Looking for the border between east and west. Ationalism and potential territory claims in Eastern Europe

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As nationalism, being an ideology, does not have the scientific objectiveness, but signifies the national political demands (including territorial), the determination of the borders of the national state is also quite subjective. There are many cases when the territories claimed as national are inhabited with people not associating themselves with this nation. Most often it is the result of cultivation of the perception of the nation's "golden age", which is in its turn associated with the period of maximum territorial expanse of the national state or the possessions of the nation(ethnos)'s representatives. In this case the territorial claims require justification and foundation. It is necessary to prove to the nation's members the "loftiness" and "vital necessity" of the claims to be realized. These justifications can also decrease possible obstructions coming from the outside world. Nationalistic ideology bringing forward certain territorial claims simultaneously produces their justifications as convincing as possible.

Possible territorial claims of nationalistic ideologies are, as a rule, motivated by goals common for any nationalistic ideology:

1. Creation of a nation state which includes all the territories of the compact settlement of the nation's representatives.

2. Maximum possible political, military, economic power of this state.

3. Minimization of the power of the competing (hostile) states.

4. Spreading of the national culture through the world.

The latter of the listed goals represents the extreme manifestation form of the national consciousness, reflected in the nationalistic ideology. It can hardly be reasoned rationally.

Accepting one of these tasks as goals of actual policy implies producing certain territorial claims as well.

Below we shall try to find the uniform rational foundations for the possible (potential) territorial claims of any Eastern European nation in case nationalistic movements arise. In other words we intend to measure the potential ideological value of the territories of Eastern Europe for all possible nationalism forms. This value can also serve as the indication of relative grade of the nationalistic territorial claims risk for different parts of the territory being studied. It needs to be stressed that we shall be in the least interested in the analysis of the real existing nationalistic movements and ideologies, claims and conflicts as well as in discussing the probability of their appearance. We aim to find out what territorial claims are possible in principle. It is this that shall allow us to answer the main issue here - how and where the contact zone of civilized integral alliances can potentially turn into the real political conflict.

Hierarchy of the Possible Territorial Claims

Without the foundation of territorial claims the effective propaganda of nationalistic ideology cultivating these claims is not possible, and accordingly not possible their accomplishment. The nationalistic propaganda is aimed at the mass support of this ideology in the nation (ethnos). Without the support the ideology becomes pointless for its carriers and propagandists. Therefore the aspiration for taking possession of some territory should be more or less validated or at least justified. To tell the degree of this validity it is important to note the following:

1. The more distant in the past is the tie of a nation (ethnos) with the territory the less valid is the claim.

2. The greater area of the "wishful" territory, the less valid it is.

To speak on specific validity of territorial claims we can highlight three groups of validity. We arbitrarily call them "Ethnic", "State" and "Strategic".

1. "Ethnic"

* areas of the compact settlement of the population belonging to a certain ethnos (nation) at present;

* territory inhabited by a certain ethnos in the past;

* territory inhabited by the ancestors of a certain ethnos (nation);

* territory occupied by the ethnoses close to a certain one by their language, culture, confession.

1. "State"

* territory that belonged to the nation state of a certain nation (ethnos) in 20th century;

* territory that belonged to the nation state of a certain nation (ethnos) since the reliable historic evidences became available;

* territory that did not belong to the nation state of a certain nation (ethnos), but that did fall under some control of it (i.e. vassals);

* territory that belonged to the state which can not be called the nation state, but which elite partly consisted of the representatives of a certain ethnos.

1. "Strategic"

* territory that was several times occupied by the nation state of a certain nation (ethnos);

* territory, effective control over which was continuously declared as the goal of the foreign policy of a certain nation's nation state (like Dardanelles and Bosporus flows for Russia).

In light of nationalism's subjectivity not excepting the issue of control over the territory it is impossible to build up a gradation of possible territorial claims according to their force within the framework of any single group. The combination of the most often used foundations looks more preferable. Several variants of gradations are possible here and the arrangement suggested below represents the variant we believe as most logical. For the specific purpose of this study there were chosen the specific criteria for the estimation of comparative validity of the possible claims as follows:

1. Territory of the compact settlement of a certain nation (ethnos) in the 20th century which is not part of the contemporary national state.

2. Territories that used to be part of the nation state in the 20th century and that do not belong to it at present. This does not include the territories occupied by this nation state only for the wartime period.

3. Territories that used to belong to a national state of this nation and do not belong to it at present.

4. a) Territories that never were the part of a nation's nation state but fell under its effective control.

a. Territory that used to be inhabited by the ancestor ethnos or that used to belong to its state.

b. Territory of the compact settlement of the ethnoses close to a certain one by their language, culture, confession.

c. Territories that were several times occupied by the nation state of a certain nation (ethnos);

d. Territories, effective control over which was continuously (in different times) declared as the goal of the foreign policy of a certain ethnos' nation state.

Next step of our study is to build up the electronic map, where we going to plot all the territories which according to mentioned above criteria are subject to potential nationalistic territorial claims of various nationalism forms. Overlapping zones of potential claims of various nationalism forms can reflect, on one hand, the territories that are most exposed to the danger of territorial conflict, and, on the other hand, zones of maximum historical-ethnical opposition. It is precisely among these zones that the possible border between East and West can take place. In order to produce this map we need to graduate the given instrumental criteria, so we have to agree on following.

Illustrating the potential territorial claims on the map according to the described criteria of determination of comparative "wish" of a territory, the more valid claims absorb the less valid. Given above criteria of the claims strength (validity) estimation correspond to the following 4 grade scale:

* criterion 1 corresponds to grade 4;

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