This paper outlines the movement for an independent Czechoslovak state during the First World War and examines how it was affected by the Russian revolutions of 1917. After the outbreak of the War, only a limited number of Czech and Slovak leaders took up the cause for an independent state, while the majority remained loyal to the Habsburg Monarchy. In 1916, one of the early independence leaders and the first president of Czechoslovakia, T. G. Masaryk, founded the Czechoslovak National Council (CNC) at Paris with the aim of securing the support of the Allied countries. Yet since Allied governments regarded the Habsburg Monarchy as necessary for keeping the balance of power in Europe, they avoided making any commitment to support the CNC and, instead, sought a separate peace with Austria-Hungary. Consequently, the CNC could not achieve any notable results in their negotiations with the Allied governments until April 1918.
Just after the outbreak of the War in 1914, Czech and Slovak settlers and emigrants living in Russia joined the war against the Central Powers as a part of the Russian army. The Russian Imperial Governmdent supported Czechs and Slovaks who were loyal to the Russian Empire, but they made no commitment to the independence of the Czechoslovak state. Meanwhile, the Russian state also barred Masaryk, a vocal critic of Czarism, from entering the country. After the March Revolution of 1917, however, Masaryk gained entry to Russia, and he subsequently established his leadership among the Czechs and Slovaks there. He also mobilized newly-freed Czech and Slovak prisoners of war into what later became known as the “Czechoslovak Legion.”
In the Bohemian Lands, the Russian March Revolution promoted the rise of radical nationalists who claimed the independence of the Czechoslovak state from Habsburg Monarchy. Between January to July 1918, they gradually expanded their influence in the Czech political circles. Yet they lacked sufficient power to overthrow the Habsburg regime on their own. This situation eventually changed when, in April 1918, the negotiations for a separate peace between the Allied Powers and Austria-Hungary miscarried, and, subsequently, the French government turned to openly support anti-Hapsburg movements including the CNC.
After the Bolshevik November Revolution, Soviet Russia and the Central Powers signed the Brest-Litovsk treaty in March 1918. With the eastern front now closed to the Czechoslovak Legion, Masaryk instead decided to transfer his troops to the western front through Vladivostok. On their way to Vladivostok, however, the Legion revolted against the Bolsheviks. This was followed by the Siberian Expedition by the United States and Japan in August. After the outbreak of the rebellion, the CNC was officially recognized by the Allies, and it was regarded as a de facto government by the end of the War. These favorable circumstances led Czechoslovak leaders to declare the independence of the new state and established a new government with exiled leaders at the end of October of 1918.
This article revisit Ukrainian political history in 1918, a year of turmoil, when three different states arose one after another in Kiev: the Ukrainian People’s Republic, the Ukrainian State, and the Directorate. In previous studies, this year is considered as an integral part of the history of the Ukrainian national movement, which struggled to defend the independence achieved by the fourth Universal (declaration) in January 1918 against foreign intervention. According to this national historical narrative, this effort ended in defeat when Ukraine was incorporated into the Soviet Union. In contrast to those studies, the present article claims that the future political status of Ukraine was not yet decided in 1918; not only an independent state, but an autonomous part of the Russian (con-)federation remained one of the political aims of the Ukrainian activists even after the fourth Universal, and that the development of the idea of the future state system of Ukraine considerably depended on the interests of foreign actors. Lacking sufficient military strength, all the Ukrainian states that formed in 1918 needed outside assistance for their own survival. This paper examines the close interrelationship between the choice of the future political status of Ukraine (independence or federation) and the ongoing foreign policy.
After the October Revolution in Petrograd, both belligerent powers in World War I came into contact with various local governments in the former Russian imperial territory, aiming to take advantage of them for their own war efforts. The Entente desired the restoration of the strong Russian state as an ally, demanding incorporation of Ukrainian territory into the future federative Russia. The Central Powers, on the other hand, planned to construct a chain of buffer states between Germany and Russia for the security of German and Austrian eastern borders. This geopolitical consideration led to support for an independent Ukrainian state, as one such buffer state.
