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Postcolonial transitions on the southern borders of the former Soviet Union: the return of Eurasianism?

By Bill Bowring

Abstract

As the Soviet Union dissolved into a new territorial reality, it released the doubly repressed histories of Tsarist and Soviet imperium. In the states to the south of the new Russian Federation, the post-soviet jostled with the postcolonial as nations were reinvented across a vast swathe from the Caucuses through Central Asia. In the process, the old Russian linguistic duality between Russki (the ethnic Russian) and Rossiiskii (the citizen of Russia) founds its echo in Russia itself — which\ud encompasses over 20 million Muslims — and in the newly\ud sovereign states — all with large Russian minorities and even larger Russian-speaking populations. For the Azeris, Uzbeks and Kazaks, the repositioning of nation against a recent past of Russian dominance was significantly more problematic. In Chechnya, formally in the Russian Federation, it has reached a cathartic war. The argument here uses international human rights instruments as a litmus test of this troubled recent history. The controversial concept of Eurasia — now resurgent in Russian\ud politics — may not necessarily mean the reinscription of Russian domination, but seeks to offer an alternative to the Atlantic Empire

Topics: law
Publisher: Griffith Law School
Year: 2003
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.bbk.ac.uk.oai2:810

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