that the aims of nationalist movements cover a broad gamut: from group protection and advancement, cultural autonomy, and education in national tongues to self-government and sovereignty. None of these is necessarily in conflict with a respect for the human rights of the members of their own or other groups. It was also pointed out that nationalist movements and human rights advocates also share a number of goals: they seek to expand the realm of protection in which individuals and groups are shielded from the brutalities and oppression of others, as well as to expand individuals’ capacities to experience autonomy and self-fulfillment. What might be termed nonexclusive variants of nationalism are capable of recognizing the value of not only their own, but also of other’s national cultures, and of supporting political regimes that safeguard them. Nationalist states do, however, often enact policies that conflict with human rights. Participants identified at least two such kinds of conflict. One involves the oppression of minorities by nationalist groups that control state power, as a matter of policy or systematic discrimination. The other involves the violation of the human rights of citizens, including those belonging to the dominant nationality, supposedly for the good of the nation. This often occurs when a nation-state goes to war over the treatment of its nationals in another country. Both kinds of human rights violation are common in the wars now raging in the former Yugoslavia. THE SEARCH FOR INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURES FOR BALANCING POWER Because of the potential for violence, instability, and the violation of human rights in multiethnic states, especially in times of heightened nationalist consciousness like the present,

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Balancing and Sharing Political Power in Multiethnic Societies the participants agreed on the need to create political and legal systems that provide safeguards against the arbitrary abuse of human and group rights. Democratic political and legal systems typically rest on constitutions that provide guarantees of equal rights to all citizens and of equal protection under the law. However, as is clear from the Soviet example, written guarantees are not sufficient to prevent the authoritarian exercise of power. Freely contested elections similarly provide insufficient safeguards against elected officials’ arbitrarily exercising power in the name of the majority. One of the central challenges of establishing a democracy in a multiethnic state is to establish a system in which the political leadership is not only responsible to the electorate, but is also held accountable in case of violations of constitutionally established guarantees, particularly in the areas of minority rights and human rights. Participants discussed three classes of institutional structures for balancing and sharing power: those that are based on a group-blind framework, those that are formally structured around group rights, and those that are based on a recognition of group interests but seek to create institutions that transcend them. Group-Blind Institutions Group-blind institutions are based on ensuring the rights of the individual: political, legal, social, and cultural. In systems with these kinds of institutions, constitutional and legal guarantees prohibit discrimination on the basis of such categories as ethnicity, national origin, gender, age, or a variety of other characteristics. The United States Constitution, as amended by the Bill of Rights, provides one of the best-known examples of such a system. Institutions Based on Group Rights The second type of institutional structure seeks to achieve equal protection and full inclusion of all citizens on the basis of group-based rights. Group-based institutional mechanisms include: the allocation of cabinet seats in accordance with ethnicity, parliamentary quotas for different national groups, regional

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Balancing and Sharing Political Power in Multiethnic Societies autonomy for territorially homogeneous groups, and bicameral legislatures in which representation in one house is based on ethnicity. In one particularly well-known system, known as “consociationalism” (Lijphart, 1977), citizens are divided into ethnically determined “columns,” and each column elects a certain proportion of parliament or is guaranteed a specified share of cabinet seats or minimum representation in various public institutions. Other group-rights institutional mechanisms provide for ethnic or communal control over such cultural institutions as schools, theaters, the media, and religious institutions. Systems based on group rights often provide for the proportional representation of ethnically based parties in cabinets and parliaments. But it was noted in the discussion that this technique can also be applied to good effect in such nonelectoral settings as the military, the police, and state bureaucracies. It was also suggested that the visible representation of ethnic minorities might play its most important role at the lowest levels of the political system, where citizens have their greatest direct interactions with the state. Institutional arrangements based on group rights were criticized by some workshop participants, however, for their potential to exacerbate group tensions and increase exclusionist attitudes and policies. Group-based institutional arrangements can channel the competition for social and political power and conflicts over scarce resources into ethnic categories, thereby politicizing ethnic differences and increasing their salience. Such institutions can also discourage the formation of coalitions that cross ethnic lines, strengthen the belief that ethnic differences are naturally given and cannot be bridged, and obstruct the development of competing or nesting identities that cross ethnic lines. Group-based arrangements can also play into the hands of militants. Since the competition for votes tends to take place within national lines, there is no incentive to adopt ethnically tolerant positions or devise policies that could appeal to constituencies that cross ethnic lines and that might generate high levels of popular support. Candidates tend to compete to be perceived as the most ardent proponent of their group’s interests, and efforts to identify the best interests of the country take second place.

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Balancing and Sharing Political Power in Multiethnic Societies Institutions Designed to Transcend Group Interests An entirely different approach to institutional development calls for the design and engineering of structures that can address the problems associated with multiethnicity without perpetuating them in institutional structures. Donald Horowitz’ work on designing institutional structures for multiethnic societies was cited by a number of participants. Horowitz (1985, 1991) maintains that institutions should be designed around incentives, rather than quotas or mandatory entitlements. His constitutional engineering strategies provide incentives for politicians to promote accommodations between groups and build coalitions across ethnic lines in the competition for every political office and at every branch and level of government. Where ethnic groups are territorially based, electoral districts can be explicitly designed to incorporate different groups in each district. This type of districting builds in incentives for the elaboration of electoral strategies based on interethnic collaboration or compromise. The same kind of incentive can be provided by a requirement that candidates receive not only a majority vote from their own constituents, but specified minimum support from other groups. In some elections, candidates have been required to obtain not only a plurality of the total vote, but also minimum levels of support in a majority of a federation’s member states (for example, Nigeria between 1979 and 1983). A key to the success of such vote-pooling strategies is that they can promote the formation of coalitions before elections, rather than after. Horowitz contends that attempts to form cooperative coalitions in the wake of parliamentary campaigns that exacerbate ethnic tensions and polarize electorates are doomed to fail. Vote-pooling strategies promote the election of candidates who pursue moderate, accommodative strategies, rather than those who advocate more extreme or exclusionary nationalist platforms. However, in order to gain acceptance for such institutions that seek to transcend ethnic boundaries, constituencies must believe that compromise is possible and their representatives must not fear retribution at the polls for having “sold out” their group’s interest.

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Balancing and Sharing Political Power in Multiethnic Societies CONCLUSIONS The workshop marked an important beginning of debate in the successor states to the Soviet Union on ways to break out of primordialist kinds of thinking about ethnicity and nationalism that leave little room for interethnic accommodation. It also helped encourage debate on a broad range of institutional options for managing multiethnicity in these states, at both the political and the cultural level. At the political level, there are choices among systems of federation and confederation, about constitutional guarantees, and about institutions for managing elections and representation. At the cultural level, participants raised the question of what might be the appropriate shared ideals and symbols for a multicultural state. These questions obviously need much more attention. The workshop participants considered the meeting to be an excellent first step in what promises to be an ongoing dialogue. Many of them called for a series of follow-up workshops that would promote scholarly discussion about social scientific analysis of nationality and its political implications, as well as more policy-oriented discussions about institutional design options that might be implemented in particular political contexts within the successor states to the Soviet Union. There was particular interest in conducting some of the subsequent activities outside Moscow, in areas where autonomous political entities are currently engaged in making policies that will have far-reaching implications for ethnic relations.