D. E. Letnyakov

Abstract. The paper analyzes trends in cultural diversity management in post-Soviet space. The author aims to find out to what extent the concept of “nationalizing states” introduced by P. Brubaker in the early 1990s for former socialist block countries is still valid. The research methodology is based primarily on the comparative approach applied to political science — the analysis and juxtaposition of linguistic, historical, cultural and educational policies in post-Soviet states. In addition, the author resorts to the study of post-Soviet leaders’ public state-ments and the rhetoric of some normative-legal documents. The paper stands out due to a novel multi-faceted approach used by the author. Namely, the paper focuses, in this or that way, on all the post-Soviet states (including Russia which is presented as part and parcel of the former USSR, not juxtaposed to it). Besides, cultural diversity is examined in the time span between 1991 and the present from various aspects, embracing linguistic and religious diver-sity. As a result, the article demonstrates that, despite some modification of ethno-national attitudes in the initial period of independence, there remains a scrupulous attention, imbued with suspicion, to cultural diversity, thereafter, the tendency to assimilate ethnic, linguistic and other miscellaneous minorities. The analysis of the Russian Federation case has shown that despite the fact that the assertion that Russia is a multinational and poly-confessional state has become a major thesis in official discourse, the real policies of cultural diversity man-agement in Russia bring it closer to other post-Soviet states rather that to liberal Western de-mocracies. The author argues that the source of post-Soviet ethnocentrism is concealed within the delimitation borders of ethnicity with the emphasis on titular ethnic groups established by the USSR regime. Further sustainability of ethnocentrism was ensured, in the first place, by the absence of the fully fledged public space and adequate public policy in the majority of post-Soviet countries, which fact prevents the minorities from waging a successful struggle for recognition. Secondly, it was the “securitization” of ethnic minorities’ problems due to compli-cated relations of many post-Soviet polities with the neighboring states.

Keywords: the post-Soviet space, cultural pluralism, cultural diversity, nationalism, “nationa-lizing state”, language policy, ethnic minorities.
DOI: 10.31429/26190567-20-2-16-33