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multiethnic States and Conflicts After the USSR* Valery A. TishEov Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences primary purpose of this analysis is to provide an overview of major issues and to determine the most promising areas for a Na- tional Academies-Russian Academy of Sciences research project on conflicts in multiethnic societies. TERRITORY, BORDERS, AND RESOURCES Territorial issues over and claims to natural resources are directly related to the status of ethnic relations and potential conflicts. Moreover, most armed conflicts are caused by these issues. In this context, territory serves not only as a utilitarian life-supporting resource, but also as a symbol of history or culture or both of a given nation, or a "historic land." In the post-Soviet environment, in spite of a long-time and extensive min- gling of people with different cultures, ethnicity used to be and still is highly territorialized, predominantly through doctrines and emotions. This link was reinforced by the newly emerging polities and now it car- ries substantial political weight: Ukraine is a land of Ukrainians and Esto- nia is a land of Estonians; the others non-titulars live on ethnic territories not their own. Therefore, to what extent is peaceful cultural mix possible within the post-Soviet states or are these states doomed to move toward ethnic homogenization through out-migration, assimilation, and even cleansing? Answering this question will have significant scientific value *Translated from the Russian by Rita Kit. 99

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00 CONFLICT AND RECONSTRUCTION IN MULTIETHNIC SOCIETIES and will influence policy making to ensure the democratic and peaceful management of complex societies. It is likely that no single solution will be found for all countries, but some of the problems are similar, and there is sufficient international experience that can be applicable. The breakup of the Soviet Union, where administrative borders be- tween republics were not defined, resulted in serious tensions in many regions, especially in Central Asia and the South Caucasus. First, there are disputed territories both in the mountainous areas and in the river valleys and oases. Attempts to impose strict control, up to the mining of border zones, as Uzbekistan did on the border with Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in a unilateral order, results in deprivation, extortion, and sacrifice among the common population. Second, the population of the post-Soviet states, especially culturally-related populations of the border regions, do not wish to recognize rigid lines. These strict borders interfere with human relations and everyday business. Immediately after the breakup of the Former Soviet Union (FSU), serious mistakes were made not only in the area of citizenship rules and regulations, but also in formulating the new border regime. In our view, the situation required at least a decade of free movement and free choice of citizenship. Although we cannot go back in time to correct these errors, one very important conclusion can be made based on this experience: People will respect national borders only when they are transparent and democratically established. One can argue that transparency of the post-Soviet borders may be contrary to the new states' desire to build up their national security and defend themselves from outside extremists and paramilitary groups. But, it is much better to build effective cooperation among authorities, armed forces, and special services of the post-Soviet states, rather than installing roadblocks and mine fields. Post-Soviet states possess various territories and natural resources, and no considerable changes took place after the breakup, except for some newly created states losing control over part of their territories because of armed separatist struggles. These events repre- sent serious challenges for several countries (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Russia), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and to some extent, the larger world community. All of the secessionist con- flicts took place in the first half of the 1990s, and most of them ended with some form of military victory, but none of the self-proclaimed separatist regions has achieved its political objective of creating a viable and recog- nized state. At the same time, none of these territories has been returned to the control of the central government. Some of these regions have transformed into isolated military-political formations with various de- grees of political governance and some form of a blockade economy. This situation has existed for more than a decade and can last for an even

