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    From empire to multilateral player: the deep roots of autonomy in Russia

    Bowring, Bill (2015) From empire to multilateral player: the deep roots of autonomy in Russia. In: Malloy, T.H. and Palermo, F. (eds.) Minority Accommodation through Territorial and Non-Territorial Autonomy. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, pp. 133-157. ISBN 9780198746669.

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    This chapter focuses on Russia’s unlikely experiment in national cultural autonomy (NCA). I start with Russia’s accession to the Council of Europe (CoE) and the start of its experiment in NCA, both of which took place in 1996. I turn next to history: to the wide variety of forms of autonomy in the Russian Empire, which like other territorial empires, was rarely assimilationist as it expanded. I give an overview of a number of cases: Finland, the Baltics, Russian Germans, Ukraine, Georgia, Poland, Khiva and Bukhara, Tatars and Inorodtsy. Second, I turn to religious diversity in Russia, after Catherine II’s reforms. Third, I look at the extensive scholarly literature on the constitutional role of autonomy in the latter years of the Russian Empire. Fourth, I examine Bolshevik nationalities policy before and after the 1917 Revolution, and the creation of the territorial autonomies in 1920–2. Fifth, I have a number of criticisms of Terry Martin’s excellent The Affirmative Action Empire. Sixth, I return to the new Strategy, and to an apparent retreat from the NCA model. My conclusion emphasizes the deep roots of autonomy in Russia, and expresses concern for the future of non-territorial autonomy (NTA) in Russia. This chapter seeks in particular to address the paradox identified by Aleksandr Osipov—why does the concept of NCA sound attractive to ethnic activists? My aim is to show that autonomy has rather deeper roots in Russia than might at first be supposed.


    Item Type: Book Section
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Law School
    Depositing User: Bill Bowring
    Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2015 09:23
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:18


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