Matvey Katkov on Vesti. FM: Diasporas issue is a problem of friend-foe dichotomy

Matvey Katkov on Vesti. FM: Diasporas issue is a problem of friend-foe dichotomy

The issue of diasporas, in modern understanding of this word, became a part of the agenda only in the 20th century, because earlier this term was applied only to representatives of Jewish ethnos, Matvey Katkov, expert of Vestnik Kavkaza said today during the National Question program on Vesti.FM.

The National Question is a weekly program on Vesti.FM, during which the hosts, Gia Saralidze and Armen Gasparyan, and their guests discuss various aspects of national relations, primarily in Russia. Today's program was aired after the Moscow State University hosted a conference, participants of which discussed practical experience of the Moscow diasporas in strengthening interethnic cooperation.

"The concept of 'diaspora' is still debated in the scientific world, its criterias are very vague. When people discuss diasporas, they often mean an organized group of people living outside their country of origin. Differences between various concepts are usually important for representatives of these peoples, while indigenous population rarely thinks about them," he said.

According to expert, the issue of diasporas appeared on the agenda only in the modern era, when concepts of "citizen" and "citizenship" replaced previous monarchical concept of "subject". At the same time, historically, this issue has never stood out.

"Citizenship and religious were at the forefront in such issues, not passport and citizenship.In the Russian Empire, all such problems were usually associated with either the former or the latter.This was largely associated with the fact that the concept of 'state' was identical to 'monarch' to some extent. If a group of foreigners, while living in Russia, recognizes the primacy of the Russian crown and Orthodox faith, there will be no ethnic problems. Of course, antagonism was always present at the domestic level, but the same can't be said about the modern era," Katkov added.

He also said that the issue of diasporas is, first of all, the issue of friend-foe dichotomy: "This is the issue of who a person considers a 'foe' in society, and what should this person do to become 'friend'. Today, national differences are emerging due to this dichotomy. This is the result of collapse of the USSR and subsequent events, when national issue became especially relevant."

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