Kin Majorities: Identity and Citizenship in Crimea and Moldova
Eleanor Knott (Author)
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DescriptionIn Moldova, the number of dual citizens has risen exponentially in the last decades. Before annexation, many saw Russia as granting citizenship to--or passportizing--large numbers in Crimea. Both are regions with kin majorities: local majorities claimed as co-ethnic by external states offering citizenship, among other benefits. As functioning citizens of the states in which they reside, kin majorities do not need to acquire citizenship from an external state. Yet many do so in high numbers.Kin Majorities explores why these communities engage with dual citizenship and how this intersects, or not, with identity. Analyzing data collected from ordinary people in Crimea and Moldova in 2012 and 2013, just before Russia's annexation of Crimea, Eleanor Knott provides a crucial window into Russian identification in a time of calm. Perhaps surprisingly, the discourse and practice of Russian citizenship was largely absent in Crimea before annexation. Comparing the situation in Crimea with the strong presence of Romanian citizenship in Moldova, Knott explores two rarely researched cases from the ground up, shedding light on why Romanian citizenship was more prevalent and popular in Moldova than Russian citizenship in Crimea, and to what extent identity helps explain the difference.Kin Majorities offers a fresh and nuanced perspective on how citizenship interacts with cross-border and local identities, with crucial implications for the politics of geography, nation, and kin-states, as well as broader understandings of post-Soviet politics.
McGill-Queen's University Press
August 15, 2022
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About the Author
Eleanor Knott is a political scientist and assistant professor in qualitative methods in the Department of Methodology at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
"Eleanor Knott's Kin Majorities is an empirically and theoretically welcome contribution to our knowledge about identity groups in post-Soviet spaces. Her terrific account challenges assumptions about what it means to be in a majority group with an 'external homeland' and - as with all good books - sets the agenda for much more research to come." Edward Schatz, University of Toronto and editor of Political Ethnography: What Immersion Contributes to the Study of Power