At first, the leaders of the Ukrainian People’s Republic advocated the formation of the democratic federative Russia. Offered more generous support by Germany, however, they declared independence and signed a treaty with the Central Powers in Brest-Litovsk. This pro-German policy was inherited by the Ukrainian State, which replaced the People’s Republic in April 1918. In November, on the final defeat of the Central Powers, however, the Ukrainian State issued a statement that Ukraine should become an autonomous part of the restored federative Russia. The Directorate, the successor of the Ukrainian State, also adopted the pro-federation policy to gain support from the Allies, the winners of the Great War. Thus, the change of perspective on the state system accompanied the change of foreign policy.
While the pro-Entente policy failed because of disagreements with Russian Whites, the flexible Ukrainians finally found a third power―the Bolsheviks. The oppositional socialist group in the Directorate received the status of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic as a de-jure sovereign polity within the Soviet Union. In this sense, the establishment of the Soviet Ukraine could not be seen only as a symbol of the defeat of the Ukrainian national movement; rather, it was more or less a product of the federative idea employed by the Ukrainian activists themselves in those revolutionary years.
In the interwar period, after the end of the partition, Polish literature was finally freed from national themes, and writers could focus more on language. Moreover, languages of the newly independent nations became national languages of their respective countries. Based on the understanding that artistic and social interest in languages increased during this period, this paper explores the concept of a new language in the futurist manifests (1921) and the novel I Burn Paris (1928), both written by Bruno Jasieński. My aim is to present I Burn Paris—regarded as a communist ideological novel—as a work featuring issues related to language, and to show Jasieński’s consequent longing for a new universal language.
First, I discuss the recreation of the traditional Polish messianism (i.e., the suffering Poland would be reborn to save the world) by Jasieński, in one of his futurist manifests: “To the Polish Nation. Manifest of Immediate Futurization of Life” (1921). Jasieński rewrote the messianism as a socialist one, according to which the new Poland would reform the old capitalist Europe. This idea of a new world recurs in I Burn Paris as the concept of a new common language.
Second, based on archival research, I show I Burn Paris was simultaneously translated into many languages and went through many printings, through that its different versions circulated. This research also shows the role of the international communist network in circulating literary works. Thanks to the network, East European writers writing in minor languages could join the modernist movement centered in big cities in Western Europe or in Russia. This was true also for the writers writing in Yiddish, a diaspora language. Considering these two diasporic networks, I propose to reconsider the West-Eurocentric map of 20th century modernism.
Third, I present an unknown version of I Burn Paris with an alternative ending to the standard Polish version. My archival research shows that this version was circulated in Russian by 1934, when the socialist realist version revised by Jasieński was issued. The alternative ending is set two years after the ending of the standard version and mentions that the global revolution has already been accomplished. The novel’s reception by the Polish community in the USSR suggests that the ending was added to the Russian version to protect Jasieński from the expected criticism for the initial ideologically weak ending and the lack of depiction of class struggles. Further, I suggest that Jasieński wrote the alternative ending because it involves a longing for a new common language, which was his ultimate concern in his 1921 futurism manifest to the 1930 article written in Moscow. Jasieński believed that a new world should have a new common language, understandable by everyone and which, in turn, would create a new society.
The repeated rewriting hints at Jasieński’s opportunism, but in fact, it was a result of his view on artistic creation. “Every movement ends with its manifest.” He viewed a novel as a performative “manifest,” which he had to ceaselessly overcome to create new one.
This article takes the viewpoint of historical comparison to offer a reassessment of Estonia’s nationalization. Estonia has experienced several regime changes in its history and has faced the challenges of nation-building with every alternation. The independence of 1918 and the re-independence of 1991 are especially explored in this article with regard to nationalization, which includes the institutionalization of national cultural autonomy and citizenship policy.
In general, national cultural autonomy is considered the means of guaranteeing its minorities the right to self-rule with respect to cultural affairs. Estonia’s independence manifest of February 1918 promised this right to the country’s minorities who included Germans, Russians, Swedes, and Jews. The enactment of the law on cultural autonomy in 1925 accorded Germans and Jews the right of self-rule with respect to cultural affairs in the interwar period. The right of cultural autonomy was also on the agenda during the period of perestroika and the related law was adopted in 1993.