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MULTIETHNIC STATES AND CONFLICTS AFTER THE USSR 101 longer time. However, this does not mean the conflict has been resolved. Rather, it has halted, with the danger of a new cycle of violence as with Chechnya three years after the first war. The experience of restoring con- stitutional order in this part of Russia in 1999-2001 clearly illustrates the difficulty of restaging lost battles, where sovereignty over the territory and governance systems has been lost. An alternative scenario namely, accepting the separation of the region does not solve the problem either. Post-Soviet states will not accept a second round of disintegration. In this context, the past decade brought growing understanding that separation of states per se does not encourage economic and cultural prosperity, much less bolster the nations' self-determination. The price of separation (including human casualties and economic losses) is much higher than the strategy of improving governance systems, including im- proving ethnic relations based on the principles of internal self-determi- nation and democratic governance. The Yugoslavian crisis and the situa- tion in the former Soviet republics marks rethinking of the minority problem, which dominated the second half of the twentieth century and remains vital for the European community and the post-Soviet countries. The new approach is that the only solution to the territorial disputes in the multiethnic societies is not creating new borders, but searching for mutually acceptable ways of social governance on a common territory. However, this declaration does very little for specific ongoing open conflicts in the territory of the former Soviet Union. From a strategic standpoint, these conflicts can be ended one of two ways: either by forc- ing the will of central governments on separatist regions or through nego- tiated compromise. In recent years, both ways were tried, but it is too early to claim any success. It is possible that joint efforts (and not only a joint declaration of the CIS members about their commitment to the prin- ciples of territorial integrity) will change the situation. Nevertheless, pres- ervation of the status quo, namely, keeping these conflicts simmering is the worse possible scenario. Territorial issues remain potential sources of conflicts within the Rus- sian Federation; however, during recent years their significance has di- minished. At this point, there are no explicit territorial disputes among the subjects of the Russian Federation, except for some unresolved conse- quences of the Ingush-Ossetian conflict. Separate radical appeals to draw new, fair borders lack support from the public and government authori- ties. Even so, these problems exist and they could escalate. I can mention several cases, the Chechnya-Dagestan and Chechnya-Ingushetia borders, the claim of Kalmykia to regain a part of the Astrakhan Oblast in Volga Delta, the unification of three different Buryat autonomies, and a unique situation with Russia's territorial enclave the Kaliningrad Oblast se- verely isolated by the Shengen visa regime. Constant monitoring and

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02 CONFLICT AND RECONSTRUCTION IN MULTIETHNIC SOCIETIES preparation of adequate responses remains a necessity in Russia and other nations. As far as natural resources are concerned, the last decade illustrated that among CIS and Baltic states, the best results in economic well-being and fairness of natural resources utilization were achieved by nations without the largest reserves. In large nations, many natural resources of the former Soviet Union are still being used jointly some nations receive direct benefits from these resources; some nations gain from transporta- tion routes; others do not have any of the above, and therefore, they cannot take any advantage from these resources. With the exception of the Caspian Sea resources and fresh water in Central Asia, there are no disputed natural resources within FSU territory. However, it is possible for tension to appear in the tie between agrarian overpopulation of the countries of Central Asia and the growing need of water resources. These problems affect not only the region itself but also Russia as a potential donor of the vital resource. Within the Russian Federation itself, the issue of natural resource distribution and utilization has been primarily resolved through constitu- tional means, policies of budget federalism, and targeted development and economic assistance programs. However, there appears to be a very important issue that remains underestimated. It is probable that natural resources have been distributed unequally northern regions and Siberia possess larger deposits than southern and some central parts of Russia. Some subjects of the Federation, for example, the North Caucasus, pos- sess few natural resources. Nevertheless, standards of living in these re- gions often do not correspond to the resource base of that particular terri- tory. People residing in the donor regions, like Bashkortostan, Yakutia, Komi, the Udmurtia and Tatarstan Republics, northern autonomous okrugs should live better than the population of the regions receiving federal budget aid. Otherwise, tensions are inevitable, and some of these tensions might be based on ethnic issues. Overall, the Russian Federation possesses sufficient natural resources to provide a reasonable level of social well-being. In order to prevent internal tensions and conflicts, the state should avoid significant inequali- ties in the living standards of different regions. At the same time, at- tempts to impose a rigid egalitarian system or transfer additional funds to certain regions in return for political loyalty will not yield positive results. THE DEMOGRAPHIC SITUATION AND MIGRATION During the past decade, two major factors shaped the demographic situation in the FSU. First, the population declined because of a drop in the birth rate and an increase in mortality. The second factor was the

