Ethnic boundaries and territorial borders : on the place of Lezgin irredentism in the construction of national identity in Azerbaijan
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The Lezgin irredentist movement is one of the less-studied national movements in the post-Soviet space, despite affecting the strategically important Russian-Azerbaijani borderlands and the bordering process between the two post-Soviet states. This article aims to fill this gap and to examine the impact of the Lezgin national movement on the development of territorial nationalism in early post-Soviet Azerbaijan. Based on the analysis of media publications in three Azerbaijani newspapers between 1992 and 1996, I argue that the movement contributed to consolidating the territorial vision of the Azerbaijani nation as incorporating groups historically settled in this territory. While media coverage stressed friendship between ethnic Azerbaijanis and Lezgins, the responsibility for secessionist claims was placed on external forces, particularly Russia and Armenia. In the long term, this framing led to the securitization of ethnic minority activism as a major threat to Azerbaijani statehood.
Sayfutdinova , L 2021 , ' Ethnic boundaries and territorial borders : on the place of Lezgin irredentism in the construction of national identity in Azerbaijan ' , Nationalities Papers , vol. FirstView . https://doi.org/10.1017/nps.2021.3
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Association for the Study of Nationalities. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the author created accepted manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1017/nps.2021.3
DescriptionThis research for this article was conducted within the project “The transformation of Soviet republic borders to international borders,” funded by the Academy of Finland, Grant No. 297544.
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