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The East European 'ethnic nation': Myth or reality?
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Political science.
2006 (English)In: European Journal of Political Research, ISSN 0304-4130, E-ISSN 1475-6765, Vol. 45, no 1, 93-121 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article challenges the assumption that there is an essential difference between a West European 'civic' and an East European 'ethnic' conceptualisation of the nation. If there were such a distinction, one should be able to trace a distinctive 'ethnic' concept of the nation among the populations of East European countries. The article analyses public opinion in three East European countries - Latvia, Poland and Lithuania - using a survey of more than 1,100 respondents in each country. This data suggests, first, that we must question the model of a general East European definition of the nation as an ethnic unit. Second, it is evident that the respondents of each country define the nation differently. For example, Latvian respondents presented a specific concept of the nation - one with clear ethnic undertones. A certain number of the Latvian respondents defined members of the nation according to a single criterion: having Latvian as one's mother tongue. The article also shows how we can deconstruct the concepts of the ethnic versus the civic nation, and thus analyse their separate components. This makes the distinction less rigid, and encourages the discovery of different combinations of ethnic and civic arguments. The result should be more nuanced studies of concepts of the nation and of national belonging.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 45, no 1, 93-121 p.
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-6633DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-6765.2005.00292.xISI: 000234798500005ScopusID: 2-s2.0-33645026502OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-6633DiVA: diva2:402948
Available from: 2011-03-10 Created: 2011-03-10 Last updated: 2014-03-13Bibliographically approved

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Björklund, Fredrika
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