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catalogue – 43669
Until 01.01.2019 - Scientific Yearbook of the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

ISSN 2686-7206 (Print)

ISSN 2686-925X (Оnlinе)

Abstract. The article discussed problematic issues concerning reflection on the ethnic factor in organization of territorial structure of a state. The author analyzes modern approaches of understanding ethnicity, ethnic groups, and their collective rights in constitutional law. In addition, the interrelation between ethnicity and territory is discussed. However, being an advocate of the constructivist paradigm, and considering ethnicity as a result of individual choice, the author recognizes possibility of using the term “ethnic group” as an analytical category in studying political processes relating to territorial structure of states.
It is argued that ethnic federalism and national-territorial autonomy is the result of global tendencies, which have started since emergence of nation-states, rather than a creature of so-called “Soviet” conception of the “national question”. The author states that the European logic of nationalism was transferred into ethnic minorities. Consequently, many minority groups are considered as “home nations”, or “internal nations”. Territorial autonomy of regions inhabited by “home nations” repeats the main features of nationstate, and represents its “light” version. From the author’s view, ethnic federalism and national-territorial autonomy arose in the states with internal ethno-nationalism where regional ethnic elites had strong positions. Reflection of “ethnic factor” in territorial structure of a state is often a compelled compromise between ethnic elites and the government. In those states where there is no internal ethno-nationalism or where the governments have sufficient resources for its elimination (by assimilation, for example) the model of “mono-national” state is usually applied. This model rejects any special status for territorially concentrated ethnic communities or ‘ethnic’ regions. However, today the rise of ethno-nationalism can occur even in 'mono-national' states.

Keywords: ethnicity; ethnic group; state territory; nation; territorial structure of state; multinational state; ethnic-territorial fractionalization; federalism; territorial autonomy; national minorities.

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