What causes regions of the Russian Federation to opt for conflict with the central authority? Why do some regions legitimate their conflict with Moscow in overtly ethnic tones, while others do not? In attempting to answer these questions, this research responds to the need for a reconfigured understanding of federalism and ethnicity in modern society; more specifically, it answers several lingering questions from previous investigations of primordial and rational choice theories. This research concludes that the likelihood of future conflict with Moscow can, in fact, be broken down systematically and predicted. In support of its arguments, the study (1) suggests a two-pronged method of regional analysis that captures primordial and rational explanations of center/periphery conflict, (2) demonstrates the accuracy of a model that simulates this analysis on the macro-level, and (3) tests the suggested theory on the micro level through an in-depth study of the critical case of Tatarstan. In the end,this investigation finds that the regions of Russia's ethnic federation will pursue their set preference for autonomy whenever certain variables--ethnic or otherwise lower the risks associated with center/periphery conflict.


Political Science