Volume 3. Issue 1. January 2014.
- Eric J. Schmaltz (Northwestern Oklahoma State University ) Carrots And Sticks . . . And Demonstrations: Yuri Andropov’s Failed Autonomy Plan For Soviet Kazakhstan’s Germans, 1976-1980.
- Alva Robinson (University of Washington) A Comparison of Old English Poetry with Central Asian Verse: ‘The Wanderer’ And 18th Century Works Of Magtymguly Pyragy.
- Alex Calvo (Birmingham University) (a) America’s Failed (Bi-Partisan) Russia Policy: An Asia-Pacific Addendum (b) Indian Views On The Nato-Russia Controversy On Ballistic Missile Defence: Pressure On Russia May Create A Strategic Void Filled By China (c) Selected International Legal Aspects Of The Proposed Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline.
- Sevket Akyildiz (SOAS, University of London) Book Review: Mark Lynas, The God Species-How Humans Can Really Save the Planet, London: HarperCollins, 2012.
- Promotional 20% discount leaflet for Sevket Akyildiz and Richard Carlson, Social and Cultural Change in Central Asia: The Soviet Legacy, London: Routledge, 2013.
- Tigran Yepremyan (Yerevan State University, Armenia) Assessing Authoritarian Regimes and Legitimacy.
- Vassiliy Lakhonin (independent researcher) Book Review: Ronaldo Munck Globalisation and Social Exclusion, 2004.
- Jon K. Chang (independent researcher, USA) Tsarist continuities in Soviet nationalities policy: A case of Korean territorial autonomy in the Soviet Far East, 1923-1937.
Eric J. Schmaltz (Northwestern Oklahoma State University) Carrots And Sticks . . . And Demonstrations: Yuri Andropov’s Failed Autonomy Plan For Soviet Kazakhstan’s Germans, 1976-1980.
During the 1970s, Soviet authorities began to confront growing dissident demands through a combination of repression and accommodation, what scholar Hanya Shiro describes as the “carrot and stick” approach to general protest activities and especially the nationalities problem. KGB chief Yuri Andropov in particular followed this policy course in the waning days of the Leonid Brezhnev regime. Besides cracking down on dissidents, Andropov oversaw plans for a German autonomous oblast near Tselinograd (now Astana), Kazakhstan, from 1976 to 1980. The regime considered it necessary to respond to the ethnic group’s emerging national protest movement, West Germany’s mounting diplomatic pressures, and the broader international community’s growing demands to protect emigration, human and minority rights. The USSR remained committed to the long-term integration and acculturation of its almost two million Germans, some of its most prized Soviet citizen-workers, with nearly half living in the Kazakh SSR. It sought to address domestic and foreign criticisms about the “German question” by formulating this new, but rather modest, nationality solution. The plan collapsed after June 1979, however, amid public demonstrations in the Kazakh SSR. Kazakh opposition at all levels revealed the complicated and troubling nature of Soviet nationality affairs and the limits of central authority over the periphery. The aborted plan’s legacy was the ethnic Germans’ continued lack of a national-territorial “container” when the USSR disintegrated in 1991. The proposal represented the regime’s first serious consideration of German autonomy since the group lost its remaining national districts and the Volga German ASSR between 1938 and 1941. Though it remains conjectural, the oblast could have established an embryonic national centre for Germans, from which they would have found themselves in a better political bargaining position during the dramatic Gorbachev and Yeltsin eras. It also could have helped reduce the dramatic mass migration of Germans from the former USSR to united Germany after 1990. Viewing the event from both “above” and “below,” this study incorporates various English-, German-, and Russian-language sources, including Soviet-era government documents and the handful of available memoirs and updated academic studies.
Keywords: Yuri Andropov, autonomy, Dimash Kunaev, dissidents, ethnic Germans, Kazakhstan.
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Alex Robinson (University of Washington) A Comparison of Old English Poetry with Central Asian Verse: ‘The Wanderer’ and 18th Century Works of Magtymguly’s Pyragy.
