Saturday, November 03, 2012

Current Writing Project

Okay I did not get very many suggestions on my blog post asking for ideas on a new article project. So Friday I went back to working on the article comparing South African apartheid and the Soviet special settlement regime for deported nationalities under Stalin. I had an article published on this topic this year in Human Rights Review, but the topic is big enough that I think it can support a few more. The problem of course is that the official orthodox line is that there was never any institutional or official racism in the USSR because people like Francine Hirsch believe we should only judge the Soviet Union by the regime's own definitions. Of course if we did that with apartheid South Africa we would also conclude that "separate development" was not racist, but merely a political policy justified by security concerns just like Hirsch and Weiner portray Stalin's policies towards people like the Volga Germans and Crimean Tatars. Unfortunately while the works of people like George Fredrickson and John Rex are considered mainstream for analyzing the history of racial discrimination in places like South Africa or the US they are completely rejected by the US clique that dominates the study of Soviet nationalities policy. Instead people like Hirsch and Weiner favor a definition of race that most scholars discarded before 1965 and the formulation of the ICERD. So getting the second article published will be just as difficult as the first one was. It took me over two years to get it into print.

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