According to Brubaker’s definition, Estonia is a coercive nationalizer as well as an active pluralist, pursuing the nationalization as its primal goal along with the official recognition of national minorities. Extant literature explores this intricate situation using discussions on triadic or quadratic nexus, but the question why Estonians took the pluralist approach into consideration when it was still not clear whether their state would be established must be addressed. In this sense, the author of this article would argue that it is worth paying more attention to the continuity maintained with regard to the previous regime.
While interwar Estonia’s cultural autonomy functioned rather successfully as a system, the current law is regarded to be completely symbolic. The emblematic nature of the current law emanates primarily from two causes. First, the number of Russians holding Estonian citizenship was quite limited immediately after Estonia’s re-independence. Therefore, most Russians were not entitled to use the associated right. Second, the Estonia’s school system uses the Russian language as its medium of education, which harked to the Soviet period. Hence, Russians as minority did not need to demand the right of education in their mother tongue; at least until the school reforms were instituted. Thus, cultural autonomy was not the priority for Russians.
Almost 30 years after the re-independence, Russian politicians who are quite active in the field of Estonian politics compete to postulate discrete forms of nationalization in Estonia and propose varied means of social integration. As more Russians obtain Estonian citizenship, culturally and politically plural approaches to nationalization become increasingly necessary.
In Central Europe, the Hungarian minority have been forced to become the national minority in some countries following border changes in the region during the twentieth century—in particular, Slovakia, which counted among its population of 5 million people around 450,000 ethnic Hungarians. The Hungarian minority could not be ignored, especially in Slovak politics, and its party participated in the Slovak government from 1998 to 2006. This demonstrated to the world in general and to Western European countries in particular that Slovakia had become a European democratic country that could accept minority politicians in its government. Ethnic Hungarians had been a minority in (Czecho)Slovakia for at least 70 years, but they became significant political actors only after the end of the repressive communist government, which did not recognize their right to be active or speak as an ethnic minority. Democratization and the related idea of supporting political change from the socialist regime helped promote the establishment of minority solidarity.
This study investigated the effects and limitation of minority solidarity, as influenced by such democratic values as collective ideas as freedom of expression, civic activity, market economy, Western political orientation, and minority rights and protections. This research adopted an anthological approach based on fieldwork in southern Slovakia, where the Hungarian minority lives as a regional majority. The author conducted interviews with community leaders in the southern Slovak society and observed participants’ events and activities.
In late 1980s, the Hungarian minority in Slovakia were able to obtain information directly regarding Hungary, which had reformed its economic and political system earlier. Bolstered by the example of the Hungarian condition, they were able to easily imagine a democratic world, and this drove the Hungarian minority to participate in social movements aimed at changing the regime, not only because they were eager to improve the minority condition but also they had struggled under the less reformed Czechoslovak society. Vaguely proposed democratic values and associated rhetoric attracted more minorities, further establishing minority solidarity. For the Hungarian minority in Slovakia, demands for democratic reforms subsumed ethnic identity, as calls for change and democratic rhetoric were more acceptable to the Slovaks than the protection of minority rights.
However, democratic values alone were not enough to sustain minority solidarity for 30 years. Currently, minority politicians and activists continue to secure rights and protections for ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia; however, doing so conversely undermines the effectiveness of democracy as the voice of the people given the diversity of the population. This has led to tensions in the Hungarian minority community between those desirous of ensuring the purity of the ethnic Hungarian community in a multicultural society and those desirous of living peacefully with Slovak neighbors in their daily lives. Adding to this erosion of solidarity among minorities, the recent transformation of Hungarian politics as the ideal goal of the past for ethnic Hungarians will likely move the current minority to consider new types of minority politics.
Chechnya is important in terms of issues related to the nature of the state and minorities in the Russian Federation. When considering the Chechen problem, one notices that it has a dual structure. First, as a minority in Russia, the Chechen people have been affected by changes in the Russian state. Most extant research on this issue has examined the Chechen problem by focusing on the Chechens’ relationship with the Russian state.
However, there is also another aspect—the form and nature of the “state” sought by the Chechen people has had an impact on both themselves and the Russian side. Existing research has mainly studied the kinds of tensions that “the state” sought by the Chechen people has caused in Russia. Thus, the effects of this “state” on the Chechens themselves have not been adequately studied.
