S.P. Potseluev, J.A. Timkuk  pp.96-125

Abstract. This paper is aimed at understanding the problems of nation-building in plural societies. For this purpose, the authors carry out a critical analysis of the key concepts actively used by Russian scientists in the discussion of the correlation of the terms: nation, national identity, civil nation, Russian nation, etc. The authors reject the essentialist mystification (reification) and postmodern relativization of the above-mentioned concepts as counterproductive in scientific terms and politically biased. Based on the modernist-constructivist interpretation of the nation phenomenon, the authors propose a three-term scheme to better understand nation-building in plural societies, highlighting the consociational, state and civil types. The Russian case is hypothetically referred to the state type of nation-building. In this regard, the authors criticize the view, according to which there is no need for the construction of the Russian nation at all. To justify their approach, the authors base themselves on the concept of plural Russian society and the relevant sociological data. In view of their hypothetical concept, the authors consider Nigeria a “consociational nation”. The paper draws a detailed picture of the plural Nigerian polity split along ethnic, religious, linguistic and other lines. The authors come to the conclusion that in this situation, the building of trustful relations between the segment leaders of the Nigerian society is the key point in the construction of a consociational nation and the first step on Nigeria’s way to a civil nation of full value. A significant role of cultural and artistic acculturation, as well as philosophical ideas of Ubuntu, is emphasized in the paper.

Key words: plural society, national identity, the Russian nation, civic nation, nation-state, consociational nation, the Nigerian nation, trust, Ubuntu