Stateless Nations and Digital Identity Construction: The Case of the Hazara of Hazaristan Under Microscope

Master thesis

Kamran Mir Hazar

This master thesis investigates the importance and challenges of digital identity construction for the stateless nations, takes the qualitative case study as the research approach, and examines the case of the Hazara of Hazaristan to give a novel and in-depth insight into the issue.
First, it looks into background literature to give a relative picture of the current knowledge on identity, logical identity, the identity of self, collective identity, stateless nations and identity, and digital identity. Then, it presents Social Identity Theory and Social Acceleration Theory as
theoretical grounds for data collection and analysis. Next is to present the Hazara of Hazaristan as one of the most persecuted peoples facing almost every sort of systematic crime since the 19th century. Then, the research method, including data collection and analysis, is presented. Next, in the findings, the importance of digital identity construction and the related challenges are reported. The findings indicate that digital identity construction for the Hazara is essential, helping them rejoin and join together, stay connected, and use digital identity to improve their situation, particularly their human rights situation. Digital identity helps them to have a national identification number, statistics, and national census. It enables them to start a national discourse and dialog regarding the right of self-determination, national autonomy, and sovereign state through establishing digital institutions and experiencing digital democracy, including e-vote and e-Dai parliament of e-Hazaristan. The findings also indicate that the process of digital identity construction is not without challenges. Those challenges include trust issues, the Afghani deceleration forces, and the digital divide.
Next, this master thesis discusses related issues, including the human rights situation as an underlying pattern that can accelerate or decelerate the process of digital identity construction. This study brings literature, findings, and theories together, arguing that Social Identity Theory at some levels can explain the Hazara situation but has some limits in its cognitive and alternative processes. Keeping the logical formulation of Social Acceleration Theory, the position of acceleration dimensions and deceleration forces should be changed to be employed in the case of digital identity construction for the Hazara. Some possible issues, such as security, privacy, and diverse regulations in the possible future e-Hazaristan ecosystem, are discussed.
This study may have some practical and research implications encouraging the Hazara to concentrate on new methods of struggle and the researchers to be more future-centric rather than explaining what happened.
Keywords: Digital Identity, Stateless Nations, Hazara, E-Hazaristan