While Connor agrees with Smith's understanding of ethnic nations, he argues that the notion of the civic nation inaccurately associates the nation with all citizens in a state whether or not they maintain mutual cultural identifications.
Rather than alienating the non-Russian populations of the old Czarist Empire through privileging the Russian core as the nationalizing nation, early Bolshevik leaders opted for a civic nation hoping to consolidate its multiethnic territories into a Soviet state.
The task has now fallen on the Soviet Union's former republics to create new civic national discourses in the absence of the overriding economic and political ideology which socialism provided for the Soviet civic nation.
Building a Kazakhstan Civic Nation Through Cultural Preservation and Revitalization
A piece of legislation passed in October 2008 entitled On the Assembly of the Peoples of Kazakhstan, which was designed to lend constitutional support to the Assembly, clearly demonstrates Kazakhstan's path of civic nation building.
Kazakhstan's lawmakers stress that in addition to the state-supported opportunities to preserve and/or revitalize ethnic national cultures, ethnic Kazakhs and Kazakh culture must play a primary consolidating role in developing and sustaining the Kazakhstan civic nation. The authorities have suggested that the primary instrument of culture with which to draw non-Kazakhs into the Kazakhstan civic nation should be the Kazakh language.
Certainly, Kazakhstan's civic nation-building strategy's reliance on Kazakh language and culture stands little chance of provoking violent conflict, but as a unifying discourse it has even less of a chance of consolidating its non-Kazakh population into a Kazakhstani civic nation. Now that the Assembly and its programs are backed by the constitution, however, leaders of the national cultural centers are at least optimistic that the work of the Assembly will assume a more prominent role among the population, potentially convincing Kazakhstanis that they indeed belong to a multiethnic civic nation.
Is Scotland a civic nation? I asked my colleague Don Forbes.
In the universal homogeneous state, civic nations are gooood, ethnic nations are baaaad.
What is not clear to me is how Stout understands the democracy fostered in his neighborhood is connected with, depends on, or is a manifestation of what he takes to be the "civic nations
." I do not ask this question as a disguised criticism but rather because I think it is a question that challenges anyone, myself included, who advocates some form of "radical democracy."