This article seeks to consider the Chechen problem by focusing on the nature of the “state” sought by the Chechen people. In particular, it seeks to clarify the kind of influence exerted by the changes in the nature of the “state” advocated by a minority group on that minority group itself. Further, it also considers the current situation and problems in the Chechen Republic.
To achieve these aims, this article undertakes two tasks. First, it considers whether the form of the Chechen “state” governed by Ramzan Kadyrov is adequately accepted by its residents. In Chechnya, there have been terrorist activities and revolts by independence-seeking and radical Islamic groups, who do not recognize the legitimacy of the Kadyrov regime. This article analyzes the GTD (Global Terrorism Database) to assess whether the incidents of terror and rebellion have decreased over time to the present.
The second task is to consider issues related to the nature of the “state” under the incumbent Kadyrov regime. Terrorism and rebellion are reactions against the government that can be easily observed externally, but there are also cases where these are subdued through strict crackdowns by the government. However, issues that concern the form and legitimacy of the state are often raised during the process of moving toward a stable statehood. Based on a fieldwork conducted in August 2018 and by considering the relationship between the Chechen general public and the “state,” particularly from the dual perspectives of history and public opinion, this article reveals the current problems relevant to the Chechen “state.”
In conclusion, the number of terrorist activities in Chechnya as well as in North Caucasus has declined, and the Chechen republic is stable at present. Under the Kadyrov regime, it is difficult to research modern Chechen history because of the loss of research materials due to war and political issues preventing objective research. Therefore, especially the history and experience under the Chechen separatist “state” (1991–2000) are beginning to be forgotten in the current Chechen society. The Kadyrov regime emphasizes the legitimacy of its own “state” by comparing it with the Chechen separatist “state,” which it has labeled as a symbol of chaos, destruction, and destabilization. However, there are differences between the government and the people in Chechnya since the Kadyrov regime ignores the general public. Consequently, this would lead people to doubt the legitimacy of Kadyrov’s “state.”
Although the political processes in specific regions of Russia have attracted much scholarly attention since the collapse of the USSR, the number of case studies involving the North-Caucasian ethnic republics has been quite limited. Consequently, a rather shallow and stereotypical understanding emphasizing only limited aspects of the politics in these republics has been represented in the academic discussion. Building on information from local news-sources and interviews in Dagestan, this study highlights three overlooked but important aspects: (1) the consociational nature and instability between the regional and municipal governments in Dagestan politics, (2) the uniqueness of electoral mobilization in Dagestan, and (3) the struggle to consolidate the power vertical following Ramazan Abdulatipov’s appointment as the governor.
The consociational nature of Dagestan politics, particularly in the 1990s, has been discussed by several specialists. While this uniqueness was guaranteed by the legal and constitutional framework of Dagestan, the Kremlin’s initiative to force regional governments to revise regional laws to comply with federal laws removed these constraints. However, by scrutinizing the composition of the regional assembly, this study shows that the balance of power among ethnic groups has been maintained informally in contemporary Dagestan. Moreover, an analysis of municipal level elites reveals the independence of diverse actors in Dagestan’s politics, which has resulted in an unstable regime.
This study also highlights the difficulty of aligning our understanding of electoral mobilization in Dagestan with the general conception of political machines in the non-Russian ethnic republics. Although, as the literature on Russian electoral politics points out, turnout and support for incumbent candidates and parties in federal-level elections are extremely high in Dagestan, mayoral elections have proved highly competitive, implying that electoral mobilization in Dagestan is not controlled by the regional government but rather by clan groups whose activities are rampant at the municipal level. This finding demonstrates the need to modify the prevailing concept of Russian political machines, which has been based mainly on case studies of ethnic republics such as Tatarstan, to explain Dagastanʼs uniqueness.
Finally, governors recently sent from the center have begun to establish the power vertical in Dagestan in order to enforce stable rule by the federal government. The fourth governor of Dagestan, Ramazan Abdulatipov, was the first outsider governor in Dagestan since WWII. His close relationship with the Kremlin enabled him to neutralize several local clans that were firmly rooted in specific municipalities, although this attempt was left incomplete. His successor, Vladimir Vas’liev, had had no ties whatsoever to Dagestan prior to his inauguration as governor. Given his efforts to thoroughly transform Dagestan’s politics, there is an urgent need to observe whether this transformation, with support from the Kremlin, will succeed.
