Constructing Ethnic Diversity as a Security Threat: What it Means to Russia’s Minorities

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
Federica Prina University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom

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This article analyses the Russian government’s securitisation of inter-ethnic relations, and national minorities’ responses to such processes. While Russia’s securitising dynamics have been linked to threats associated with ethnic groups (perceived as) culturally distant from the Russian majority (such as non-Slavic and Muslim minorities), this article argues that securitisation can affect all of Russia’s national minorities (including Slavic and well-integrated communities). Through the analysis of the securitisation of three, partly converging, spheres of domestic politics (civil society, migration, and minority issues) the article highlights forms of (in)security impacting upon national minorities with reference to their experience of securitisation and format of their civic engagement. The article contributes to research exploring the relationship between security and minority studies, through a bottom-up perspective focusing on national minorities’ experience of securitisation. It employs empirical data based on semi-structured interviews with minority representatives held in 2015–2016 in six locations in the Russian Federation.

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