Политическая география европейских меньшинств english

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ЕВРОПЕЙСКАЯ КОНТАКТНАЯ ЗОНА: 2000 EUROPEAN CONTACT ZONE: 2000 Санкт-Петербург - 2000 THE POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY OF EUROPEAN MINORITIES: PAST AND FUTURE   The collapse of communist regimes in East-Central Europe, the disintegration of Soviet Union and of Czechoslovakia and the war in former Yugoslavia showed that even the most dramatic geopolitical shifts can happen. Even before 1991, Europe was the continent with the youngest political boundaries and, therefore, an elevated geopolitical "seismicity" (Foucher, 1991). Numerous changes of political boundaries and the creation of new states only partly solved or softened ethnic problems. It is well known that partitions and the redrawing of political borders often only create new

problems, aggravate and perpetuate ethnic conflicts (Waterman, 1984). The purpose of this paper is two-fold: first, using the historical retrospecvtive of the 20th century and hypothetical scenarios of the future, we would like to prove that the unlimited right of peoples to self-determination and the concept of the nation-state are not a mean to reduce ethnic tensions. Second, we would like to try to define the most dangerous ethno-political boundaries in Europe along which new geopolitical shifts can occur, in estimating quantitatively the geopolitical, the economic, and the cultural potential of the conflicts in all European areas of ethnic minorities, as well as the level of their political mobilization. As far as we know, it is the first attempt of this kind and, despite any

shortcomings of our method, it can be useful for further studies. The definition of "minority" depends greatly on the definition of nation, state and, indeed, of majority. This paper will apply the definition of nation in Krejci and Velimsky, with updated adjustments. When counting the European minorities in 1910, 1930 and 1950, Krejci and Velimsky (1981, 66) defined minorities as "ethnic groups without any kind of autonomous status or partnership in such a status, and with their majority living on a more or less clearly identified territory". The second portion of the definition excludes Jews, Gypsies and guest workers/immigrants, and is the same restriction we use for our ethnic areas. The restriction should be continued and some limits must be introduced

for minimal ethnic population - 50,000 for large states and 25,000 for small states; otherwise, considerably long "tails" of micro-minorities might be identified. HISTORICAL RETROSPECTIVE To study the dynamics of European minorities by using the definition, one most start with historical changes on the European political map. This analysis is confined to the twentieth century (in terms of time), Europe as far eastward as the Urals and the Armenian plateau (in terms of space), and the states populated by 50,000 or more residents (population). We begin by recalculating the population figures according to these parameters and using different sources than those presented by Krejci and Velimsky (Krejci and Velimsky, 1981; see also Kolossov, Glezer and Petrov, 1992; Tarkhov

and Jordan, 1993; World Population, 1989, World Directory, 1990; and Sellier and Sellier, 1991). Maps 1-5 and table 1 reflect the data corrected and extended both in time (the two recent dates added, divided by the same interval of about 20 years) and in space (several more states related to our enlarged Europe, from the island of Madeira to the island of Vaigach and from Iceland to Cyprus). In the accounting, one can observe the process of self-determination as the century's leitmotif. The number of completely independent states has doubled, and even tripled in Central and Eastern Europe since 1910. Three states that emerged in Western Europe were thinly populated islands of Iceland, Ireland and Malta, states with almost no minorities. In Eastern Europe, the path towards the