‘Civic’ and ‘ethnic’ nationalism revisited. The conceptualisation of State, nation and citizen in the former Soviet Union

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Why did loyalty towards a nation based on territory, rather than ethnicity, fail to take root in the former Soviet Union ? States’ accommodation of national minorities depends strongly on the conceptualisation of ‘nation’ over time and on the understanding of citizenship. Thus, in Georgia, the relation between the State and national minorities is heavily conditioned by the Soviet legacy: the bureaucratisation of nationality and the under-development of the notion of citizenship in the Soviet Union have rendered practically impossible the creation of a « civic identity » based on loyalty towards shared values and norms in former Soviet Union States.

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