Military Mobilization and National Identity in the Soviet Union

Blauvelt, Timothy (2003) Military Mobilization and National Identity in the Soviet Union. War & Society , 21 (1). pp. 41-62. ISSN 2042-4345

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One of the more contentious questions related to the political development of states involves the role of warfare. The garrison state school of thought argues that states which face a constant threat of invasion will develop autocratic institutions in order to ensure the security of the state. In the face of external threat, military mobilization will lead to further centralization, restrictions on rights and freedoms, and suppression of possible rival elites and rival sources of identification. On the other hand, what might be called the resource extraction school argues that the opposite can be the case, in that regimes are often forced to extend economic or political rights in exchange for the mobilization of human and financial resources to meet the immediate threat. This article presents a case study of a particularly authoritarian state by examining the role of war and mobilization of national minorities for major war in Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union. It describes the role of the minority groups in the military, identifies the positions of the minority groups in the political hierarchy, and traces the impact of the mobilization for war on minority groups – as well as the effect that this has on the regime itself.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
D History General and Old World > DN Military History
J Political Science > JT Political Science (Soviet Studies)
Divisions: Institutes > Institute for Modernity Studies
Depositing User: Dr. Timothy Blauvelt
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2016 08:28
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2016 08:28

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