1990s’ Experience and Cultural Diversity Management

1990s’ Experience and Cultural Diversity Management

Drobizheva L.M.

Dr. Sci. (His.), Chief Researcher, Head of the Center for the Study of Interethnic Relations, Institute of Sociology FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia. drobizheva@yandex.ru

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This article was carried out with the financial support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research within the framework of the scientific project No. 20-011-00241.

For citation:

Drobizheva L.M. 1990s’ Experience and Cultural Diversity Management. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2021. No 8. P. 49-61


The article analyses the lessons that the state and society could learn from the institutional contradictions and violent conflicts that were overcome in Russia in the 1990s. Ethnic mobilization and ways of getting out of conflict situations are analysed. Based on specific materials, it is shown that the most important lesson was the ability to find compromise, dialogue ways to remove contradictions in the field of language, ecology, requests for participation in the use of local natural resources, increasing independence in the economy, and developing culture. Most of the controversy was related to the institutional sphere, violation of the constitution and federal laws. The author shows that the regulation of such conflicts in multi-component federations is facilitated by the understanding that the ethnic nationalism of elites in the republics is different. On the example of the analysis of the discourse and legislative practice of Bashkortostan, North Ossetia–Alania, Tatarstan and Tuva, it is shown that divided sovereignty (not secession) was discussed in Tatarstan, but in it, as in Sakha and Bashkortostan, economic and cultural nationalism, defensive in North Ossetia– Alania, mainly cultural in Tuva. Accordingly, the agreements between the government of the Russian Federation and the government of the republics differed. Compromise solutions were temporary and as soon as a strong legitimate government was formed in the Centre, they ceased to operate, this is also one of the lessons of the 1990s. Interethnic contradictions within the republics were also achieved by compromise solutions. However, the problem of ensuring equal opportunities in the labour and political spheres still remains. The lesson in preventing the escalation of power conflicts was the recognition of the legitimate monopoly of power on the part of the state. The protection of society is based on the rule of law, but compliance with the law needs control from both the state and society. The final part of the article is devoted to the regulation of interethnic relations in the second decade of the 2000s. The author supports the idea of calling this process the management of cultural diversity, since the term nation-building used earlier contains a double understanding of the nation, both ethnocultural and civil. The cited research results in the country and the republics show that ethnic identity remains very stable. But nowhere does it appear as a confrontational all-Russian identity, but is combined with it among the majority of the population. It can be assumed that the idea of the people as co-citizenship, aimed at consolidating social, spatial and ethnocultural communities, realizing their interests in the economy, politics, culture, contributes to the provision of solidarity in the country

ethnic mobilization; institutional and violent conflicts; ethnic nationalism; cultural diversity management; civil nationalism


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