‘Maintaining and Developing the Languages’: Participation in Decision-Making and Support for Language Revival in Russia’s Finno-Ugric Republics

Konsta Zamyatin

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review


In the early 1990s the revival of titular languages was set as one of the goals of language policies in the national republics of Russia. The republican authorities intended to achieve this policy goal through designating the titular languages with an official status on par with Russian and the corresponding expansion of their use in the public domains by institutionalizing elements of official status in legislation. The extent of institutionalization of titular languages varied across the republics and depended on the level of representation of ethnic elites in regional parliaments. Did the extent of implementation correlate with that of institutionalization? How important was participation of elites in decision-making for the successful implementation? To what extent were the institutionalized elements also implemented? The purpose of this paper is to compare the extent and content of institutional support provided to titular languages in the republics in order to understand the limits in the ability of ethnic elites to promote the titular languages. Today, after more than two decades of implementation, the policy effectiveness can be already evaluated. The policies were implemented through executive programs. The approach of this study is to examine executive programs in the republics titled after the ‘peoples’ speaking Finno-Ugric languages with the help of some qualitative and quantitative criteria. The comparison demonstrates that the official status of titular languages achieved in the early 1990s did not automatically open the access to their institutional support. Ethnic elites steadily had to bargain for funding for policy implementation. Insufficient support does not ensure language maintenance.
TidskriftFinnisch-ugrische Mitteilungen.
Sidor (från-till)193-253
Antal sidor61
StatusPublicerad - 2014
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


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