Central Asia and Transcaucasia: Ethnicity and Conflict

Central Asia and Transcaucasia: Ethnicity and Conflict

Central Asia and Transcaucasia: Ethnicity and Conflict

Central Asia and Transcaucasia: Ethnicity and Conflict

Synopsis

The collapse of the Soviet Union and its totalitarian system has resulted in instability and conflict among its many ethnic groups. In this volume, a distinguished group of scholars from the Russian Center for Strategic Research and International Studies examines the ethnic conflicts roiling Central Asia and Transcaucasia today--the roots and dynamics of these conflicts, their possible consequences, and the possibilities for resolution. The analyses are based upon extensive field studies, interviews, local press accounts, and other sources unavailable in the West. The work presents an inside view of the conflicts, describes the forces involved, and provides a prognosis for future developments in the region.

Excerpt

The reforms that began in the Soviet Union after the accession to power of Mikhail Gorbachev, the gradual disintegration of the unitary state, and the subsequent collapse of communist regimes in the newly independent republics of the former USSR have created a new reality characterized by an unprecedented dynamism. Although the general tendencies and directions of change seem to have crystallized, they are proceeding at an unpredictable pace.

The deep-rooted crisis that afflicts Soviet society is especially painful in the economic and the ethno-national spheres. And the intensification of these crises has been largely responsible for the escalation of changes in the political sphere. As the interethnic confrontations escalate and the republics demand more extensive rights, the crisis of the old unitarian structure of the multinational state continues to gather momentum. Long-standing but formerly covert interethnic contradictions; collisions caused by arbitrarily drawn boundaries between the republics; enforced deportations of nationalities and large-scale population migrations; the imperfect mechanism of the state system of both the union and each constituent multinational republic, based on the ethno-territorial principle; the people's natural striving for new self-identification once they begin to shake off totalitarian oppression; the trend toward sovereignty that has swept all ethno-territorial formations: all of these have resulted in a complicated and painful development process that sometimes has erupted into acute crisis.

The surfacing tensions have resulted in outbursts of ethnic violence with losses of thousands of lives. The republics' transition to independence has failed to end the critical situation. What is more, the disintegration of the state in some cases has aggravated the confrontation, sharpening the existing . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.