Studies of the Caucasus in the West have been dominated by issues of security and ethnic conflict based on Eurocentric theoretical paradigms. By contrast, this volume offers contributions from researchers working within a range of disciplines, including history, social anthropology, sociology and cultural studies as well as international relations and security studies. Some of the contributions demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the region from ‘inside’, while others explore the issues within a wider Eurasian and global perspective. The volume examines the politically-defined division of the region into the North and South Caucasus, the evolution of national identity and citizenship, and the role of the NGOs in the development of civil society in the post-Soviet period. Its content demonstrates the advantages of an area studies inter-disciplinary approach to the study of the region and the importance of collaboration between Western and local researchers. It highlights the importance of the Caucasus as a geographical, political and civilisational entity and examines the historical, cultural, political, religious and psychological factors behind the region’s particular susceptibility to territorial and ethno-religious conflict. The book will be of benefit to scholars and students researching the Caucasus, Russia and the post-Soviet space. It will also appeal to policy-makers, NGO activists, journalists and a wider audience interested in this fascinating region.
This book was published as a special issue of Europe-Asia Studies.
About the Author
Nino Kemoklidze is a PhD candidate at the University of Birmingham. Her dissertation topic concerns problems of nationalism and ethnic violence in Georgia. She was a visiting PhD researcher at Uppsala Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies (UCRS), Sweden in 2013 and a guest researcher at the Department of Russian and Eurasian Studies, Norwegian Institute of Foreign Affairs (NUPI) in 2010–2011.
Cerwyn Moore is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Birmingham. He works on interpretive IR theory and conflict in the Caucasus and Central Asia. He has published widely on aspects of the conflicts in the North Caucasus in a host of peer reviewed journals and in a monograph, Contemporary Violence: Postmodern War in Kosovo and Chechnya (Manchester: MUP, 2010).
Jeremy Smith is Professor of Russian History and Politics at the Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland. He has recently completed projects on the Khrushchev era and on Georgian nationalism and Soviet power in the 1950s. His research focuses on the non-Russian nationalities of the Soviet Union, with especial emphasis on the South Caucasus region, and he is also part of a team providing commentary and insight into contemporary relations between Europe and Central Asian countries in the ‘EU-Central Asia Monitoring’ project.
Galina Yemelianova is a Senior Lecturer in Eurasian Studies at the University of Birmingham. She heads the University of Birmingham Research Group on the Caucasus and Central Asia and teaches an MSc Pathway on the Caucasus and Central Asia. She has been researching history and contemporary politics in the Middle East and Muslim Eurasia for more than two decades.
Table of Contents
1. Many Faces of the Caucasus 2. The Origins and Trajectory of the Caucasian Conflicts 3. Securing the South Caucasus: Military Aspects of Russian Policy towards the Region since 2008 4. Young Soldiers’ Tales of War in Nagorno-Karabakh 5. Co-optation or Empowerment? The Fate of Pro-Democracy NGOs after the Rose Revolution 6. A Broken Region: The Persistent Failure of Integration Projects in the South Caucasus 7. Re-thinking Citizenship in the South Caucasus 8. Re-making a Frontier Community or Defending Ethnic Boundaries? The Caucasus in Cossack Identity 9. Post-Soviet Ethnic Relations in Stavropol’skii Krai, Russia: ‘A Melting Pot or Boiling Shaft’? 10. Suicide Bombing: Chechnya, the North Caucasus and Martyrdom