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Russian federalism and Tatarstan's ethnic peace

[journal article]

Barker, Christopher

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Abstract This article focuses on cooperation between Muslims and Christians in Tatarstan and illustrates how federal arrangements operate to diffuse ethnopolitical crises. Management of ethnic and national conflicts has importance within Russia and its immediate neighbourhood as well as globally. Using news reports, secondary sources, and interviews from fieldwork in Russia, the article identifies ways in which the two communities are working together to ensure stability and peace in the region. It examines the religious aspects of cooperation, as well as economic and political dimensions of cooperation. The article identifies lessons for the rest of Russia, particularly Chechnya as well as the central Asian states formerly part of the Soviet Union. Even though federalism has got negative publicity in former communist countries, particularly following the collapse of communism, the case of Tatarstan suggests ways through which federal institutions enable cooperation between Russians and Tatars. In addition, the article considers recent pitfalls the two sides have had to overcome and broader implications for federalism and reconciliation studies in general.
Keywords Russia; republic; autonomy; conflict management; peacekeeping; ethnic conflict; ethnic relations; federalism; sovereignty; national identity; Muslim; Christian; minority; ethnic group
Classification Peace and Conflict Research, International Conflicts, Security Policy; Political System, Constitution, Government
Document language English
Publication Year 2011
Page/Pages p. 42-53
Journal Federal Governance, 8 (2011) 2
Issue topic Federalism, reconciliation, and power-sharing in post-conflict societies
ISSN 1923-6158
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Basic Digital Peer Publishing Licence