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"Language and Separatism in Eurasia: Evidence From a Survey Experiment"

Kyle Marquardt, Political Science PhD candidate, UW-Madison

 

When: Thursday, January 29, 4:00pm

Where: 206 Ingraham Hall

Sponsors: The Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia

 

About the Speaker: Kyle Marquardt is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at UW-Madison. He received his BA in German from Grinnell College and AM in Regional Studies: Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia from Harvard University. His research has been published in Central Asian Survey and Nationalities Papers. He is currently completing his dissertation, which focuses on the link between language and separatism in Eurasia.

 

About the Lecture: This talk investigates how linguistic proficiency can influence support for separatism, focusing on the de facto independent Moldovan region of Pridnestrovie (aka Transnistria). Scholars and policymakers often treat language as a proxy for ethnic identity when discussing separatism, and many argue that linguistic appeals are merely a smokescreen for elite interests. Results from a survey experiment in Pridnestrovie contradict such approaches, demonstrating that 1) language can impact individual-level support for separatism independently of ethnic identity, and 2) linguistic appeals can strengthen this relationship. These findings indicate that scholars should analyze language separately from ethnicity when studying political phenomena such as separatism, and that policymakers must take linguistic concerns into account if they are to find a peaceful resolution for separatist conflicts in both Moldova and Eurasia more generally.

 

 

 

 



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