The politics of Tatar nationalism and Russian federalism, 1992-1999
The topic of this thesis is Tatarstan's post-Soviet leadership, analysed through its politics of Tatar nationalism and Russian federalism between 1992 and 1999. The main question of the thesis is how Tatarstan's leadership has succeeded in maintaining political power and gaining economic wealth without provoking a backlash both from Moscow and the local Russian population. The thesis argues that Tatarstan's leadership succeeded in maintaining political power and gaining economic wealth through promoting neither the civic nationalism of participating citizens in Tatarstan nor the ethnic nationalism of the Tatar nation bound together by common culture and history, but pragmatic nomenklatura nationalism which demands national autonomy for the Tatars as the only formula for Tatarstan's leadership to secure regional stability against ethnic nationalisms of the Tatars and the Russians in Tatarstan and the adverse regional effects of the federal policies. The thesis considers the weaknesses of the Russian federal centre and Tatarstan's civil society as the main factors enabling Tatarstan's leadership to pursue a politics of survival through manipulating Tatar nationalism and Russian federalism. The thesis begins with an introduction setting out the approach and the argument. The first main chapter examines the historical evolution of Russia's relations with the Tatar elites both in the Tsarist and the Soviet periods. Chapter Two analyses the President of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev's discourse of Tatar nationalism, and demonstrates how Shaimiev's policies served to Tatarise the leading positions in Tatarstan without a backlash from the Russians. Chapter Three deals with Shaimiev's politics of Tatar nationalism vis-A-vis Moscow before and after the conclusion of the power-sharing treaty between Moscow and Tatarstan in 1994. Chapter Four explores society and culture in Tatarstant o account for the weaknesses of Tatar and Russian ethnic nationalisms.The fifth chapter evaluates the stability of Tatarstan's arrangements with Moscow in terms of the trends at the intergovernmental and interethnic levels. The thesis concludes by showing how Tatar nationalism under Shaimiev has accommodated itself with Russian federalism.