Whereas the main focus is on the contemporary political process in Dagestan, the implications of this case study offer a deeper understanding of Russian federalism during Putin’s presidency. Study findings also show the importance of case studies focused on specific regions, even in centralized Russia, in order to expand our understanding of federalism and electoral politics in Russia.
The amendments in the Ukrainian constitution in the aftermath of the Orange revolution brought about sweeping changes in the semi-presidential system. It formally strengthened the parliamentary role in the political process, particularly in cabinet appointments and dismissal. Although the transition to democracy in Ukraine had been anticipated, the semi-presidential system that was introduced after the Orange Revolution proved to be a failure.
Scholars have paid attention to the institutional design and patronalism, which is defined as a social equilibrium in which individuals organize their political and economic pursuits primarily around the personalized exchange of concrete rewards and punishments, besides the electoral system that emerged after the Orange Revolution. In particular, they have argued that the president had an initiative to form the cabinet in a multi-party system. However, this led to an intensification of the intra-executive competition between the president and the prime-minister after the formation of the cabinet. How did the semi-presidential system, introduced after the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, fail? Although presidential commitment is an important component to consider when trying to understand the reason for institutional dysfunction, the interaction between the president and the prime minister is not clear.
Focusing on the intra-executive competition, this article attempts to outline the process of failure of the semi-presidential system following the Orange Revolution in Ukraine. First, this article analyzes the wording of the constitutional amendments, comparing it with that of the 1996 Ukrainian constitution. While the constitutional amendments strengthened the role of the Verkhovna Rada, which is also referred to as the Supreme Council of Ukraine, in the political process, the president retained other legislative powers, including the power to veto bills and dissolve the assembly. These amendments authorized the president to intervene in the legislative process.
Second, utilizing a case study of the second Yanukovych government (2006-2007), and the second Timoshenko government (2007-2010), the author analyzes the process of intra-executive competition. When Yanukovych and Timoshenko became prime minister in 2006 and 2007, respectively, president Yushchenko was committed to maintaining decisive power over the Verkhovna Rada while appointing a prime minister. The case studies demonstrate that the coalitional cabinet would not have been inaugurated without presidential intervention because of the multi-party system. After the formation of the coalitional government, the president continued to intervene decisively in the legislative process, using both formal and informal power. However, under the 2004 constitutional system, the cabinet alone was responsible for running the parliament. Because the president’s party was a minority party in the parliament, he could not control the activities of the coalitional cabinet. The presidential interventions intensified the conflict with the prime minister over several issues, including NATO membership, the Russia-Georgia war, and so on. The conflict between the two also made parliamentary law-making much less efficient.
Thus, the presidential commitment to the parliament produced different results during different periods. While the coalitional cabinet could not have been inaugurated without presidential intervention, the presidential commitment after the formation of coalitional cabinet led to a confrontation with the prime minister, and divided the members of the coalitional cabinet. The intensification of the intra-executive conflicts led to the failure of the semi-presidential system adopted after the Orange Revolution.
In 1949, international peace campaign was formed systematically. The Russian Orthodox Church participated in the international peace movement and played a leading role. In the same year, a column “In Defense of Peace” was newly established in the “Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate”. In the “Peace” column, information on the peace campaign and the Russian Orthodox Church's participation in that movement and the most important documents of the World Peace Council began to be published. However, no specialized research on the peace activities of the Russian Orthodox Church in the 20th century exists in Russia, and this theme has not been reviewed and evaluated academically.
In this paper “war and peace” image presented by the Russian Orthodox Church in early postwar years is considered, analyzing the articles published in the “Peace” column in the “Journal”. The followings are observed as features of the “Peace” column. It closely reflects the trend of the peace organizations both inside and outside the Soviet Union, a wide variety of articles are published primarily as editorials, and authors consist mainly of the Orthodox high priests, such as Metropolitan Nikolai. In addition, as character of the “Peace” column, the most articles relate on the Christian Church and the world peace organizations, about half of the articles include direct criticisms directed toward the Western countries and direct praises to Stalin and the Soviet Union.
