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- DescriptionDemands for national independence among ethnic mirities around the world suggest the power of nationalism. Contemporary nationalist movements can quickly attract fervent followings, but they can just as rapidly lose support. In Constructing Grievance, Elise Giulia asks why people with ethnic identities throw their support behind nationalism in some cases but remain quiescent in others. Popular support for nationalism, Giulia contends, is often fleeting. It develops as part of the process of political mobilization-a process that itself transforms the meaning of ethnic identity. She compares sixteen ethnic republics of the Russian Federation, where nationalist mobilization varied widely during the early 1990s despite a common Soviet inheritance. Drawing on field research in the republic of Tatarstan, socioecomic statistical data, and a comparative discourse analysis of local newspapers, Giulia argues that people respond to nationalist leaders after developing a group grievance. Ethnic grievances, however, are t simply present or absent among a given population based on societal conditions. Instead, they develop out of the interaction between people's lived experiences and the specific messages that nationalist entrepreneurs put forward concerning ethnic group disadvantage. In Russia, Giulia shows, ethnic grievances developed rapidly in certain republics in the late Soviet era when messages articulated by nationalist leaders about ethnic inequality in local labor markets resonated with people's experience of growing job insecurity in a contracting ecomy. In other republics, however, where nationalist leaders focused on articulating other issues, such as cultural and language problems facing the ethnic group, group grievances failed to develop, and popular support for nationalism stalled. People with ethnic identities, Giulia concludes, do t form political interest groups primed to support ethnic politicians and movements for national secession.
- Author BiographyElise Giuliano is Visiting Assistant Professor of International Relations and Comparative Politics at Barnard College and Harriman Institute, Columbia University.
- Author(s)Elise Giuliano
- PublisherCornell University Press
- Date of Publication10/02/2011
- SubjectPolitical Ideologies & Parties
- Place of PublicationIthaca
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintCornell University Press
- Content Note34
- Weight485 g
- Width156 mm
- Height235 mm
- Spine23 mm
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