The Soviet Union and the National and Colonial Question
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis explores Soviet nationality policies in the inter-war period. With its functionalist approach, it specifically aims to explain the changes occurring from the late NEP-period and onwards, based on the functions the national policies and institutions exerted on the Soviet organism and vice versa. The hypothesis is developed from earlier sociological researches on the Ukrainian SSR and argues that the changes occurring were a response to the liberal and dysfunctional policies of the 1920`s which strengthened the nationalism it was supposed to disarm. It is tested by using a process-tracing method drawing on a multitude of sources. However, the hypothesis corresponds to a relatively low degree with the reality the data display. I have operationalized the term nationality policies according to Stalin`s definition of nation and nationality. Taking this as my point of departure the research shows that the policies were not changing as profoundly as many scholars have claimed. There is no doubt that the conditions for the different Soviet nations changed during this period, however, the changes should in a functional framework be understood as latent functions and dysfunctions of the social and economic upheavals and transformations of the Soviet society under Stalin, rather than a centrally planned plot in Moscow to subdue the Unions constituent nationalities. In contradiction to many earlier researches this one acknowledges Stalin`s progressive perception of the nation and the developmentalist mood of the Bolshevik revolution. Consequentially it emphasizes the multifaceted but somehow impressive continuity of the nation-building project of the Soviet state throughout the period under research.