Identity, Rationality, and Emotion in the Processes of State Disintegration and Reconstruction
Author(s)Petersen, Roger D.
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I wish to address both a substantive and a methodological issue in this chapter. Substantively, I will discuss the process of state disintegration and reconstruction. Here, I will draw on the experience of Eastern Europe following the collapse of Communism. Today, more than twenty new states occupy the territories formerly held by the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia. Furthermore, the process of breakdown and rebuilding is incomplete, especially in terms of identity issues. For example, while most people have some understanding of how the first Yugoslavia collapsed, few appreciate how the second “rump” Yugoslavia and the surrounding territories remain in flux. Albanians and Slavs are working toward new political and social equilibria in Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and the three mixed municipalities in Serbia proper (Presevo, Bujanovac, and Medvedje). In Montenegro, the Slavic population is divided over whether they are Montenegrins, Serbs, or simultaneously Montenegrins and Serbs. In the Sandzak, people are debating whether they are Bosnjaks or just Muslims. In Moldova, a Dniestrian Republic rules a sliver of land on the left bank of Dniester River while the Gagauz have been given ethno-territorial autonomy within the entity on the right bank. In the Baltic republics, citizenship laws continue to be a matter of controversy.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Political Science
Constructivist Theories of Ethnic Politics
Oxford University Press
Petersen, Roger D. (2012). "Identity, Rationality, and Emotion in the Processes of State Disintegration and Reconstruction." In Kanchan Chandra (Ed.), Constructivist Theories of Ethnic Politics. New York: Oxford University Press.
Author's final manuscript