Sociocultural Integration Policy:
Major Theoretical Perspectives


Popov M.E.,

Dr. Sci. (Philos.), Professor of Department of Social Philosophy and Ethnology, North Caucasus Federal University, Stavropol, Russia, maximus.popov@gmail.com

elibrary_id: 239185 |


DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2017.01.09
Rubric: Russia Today

For citation:

Popov M.E. Sociocultural Integration Policy: Major Theoretical Perspectives. – Polis. Political Studies. 2017. No. 1. P. 99-115. (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2017.01.09



Abstract

This paper is devoted to research of the key theoretical approaches to analysis of sociocultural integration policy as a tool for resolving regional conflicts. It explores the theoretical tradition of the integration analysis, related to the conceptual confrontation of theories of ethnic conflict, identity-based conflict and citizenship, multiculturalism, neo-functionalism, normative conceptions of political integration. The contradiction lies in the interpretation of integration as a means of de-escalation of ethno-regional conflicts in pluralistic societies. Conflict theory is based on the analysis of conflict nature of ethnicity; multiculturalists come from the normativity of cultural pluralism and ethnic identity; neo-functionalists, citizenship theorists and political integration researchers interpret the status of ethnic groups from the standpoint of equality of opportunity and institutional imperative of sociocultural integration. Conflict resolution theory focuses on the ability of the sociocultural integration policy in the transformation of destructive identity-based conflicts into conflicts of interests. The author considers the systemic factors of regional conflicts and emphasizes destabilizing role of re-politicization of ethnicity in the North Caucasus. Contradictions between the systemic modernization and social disintegration are the primary source of identity-based conflicts. Structurally, escalation of violence in regional conflicts is determined by the intensity and scope of ethnic mobilization and social dissatisfaction. Integration policy has fundamental goals of ensuring regional safety and overcoming ethnic contradictions in their most destructive form of identity-based conflicts. Sociocultural integration policy must serve as a conflict-preventive tool, i.e. a pro-active action on the conflict environment by way of structural solutions to regional problems, transformation and rationalization of ethnic contradictions. 

Keywords
sociocultural integration; integration policy; regional conflict; ethnic conflict; identity-based conflict; conflict theory; citizenship; multiculturalism; neo-functionalism; political integration.


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