This paper provides a comparative analysis of ‘The Wanderer’, an Old English elegy included within the Exeter Book and theorized to have been composed around the sixth century, and a representative set of poem-songs of Magtymguly Pyragy, the eighteenth century Turkmen hero. Similarities in Old English and 18th century Turkmen cultures (i.e. reliance on oral tradition, the beginning stages of national unification, etc.) make the comparison all the more relevant. This paper exclusively focuses on the elegiac features found in both the Old English poem and the collection of poems by Magtymguly. In doing so, the author will focus on the correlative relationship between the external and inner self, the usage of animals, notions of mutability (i.e., the transcendental soul, and ideas of death and memory).
Keywords: Magtymguly Pyragy, elegy, ‘The Wanderer’, Central Asian Turkic oral literature. Old English poetry.
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Alex Calvo (University of Birmingham)
(a) America’s Failed (Bi-Partisan) Russia Policy: An Asia-Pacific Addendum.
(b) Indian Views On The Nato-Russia Controversy On Ballistic Missile Defence: Pressure On Russia May Create A Strategic Void Filled By China.
(c) Selected International Legal Aspects Of The Proposed Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline.
Sevket Akyildiz (SOAS, University of London) Book Review: Mark Lynas, The God Species-How Humans Can Really Save the Planet, London: HarperCollins, 2012.
Promotional 20% discount leaflet for Sevket Akyildiz and Richard Carlson, Social and Cultural Change in Central Asia: The Soviet Legacy, London: Routledge, 2013.
Tigran Yepremyan (Yerevan State University, Armenia) Assessing authoritarian regimes and legitimacy.
This paper is a comparative analysis of the current problems pertaining to authoritarian regimes, legitimacy and political development. I will begin with a brief survey of the main types of justification for authoritarian rule. Then, I proceed to a comparative analysis by elaborating and contrasting different theories and histories regarding the legitimacy of authoritarian regimes. This comparative perspective allows for the identification of fundamental differences in the respective patterns of cooperation and conflict at the domestic and international levels.
Keywords: Authoritarianism, legitimacy, ideology, democracy, hegemony, pseudo-democracy, the return of history.
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Vassiliy Lakhonin (independent researcher) Book Review: Ronaldo Munck, 2004, Globalization and Social Exclusion: A Transformationalist Perspective, Bloomfield: Kumarian Press, 224 pages, US$19.00, ISBN-13:978-1565491922.
Jon K. Chang Tsarist continuities in Soviet nationalities policy: A case of Korean territorial autonomy in the Soviet Far East, 1923-1937
This paper will focus on the general social development of the Korean community in the Russian Far East, Tsarist-era attitudes and Russian nationalism(s), and the circumstances which limited the promised ‘territorial autonomy’ for Koreans after the October Revolution (1917). The logic behind the indigenisation programmes was to win the loyalties of the Soviet national minorities through a comprehensive platform of education, representation and placement as Soviet cadres. These policies aspired to erase the memory of the inequities during Tsarism. Therefore, we will compare how the Koreans of the RFE were viewed by Tsarist and then later, Soviet leaders and their regimes to order to examine how ‘continuities’ were carried over into Soviet society, state and policymaking. This study will also delve into whether Japanese citizenship laws would have considered the Soviet Koreans as their imperial subjects. The latter, the trope of the Koreans as Japanese ‘secret citizens and sympathisers’ hindered their access to greater acceptance as a Soviet people. This trope will now be put to rest with the evidence accumulated in this study. Finally, touching upon broader terms and themes, I will argue that the principal tension of Koreans in the USSR was that they were a Soviet ‘other’, an East Asian nationality who adopted Bolshevism and its culture and excelled in education and institutionally as cadres. Their sense of economic life matched that of other Soviet minority ‘middlemen’ such as the Jews, the Armenians and others. Unfortunately, as the Soviet state sought to rein in its borders and peoples, the fate of Soviet Koreans erupted into a clash between utopian ideals, political realities and especially, human frailties.
Keywords: 1925 Soviet-Japanese Convention, Vladimir K. Arsenev, korenizatsiia, intervention, Soviet Koreans, Chinese, territorial autonomy, N. Sakhalin, primordialism.
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