¹ 6 - 1999
Zuercher Ch.

Multiculturalism and Ethnopolitical (Dis)Order: Some Methodological Remarks

What is analyzed, explained and illustrated in this article, with realities of post-Soviet Russia used as examples, is the intricate interconditionality dialectics of we-groups’ diversity and common interests within the framework of multiculturalism under ethnopolitical (dis)order. Especially under the conditions of post-modernity, the author argues, the differences between we-groups increase, and so does their self-consciousness about their distinctiveness; inevitably, the quest for collective rights also grows. But, in the meantime, any multicultural state and its societies, too, need common institutions able to set rules and provide cultural exchange and at the same time preserve distinctiveness. That is to say, the need grows for common institutions providing integrated diversity. As for the multinational, multireligions republics within Russian Federation, here the establishing or preserving of integrated diversity is conditio sine qua non for an ethnopolitical equilibrium. In fact, as it turned out in reality, the author stresses, local institutions (either traditional or those that emerged as a result of the adaptation of local patterns of self-regulation to the central Soviet institutions) proved in many cases able to provide such integrated diversity. By this token, multiculturalism proved to be at one and the same time the problem and the solution thereof, the author remarks.