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MULTIETHNIC STATES AND CONFLICTS AFTER THE USSR 103 unprecedented growth of migration. The overall population of the FSU was reduced by approximately 5-6 million people (some of that from emigration to other parts of the world). The most noticeable population declines were in Armenia, Georgia, the Baltic states, Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. Population growth rates in Azerbaijan and Central Asian republics remain relatively high (yet lower than in Turkey); however, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan are donating a serious proportion of the male working population as labor migrants to Russia. Russia, like the Baltic states, has suffered serious negative natural growth, but the loss of population has been compensated by immigration. Since 1990, the country has experienced a very high migration flow. Through an exchange of population with other former Soviet republics, Russia has increased its population by 5 million; it has lost one million in migration exchange with the rest of the world. The country's total population is about 145 million people (147.8 in 1989), but this estimate does not in- clude the large number of non-registered (illegal) migrants, most of whom will stay in Russia (for example, Meskhetian Turks). Population decline is not related to shock therapy, or rapid impover- ishment of the population, since in Russia, for example, the highest birth rates are registered in the North Caucasus, especially in the rural areas of Dagestan, the Republic of Ingushetia, Chechnya, and Karachaevo- Cherkessia. Natural population growth (or decline) has no direct link to ethnic relations and ethnic conflicts, although overall political instability and conflicts may have an adverse impact on birth rates and, obviously, on the number of deaths. In Chechnya alone, direct (combat casualties) and indirect losses (from diseases and collapse of the healthcare system) could reach one hundred thousand people. At the same time, differences in birth rates can be identified along ethnic borders, sometimes even within the same region, community, city, and city quarters. Large families in one ethnic group may cause a negative attitude from representatives of other nationalities, which in turn can lead to ethnic tensions. Some specialists and politicians have issued alarming forecasts, and authorities have responded inadequately. Some regions and cities deliberately imposed limitations on registration and housing, introduced declared and undeclared restrictions on labor markets, and so forth. In some instances, attempts were made to exile members of non- indigenous ethnic groups with higher birth rates. Excessive attention and politicizing the issue of different birth rates among various ethnic groups in the Russian Federation cannot yield any positive outcome. Demographic processes will always have their own dynamics, which should be accepted as a natural phenomenon. We should learn to adjust to new realities and attempt to benefit from them rather than turning them into the source of potential conflict.

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04 CONFLICT AND RECONSTRUCTION IN MULTIETHNIC SOCIETIES Demographic situations are shaped not only by natural growth (or decline) of the population, but also by migration processes. The ethnic makeup of the population and its proportions are determined through marriages (resulting in a change in identities and the passage of represen- tatives from one group to another) and assimilation. In this regard, Rus- sians have almost always emerged as the culturally and quantitatively dominant ethnonation in the Russian Federation. Despite the growth of ethnic identity among non-Russian residents of the Federation, this trend holds. Russianness remains the preferred group identification in the coun- try, and most offspring of mixed marriages usually choose it as their ethnic identity. Sharp changes in the migration processes in the FSU became the sec- ond major component shaping the status of ethnic relations and conflicts. Migration from rural to urban areas is not included in the scope of this analysis, although it would have been required for proper ethnographic monitoring. Often, ethnic conflicts start as conflicts between rural and urban populations, as in Chechnya, where the urban population was pre- dominately Russian, while the majority of the rural population was Chechen. Here, we are primarily interested in the migration between dif- ferent states and the ethnic characteristics of this process. Recent decades produced a number of new trends and features. First, there was a sharp increase in international migration and a slowdown in the internal movement of people (other than forced migrants from the areas of armed conflicts in, for example, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Tajikistan, and Russia). As a result of the Chechen war, half of its former population (approximately five hundred thousand people) moved to other parts of Russia. A similar number of people were forcefully moved because of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in Azerbaijan. In Georgia at least two hun- dred thousand people were forced to leave Abkhazia and forty thousand left South Ossetia. Sizable movements of people primarily took place between Russia and other former Soviet republics; earlier, it happened between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Russian Federation experienced a sharp increase of inflow with simultaneous reduction of outflow of its population. Accord- ing to official data, more than five million people moved to Russia during the past 10 years. However, this number does not include undocumented immigrants and the so-called shuttle migrants (people who spend most of their time in Russia, have jobs and residences there, but keep the citizen- ship of another country). Russian society (including politicians and aca- demicians) understood poorly that the arrival of culturally related and economically valuable migrants from the former Soviet republics was in fact a benefit, most likely the only factor working against depopulation

