The logic of ethnic responsibility and progovernment mobilization in East Ukraine conflict

Aliyev, H. (2019) The logic of ethnic responsibility and progovernment mobilization in East Ukraine conflict. Comparative Political Studies, 52(8), pp. 1200-1231. (doi: 10.1177/0010414019830730)

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The extant theory of ethnic defection rests on the importance of ethnic identity shift and loyalism toward the regime, which were thus far presented as key explanations of side switching in ethnic conflicts. This article challenges the validity of these claims and proposes an alternative theoretical argument. This study argues that individuals mobilize against their coethnics on the side of government that explicitly challenges and opposes ethnonationalist aspirations of their own ethnic group due to perceived obligation of ethnic responsibility to protect their ethnic values. Ethnic defection is likely to occur when and if the rebels are suspected by their coethnics of violating or disregarding sociocultural, ideological, or religious values of their ethnic group. Third-party prorebel intervention is likely to further aggravate or even trigger ethnic defection. This argument is examined empirically in the case of progovernment mobilization during East Ukraine conflict in 2014 to 2015. Microlevel interview data from Ukraine demonstrate that Ukrainian Russian speakers mobilized for the government side, driven by the strong sense of ethnic responsibility, engendered in the perception that separatists misrepresent ethnic values of Ukraine’s Russian speakers.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This study has been funded by the Lord Kelvin Adam Smith (LKAS) Research Fellowship at the University of Glasgow.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Aliyev, Dr Huseyn
Authors: Aliyev, H.
Subjects:J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JZ International relations
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Central and East European Studies
Journal Name:Comparative Political Studies
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1552-3829
Published Online:20 February 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Author
First Published:First published in Comparative Political Studies 52(8):1200-1231
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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