Concept of Federalism in Light of the Rights of Nations to Self-Determination
Boris Sergeevich Krylov
The problem of the dependence of a state system on its national composition began attracting the attention of political figures and scientists as long ago as the Versailles Peace Treaty. It became especially acute by the end of the World War II, when many new states appeared on the world map. The populations of those states either represented certain national communities or strived to become such. For a variety of reasons, those strivings were not always a success.
This problem has never been so acute as nowadays. This is confirmed by the developments in the former Yugoslavia and in the former Soviet Union. Both states were federations based on a community of basically unitary states, each of which might be considered as mononational. However, in both federations member-states lacked a national main body, though they were proclaimed to have one. Thus, a ruinous contradiction arose: one part of the society strove to strengthen national origins, while another part, which did not belong to the nation that gave the name to the state, opposed arising nationalism.
This contradiction led to confrontation which was aggravated by nationalistic manifestations both at the state level and in everyday life. In the U.S.S.R. this confrontation has gone through different stages. Before the 1930s the central authorities of the Soviet Union strove to support all national cultures, as a result of which many peoples, who even had had no written languages before, were granted rights to primary and then secondary education in their native languages and could enter universities. National literatures had appeared and started developing with a measure of success.
This process ended with the adoption and implemention of the policy of integrating natural cultures by strengthening their ties with the culture of the people whose language was that of international communication--that is, the