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MULTIETHNIC STATES AND CONFLICTS AFTER THE USSR 105 and acting as a source of development. However, these migrants were not embraced (net migration declined from eight hundred thousand in 1994 to two hundred thousand in 2000~. The economic uncertainties and the Chechen war were not the only reasons for curbing immigration to the Russian Federation. Potential immigrants were concerned about how they would be received by the authorities and the rest of the population, and what would happen with registration, housing, and schools for their chil- dren. Xenophobia and incompetence of Russian experts and policy mak- ers channeled energy and fears into the false direction of "consolidating the Russian nation" and "repatriation of the compatriots." Instead of sup- porting valuable workers from Armenia, Moldova, and Ukraine, a federal law was passed, granting preferential treatment to ethnic Russians in the former Soviet republics (most likely, no longer interested in moving to Russia) and the descendants of former Russian emigrants residing prima- rily in such countries as Israel and the United States. In reality, strict anti- immigration policy is still pursued. Starting in 2000, simplified proce- dures for obtaining Federation citizenship are no longer in place; passport and visa agencies are prohibited from accepting new citizenship applica- tions. Restrictions on migration and receipt of Russian citizenship for all residents of the Soviet Union regardless of nationality are clear examples of nearsighted and self-destructive Russian policies. A few million new residents slowed the natural decline of the coun- try's population and seemingly should have removed grounds for claims about the so-called demographic disaster. Russia is not losing seven hun- dred thousand or even one million people a year, and any statements and forecasts to that effect are unscientific and politically self-destructive. Be- sides, these statements become a breeding ground for Russian chauvin- ism, since it is the Russian people who are supposedly dying out. Never- theless, sharp changes in the usual makeup of the population in various Russian regions have caused some social and cultural-psychological prob- lems. Even ethnic Russians settling into their new communities were faced with problems of adaptation and integration in the new surroundings. Recent monitoring indicated that anti-immigrant tendencies are ris- ing in Russia and several other countries. None of the countries has a policy of stimulating immigration, although all of them, with the excep- tion of Azerbaijan and the Central Asian countries need such policies to ensure their further development. Our conclusion is that exchanges of population in the form of temporary or permanent migration will con- tinue in the former Soviet Union and these countries should compete for human resources. It should not become reason to create additional barri- ers between countries. Xenophobia toward immigrants of other ethnicities should be overcome through public awareness and education, and even

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06 CONFLICT AND RECONSTRUCTION IN MULTIETHNIC SOCIETIES administrative actions against politicians, government officials, and em- ployers, if necessary. POWER, THE STATE, AND ETHNICITY What is the recent history and current context of legislative and regu- latory actions regarding managing ethnic diversity and ethnic relations in complex multiethnic societies, such as the Russian Federation and other former Soviet states? There are numerous, and unfortunately, fruitless debates among Russian academicians and policy makers. At the same time, law making and its practical implementation has yielded some posi- tive results, although numerous mistakes were made, and several oppor- tunities lost. Positive results include several federal laws and regulations, that is, the Concept of State Nationality Policy in the Russian Federation (1996), the Federal Law on National and Cultural Autonomy (1996), and Federal Law on Support and Development of Small Nations of the Russian Fed- eration (1999~. The Russian Federation also joined a number of interna- tional conventions, including a framework convention of the European Council, on the Rights of National Minorities. At present, the Russian Federation is revisiting the fundamental prin- ciples of the federal state. Currently, the Federation comprises ethnoterri- torial autonomies (republics, autonomous oblasts, and districts) and regu- lar administrative units of the Federation, namely oblasts and krais. The weakness of the state during a period of tremendous social transforma- tion, a lack of competence, and a sense of responsibility and political will on behalf of politicians can explain the wide diversity of actions and declarations, some of which are simply unacceptable in mature societies. Obviously, the scope of these conflicts, especially results of the first war in Chechnya the semirecognition of an armed separate region totally out- side of the central government's control shocked Russian society and became a serious burden for the present generation of Russian politicians, most of whom are truly concerned about the well-being of their country and their constituencies. Some may argue that there are simple solutions to these problems: let Chechnya (or the entire North Caucasus) go; turn present-day republics into states; let the Russian people exercise their right of self-determina- tion; let everybody have their state and government structures, and so forth. Some take the opposite stance, urging the use of force to restore law and order in the country and to eliminate ethnoterritorial autonomies. The number of forecasts and proposals at the level of official discussions and in sociopolitical literature is so high that there seems to be no chance of introducing any sort of order into the mental chaos and resulting policy.

