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Conventional forms of protest behavior in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic as a display of civil activity

Research Article

Лиана Л Кубанова Candidate of Political Science
Leading researcher, Karachay-Cherkess Institute of humanitarian researches
Елена Е Щербина Candidate of Political Science, Associate professor,
Leading researcher, Karachay-Cherkess Institute of humanitarian researches
Conventional forms of protest behavior in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic as a display of civil activity.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2018. Vol. 9. No. 3. P. 31-41

This Article is downloaded: 394 times
Topic: Political Processes: Social Protests and Protest Moods

For citation:
Кубанова Л. В., Щербина Е. А. Conventional forms of protest behavior in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic as a display of civil activity. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2018. Vol. 9. No. 3. P. 31-41
DOI: https://doi.org/10.19181/vis.2018.26.3.522


This article examines the forms of protest behavior in such a poly-ethnical region as the Karachay-Cherkess Republic. Highlighted are the peculiarities and typical traits of modern protests, which include conventionality, ethnicity, the presence of primary and secondary protest subjects, indoctrination, carrying over real protest practices into the virtual realm. A few examples are provided, with an analysis of actors, the main problem and the various forms of protest activity observed in the republic during the years 2017-2018. The primary points of conflict, which were at the core of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic protests, include issues associated with land and “Alanian heritage”. The latter issue is a crucial part of the political and ideological landscape of the Northern Caucasus, since it does concern not only Karachays living in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, but also Ossets, Balkars and Ingush people. It simultaneously serves as a historic doctrine which unites Karachay and Balkar youth. The article presents several narratives associated with the Alanian issue, which sparked a protest initiated by the Karachays’ community organization. All of the rallies were of the conventional type, while bearing a form of claims, appeals and public letters which, on one hand, were aimed at getting a reaction from various level public authorities, and on the other hand – intended for an ethnic audience, for the purpose of mobilizing the masses. There is also a second problem associated with land issues, which has been at the heart of protests for a number of years. This article outlines several narratives concerning the inhabitants of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic’s towns protesting against illegal confiscation of land. Each of the described cases involved villagers resolving territorial disputes through open appeals addressed to republican authorities via mass media, primarily the internet. Such practices of inhabitants making territorial issue appeals have become prevalent in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic. A comparative analysis of protests sparked by the two aforementioned issues has been used to illustrate that the protests associated with territorial issues were at first of non-conventional nature, while later undergoing formalization and institutionalization, with the vast majority acquiring ethnical traits. All protests in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic are characterized by a lack of destructiveness and legal registration, which allows for them to be considered an expression of civil activity.


protest behavior, conventional forms, subjects of a protest, ethnic groups, public organizations of ethnic orientation, practice of a protest.


Etnologicheskiy monitoring: razrabotka fundamental'nykh podkhodov etno-politicheskogo monitoringa dlya optimizatsii mezhnatsional'nykh otnosheniy i predotvrashcheniya konfliktov v Rossii [Ethnological monitoring: development of fundamental approaches to ethnopolitical monitoring for the optimization of interethnic relations and conflict prevention in Rusia].M. Yu. Martynova, V. V. Stepanov, red. Moscow, IEA RAN, 2017. 514 p. (in Russ.).

Protestnoe politicheskoe povedenie [Protest political behavior]. Entsiklopediya. URL: http://www.lomonosov-fund.ru/enc/ru/encyclopedia:0126697 [date of visit: 12.04.2018] (in Russ.).

Soina E. S. Politicheskoe protestnoe povedenie v sovremennoy Rossii [Political protest behavior in modern Russia]. Dissertatsiya ... kandidata polit. nauk: 23.00.02. Stavropol', 2008. 200 p. URL: http://www.dissercat.com/content/politicheskoe-protestnoe-povedenie-v-sovremennoi-rossii#ixzz5CG4L457Y [date of visit: 12.04.2018] (in Russ.).

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