Building the nation, binding the state [electronic resource] : nationalism, insecurity, and ethnic tolerance in Kyrgyzstan
- Kara M. Downey.
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- 1 online resource.
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- Following an outbreak of ethnic violence in 2010, the Kyrgyz Republic embarked on an ambitious program of promoting a Kyrgyz-centric form of national identity. The international community reacted with alarm, worried that the "Kyrgyz-i cation" of the country would lead alienate minorities and encourage more violence from the Kyrgyz, while the Kyrgyzstani government argued that Kyrgyz culture was itself under threat, and that solidifying its position within Kyrgyzstan would ultimately reduce tensions. These arguments reflect a wider and more abstract debate within the political science literature about the dangers and benefits of nationalism, the challenges of building national identity in a multi-ethnic context, and the relationship between nationalism and ethnic violence. Using a combination of interviews, ethnography, and survey experiments, I find that exposure to nationalist propaganda reduces feelings of insecurity on the part of ethnic Kyrgyz, which in turn reduces their propensity to view members of minority groups as threats. This, in turn, makes ethnic violence less likely. Minority group members, in turn, are willing to tolerate Kyrgyz culture, language, and history receiving a certain amount of privilege within the Kyrgyz Republic. However, the content of nationalist propaganda can vary considerably, and in cases in which it advocates hostility towards minorities it can do great harm.
- Publication date
- Submitted to the Department of Political Science.
- Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2015.
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