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MULTIETHNIC STATES AND CONFLICTS AFTER THE USSR 107 We do not support this fatalistic position and believe that the overall development and even evolution of the state is the result of targeted, daily efforts. The better thought-through and targeted these efforts are, the better the final outcome. Nothing is programmed in history. History is best used as a political and ideological resource. Obviously, there are several limitations in place, including the predominant state of mind. It is difficult to change views and perceptions, which were imposed and rein- forced throughout long periods of time. The proper level of expertise and competency cannot be achieved overnight, either. Experience illustrates that it is easier to learn how to set up a bank or a successful enterprise than to draft a law or a presidential decree, not resembling the structure of communist party resolutions, and capable of working in a modern environment. All of the above implies that there is a great need to educate (or re- educate) average citizens as well as the political elite about what state they live in, the fundamental principles of that state, and the territory it occupies. In order to educate Russia (or learn what Russia means), there is no need to make fast and ill-conceived conclusions, especially involving restructuring and disintegration of the state. States are the most stable and long lasting form of social coalitions of people. Although they are not created by God and not expected to last forever, every generation has limited rights to change and transform this legacy. EXPERIENCE OF THE POST-SOVIET STATE BUILDING All modern states were first formed on a political level. Creation of the new social and cultural communities came later. The same thing hap- pened in 1991, where the words "Russia," "Ukraine," "Kazakhstan," etc. were used to describe new formations. What it really meant (other than new borders between former republics and various degrees of local na- tionalism/patriotism) remained unclear for politicians and the rest of the FSU population. Actual creation of the new states by institution building began after the collapse of the former Soviet Union. Russia's route was the most difficult not because it has fewer re- sources or less reason to become an independent state, but because Russia was the country most closely associated with the FSU, and there was a lack of clarity in the overall direction and objectives of the nation-building process. This lack of clarity in the process of Russian state building was caused by the fact that most of the ideologists of socialist federalism and proponents of the resolution of the nationality issue have lived and stayed in Moscow. The breakup of the FSU limited the activities of these so- called specialists to the boundaries of Russia, which made life easier for

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108 . CONFLICT AND RECONSTRUCTION IN MULTIETHNIC SOCIETIES other countries. However Russia was not so lucky: Some Soviet passport holders with the right nationality, that is, similar in pronunciation to the name of the republic, found themselves to be the owners of the nation- state, while others had their home base in other parts of the country, or even outside of it. This unfortunate friend-foe formula was long lasting and caused discrimination, ethnic tensions, and conflicts. Even though the post-Soviet states were created on behalf of all their respective residents participating in the voting (regardless of the actual vote of a specific individual), during the further legislative process, exclu- sive or preferred status was grabbed by the representatives of the one ethnic group (indigenous or titular ethnicity). This process was executed through various legal loopholes. The most widely used one was wording in the constitution, stating that the state is created on behalf of all its residents, then adding that the state is the tool of self-determination of a specific ethnicity and therefore is a nation-state of ethnic Moldovans, Ukrainians, Kazakhs, Uzbeks, and so forth. Overall, except for some dec- larations, nobody seriously considered cocitizenship or civic approaches to nation building. As a result, newly created states abandoned the old Soviet concept of multinationalism and embraced the traditional concepts of ethnonational- ism, which could be described as follows: Ukraine is defined as a national state of ethnic Ukrainians; all other people are defined as national minori- ties. They can become members of that nation only through the process of Ukrainization, that is, cultural assimilation, sometimes more softly referred to as integration. This approach was used throughout the rest of the newly created states, except for the Baltic states. However, in Latvia and Estonia, where in principle citizenship is linked to the idea of the nation, this is made up for by excluding the overwhelming majority of nonindigenous ethnic groups from citizenship, which is viewed as a cultural-linguistic consideration Lalvia-ization or Estonia-ization. THE INEVITABILITY OF FUTURE CORRECTIONS The choice of ethnonationalism as a fundamental principle of state building was not a random one. This choice was made in order for the new states to distance themselves from Russia and its culture, which is dominated by the Russian language, and to protect the new state cultures and official languages. This approach also enabled some states to limit the number of people that claim access to power and resources, especially during privatization and other market reforms. Most importantly, this approach maintains the old ideology that nationality is not citizenship, but a membership in a specific ethnic and cultural group. This mentality

