The following general indicators of the state of ethno-political relationships were developed and distributed as the format for annual surveys across many regions of Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union for two decades (beginning in the mid-1990s). The surveys were designed to assist evaluations of the sociopolitical situation in more than 50 states or regions. They often triggered actions to help restrain and/or reduce ethnic animosities.
- Environment and Resources: Suitable water, soil resources, natural wealth, technological influences, and disasters and catastrophes.
- Demography and Migration: Resettlement, mixed marriages and divorces, natural movements of populations, and mechanized movements of populations.
- Power, State, and Politics: State administrative status, doctrine and regime of power, ethnic representation, relations between the center of the region/country/municipality and the periphery, human rights and collective rights, social order and control over weapons, and legal investigations with the implementation of court decisions.
- Economics and the Social Sphere: Production and dynamics of prices, income level and disparity of income, employment and unemployment, distribution of labor, socio-professional mobility, participation in privatization and sale of land, state of social protection, and crime and communal violence.
- Culture, Education, and Information: Cultural domination, religious life, language status, primary and secondary education, higher education, mass media, traditional holidays and rituals, and historical discourse.
- Contacts and Stereotypes: Group demands and complaints, previous conflicts and collective traumas, ethnic stereotypes, change in self-consciousness, myths, fear and rumors, presence of group ideas and ideologies, and level of tolerance.
- External Conditions: Presence and influence of diasporas, stability/instability of neighboring and bordering regions and countries, influence of global rivalry, territorial claims and problems of borders, external connections and cooperation, and changing external image.
Additional details on the definition of the terms used above and the process of aggregating and weighing different factors are set forth in other documents. The important aspect of this network was establishing a foundation for many important conversations between local government officials/journalists/ethnic group leaders and the aggrieved minority parties. The surveys provided important openings for discussions of issues in their early stages.
Source: Tishkov, V. A. 2003. “The Dynamic Factors of Ethno-Political Conflicts in Post-Soviet States,” in Conflict and Reconstruction in Multiethnic Societies: Proceedings of a Russian-American Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.