Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Pramod Kantha, Ph.D. (Committee Chair); Liam Anderson, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Sean Pollock, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


State repressions of minority groups threaten human rights, undermining their development and survival. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, countless minority groups found themselves living in a new country as a result of annexation, redefined territorial boundaries and migration, with some suffering repression from the states in which they now resided. This thesis examines the interactions and conditions necessary for such repressions from the state to take place with the central research question: why and how might a state, having just acquired an ethnic or minority group, repress the said group following its acquisition. Through the combination of Benedict Anderson’s conceptualizations of a nation as an “imagined community,” and Rogers Brubaker’s triadic nexus as a mold for the roles of a state and a minority group in conflict, I hypothesize that a state will repress an ethnic minority if the state’s goals and ambitions are in conflict with the minority groups goals and ambitions deriving from the strength of their national identity. This results in the State, with its greater mobilization capabilities and political prowess, repressing the minority group, in order to counter the perceived threat to the sovereignty and integrity of the state. The hypothesis is tested through the evaluation of levels of repression using eight indicators of state repression, focusing on a qualitative case study of the Crimean Tatars and their experiences with repression under three states: The Soviet Union, Ukraine, and the Russian Federation. Through the history of the Crimean Tatars, the formation of their national identity through collective memory and sufferings in exile provides unity and coherence to the needs of the group along with concerns that seemingly threaten the state’s own status quo, leading to repressions by that state. Such repressions will support the hypothesis, demonstrating that under Soviet rule post-exile, repressions came as a reaction to the Crimean Tatars national movement and their desire to return to the Crimean Peninsula, and under Russian rule, repressions resulted from their protests over the Russian annexation and its legitimacy in Crimea, whereas repressions were not a major policy from the state under Ukraine.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Political Science

Year Degree Awarded