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MULTIETHNIC STATES AND CONFLICTS AFTER THE USSR 109 prevented the noncitizens and minorities from playing a more active part in the larger political process. No one explained to these groups that the newly created states are their common property and that the government must speak the language of its taxpayers, which implies having at least two official languages in the countries where over half the population (including members of the political elite) speak Russian, and not Ukrai- nian, Kazakh, or Moldovan languages. Even with the shortcomings of this process in the newly created multiethnic states of the FSU (except Russia), many of them have a chance to correct the situation and to move away from the principles of ethno- nationalism toward truly democratic and all-inclusive principles of state building. With the presence of a huge Russian-language culture in neigh- boring Russia and the status of the Russian language as one of the leading world languages, newly created states will have serious difficulties trying to eliminate the Russian language from their countries, for example, switching the Gagause population in Moldova from the Russian to the Moldovan language, as part of the derussipcation of the non-Russian eth- nic groups. Cultural and language issues have nothing to do with the colonial past, which has to be dismantled. Therefore, ethnonationalism becomes counterproductive, and it will be replaced by civic nationalism in order to keep new polities from disintegration. Eventually all the groups initially excluded from the process of nation building will claim a more prominent role for themselves, with other countries setting the example for nonimmigrant national minorities being included in the definition of the nation. There exist all the reasons to treat Russians in Ukraine or in Kazakhstan as partner communities, rather than national minorities. Another important issue relating to the constitu- tional arrangements in the post-Soviet states is that they all (except Rus- sia) chose a unitary form of organization and did not risk federalism. In general, a unitary state can exist in the multiethnic societies, but a federa- tion seems to be preferable, since it allows for internal self-determination. Such autonomous units exist in Uzbekistan, Georgia, Moldova, and even Ukraine (the Crimean Republic). Federations are possible and necessary in such countries as Georgia and Ukraine, not only because of the ethnic factors but also because of a wide cultural and regional diversity, which exists in many post-Soviet states. FROM MULTINATIONALISM TO A DIVERSE NATION What is the situation in Russia today the only country that kept the references to multinationalism in its constitution, while imparting more innovative concepts, such as the multiethnic nation?

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0 CONFLICT AND RECONSTRUCTION IN MULTIETHNIC SOCIETIES The recent term national minorities seems hardly acceptable for Russia. This statement does not mean that there are no national minorities in the Russian Federation or that the state refuses to recognize the specific rights of a part of its population. In fact, Russia went further in protecting the rights of the national minorities, beyond guaranteeing them cultural au- tonomy. Since the Soviet era these small non-Russian nations had a cer- tain degree of self-determination in their territories, and the current Russian constitution preserves these republic-states. These ethnic com- munities have long being nationalized on political and emotional levels, and will obviously not be willing to accept the minority status. The same reasons prevent them from accepting the possible and even desirable idea of the Russian civic nation. Ethnic rights are collective rights, and they are supposed to enhance individual rights, rather than substitute or dominate them. Collective eth- nic rights are a double-edged sword, and should be used carefully and expertly. Recent years proved that in an underdeveloped civil rights cul- ture, ethnic rights can be used to support ungrounded claims and de- mands, impose minority rule, and even bring down the central state through an armed separatist movement. These practices exacerbate eth- nic tensions and distrust in the rest of the population. The situation may become extremely tense if the state is undergoing an identity crisis or if there is competition for limited resources. This is what is happening in the Russian Federation. The worst vari- ant would be to attempt to realize the radical dismantling of collective rights, including an important democratic acquisition by a federative or- ganization with elements of ethnic federalism. Existing laws provide many more options, some of which have not been tried. Federalism in the multiethnic states does not necessarily provide stability, since not all the relevant issues have to be resolved by the present generation of policy makers. It is the overall approach and fundamental principles, such as recognition of cultural diversity and desire for integration that are impor- tant. There are many forms of federalism, and federalism can have a very strong integration component, provided that we can ensure support of local political elites, always keeping local interests in mind. These local interests present a major obstacle to integration. Federalism by itself is not enough. The entire population must accept and develop dual loyalties and identity, form broad coalitions crossing ethnic and regional bound- aries, and create motivation for integration. The application of federalism should not be restricted to the way that the government authorities are set up. The federal legal system allows coexistence of mutually enhancing or even parallel legal systems, com- bining central (national) law and legal norms of different cultures. To accomplish that, one does not need to revitalize nonexistent historic tradi-

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MULTIETHNIC STATES AND CONFLICTS AFTER THE USSR 111 lions such as mountainous democracy and tribal communities. It is the recognition of legal pluralism arising from ethnic diversity that is impor- tant as long as these different legal traditions do not undermine the fundamental principles of state and do not provoke a mass exodus from the legal framework.