№ 1, 2019
The article presents the results of the study of ethno-political processes unfolding in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), with the focus on the three largest local communities that succeeded in obtaining recognition as ethnic or national minorities —Ruthenians, Kashubians and Silesians. Having considered the meaning of the term “subethnos” and its equivalents established in the CEE countries, O.Vasyukov describes the legal status of these communities and analyzes in detail the discourse they produce (aimed at securing the status of individual peoples) and strategies that are used to solve this task, emphasizing the role of the language “building”.
The study shows that the concept of subethnos/ethnographic group formed within the framework of academic science was actively involved in challenging ethnic communities’ claims for recognition. The definition of such communities as subethnos should be qualified as a deliberate strategy aimed at symbolically homogenizing the ethnic picture of a country and simplifying the political process by excluding actors claiming to represent the relevant groups. However, with the collapse of the non-democratic regimes in the region, the ideal of ethnic homogeneity as the basis for the stability of the national state proved not viable. Over the past decades, the region witnessed a decent number of organizations that are fighting to improve the social and legal status of their groups. At present, the interaction between activists acting on behalf of these groups and the state authorities can be viewed as bargaining, where activists decide which strategies will help them to achieve their goals in the most optimal way, and state authorities weigh pros and cons of possible concessions that will allow them to preserve integrity and cohesion of the state-forming nations.
Main Page ~ Authors ~ Vasyukov Oleksandr