Nikolai was a leader of peace activities in the Russian Orthodox Church. He talked about Christian church. He insisted that the Russian Orthodox Church contributed to peace, and that the Christian world had to cooperate each other. In addition, Nicolai wrote about world peace organizations. He reported favorably the condition of the various peace movements including the World Peace Council and praised Stalin and the Soviet Union. Furthermore, Nikolai preached about international relations. While striving for peace activities such as the award of the International Stalin Peace Prize, he condemned fighting acts of the Western countries including the United States of America in the Korean war.
In this way, the “Peace” column is filled with the voice of peace as a Christian. However, the Orthodox Churches are praised in the field of Christian church, the Eastern countries are praised in the field of world peace organizations, and the Western countries are criticized in the field of international relations. The "war and peace" image presented by the Russian Orthodox Church in the early postwar period consists of an image of the Orthodox Church which serves peace, an image of the peace-loving Eastern countries, and a militant image of the Western countries. “Journal” actively discussed peace, but it reflected the intention of the Soviet state under the Cold War of those days.
Despite a good deal of research in the field, Japanese scholarship still insufficiently understands the Russian perspective on the territorial dispute between Japan and Russia, known as the Northern Territories problem in Japan and the South Kuril Islands Dispute in Russia, which prevents both countries from realizing the full normalization of the relations by signing a peace treaty and moving beyond Cold War era relations.
To overcome these inadequacies, this paper suggests the necessity for the use of a new analytic viewpoint that focuses on the political artificiality of contemporary Russian politics on the above territorial dispute. One reason why Japanese scholarship has not been able to fully understand the political function of the South Kuril Islands Dispute in Russian society, may be due to the lack of such studies that analyze this problem on the basis of this analytical viewpoint.
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the character and the structure of Russian logic on this dispute, examining the achievements and problems of the previous studies on the matter in Russia.
The content of this paper covers the major contributions by Russian experts on the South Kuril Islands Dispute since the last years of the Soviet Union until today and analyses the major development of their position related to Japan. Such analysis discusses the arguments of Russian experts on Japanese studies, such as former soviet journalists, diplomats and scholars, former high officials in the Russian foreign ministry, and scholars at Moscow State Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (MGIMO), the Center for Japanese Studies at the Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences and so on, revealing the fundaments of the Russian position, which include the importance of the results of the World War Two, generally known in Russian as the Great Patriotic War continuously seen as a renewed symbol of national identity for rebuilding Russian core values since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The above analysis helps to deepen understanding of the essence of Russian stance in this unresolved territorial dispute and thus the connection and continuity between the Soviet and contemporary Russian approach towards the territorial dispute.
The resolution of the Northern Territories problem will assist Japan in evolving out of its “postwar era” and will contribute towards removing remnants of World War II and the Cold War in Northeast Asia. Ultimately, resolution of this problem will make a significant contribution to stabilizing the current situation in the Asia-Pacific Region.
This paper discusses the issue of German unification costs. After the Unification, German Federal Government facilitated the process of transition from socialist planned economy to social market economy and supported East Germans in their adaptation to the new system. The actions of the government included extensive public transfers from Western to Eastern Germany and these transfers continue until nowadays, thus their accumulated amount is regarded as enormous financial problem. These financial transfers from the German Federal Government are regarded as both one of characteristics and as one of the advantages of the East German transition when compared with other transition countries. Many researchers focused on this public transfer system itself and the breakdown of its expenditures. Previous studies have concluded that these transfer payments increased pressure on the German State Budget and did not always work very efficiently. In particular, expenditures related to social security in the East and other social policies have been criticized because these were often transferred for consumption rather than investment purposes. However, these expenditures supported the lives of Eastern Germans under the turbulent times. In this paper I focus on social costs which have been discussed in the field of transition economics. Social costs include but not limited to the following ones: decline of employment, increase of unemployment, impoverishment, increased inequality, depopulation, decline in fertility rates and so on. Although some of these problems have emerged even in Eastern Germany, they were not recognized as social costs. This paper examines social costs in Eastern Germany and identifies the factors which were accountable for their occurrence. In addition, it explains how these expenditures effectively reduce the escalation of social costs and resulted in many positive outcomes in both Eastern and Western Germany. Finally, I revisit the meaning of unification costs and the effectiveness of social policies.