New Publications: August-September 2015

Books

Blauvelt, T. K., & Smith, J. (Eds.). (2015). Georgia after Stalin: Nationalism and Soviet Power. Routledge.

This book explores events in Georgia in the years following Stalin’s death in March 1953, especially the demonstrations of March 1956 and their brutal suppression, in order to illuminate the tensions in Georgia between veneration of the memory of Stalin, a Georgian, together with the associated respect for the Soviet system that he had created, and growing nationalism. The book considers how not just Stalin but also his wider circle of Georgians were at the heart of the Soviet system, outlines how greatly Stalin was revered in Georgia, and charts the rise of Khrushchev and his denunciation of Stalin. It goes on to examine the different strands of the rising Georgian nationalist movements, discusses the repressive measures taken against demonstrators, and concludes by showing how the repressions transformed a situation where Georgian nationalism, the honouring of Stalin’s memory and the Soviet system were all aligned together into a situation where an increasingly assertive nationalist movement was firmly at odds with the Soviet Union.

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Book Review

Albulescu, A. M. (2015). Reassessing Security in the South Caucasus: Regional Conflicts and Transformation. European Security, 0(0), 1–2.

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Academic Articles

Aliyev, H. (2015). Examining the Use of Informal Networks by NGOs in Azerbaijan and Georgia. Journal of Civil Society, 11(3), 317–332.

To date little is known about the non-governmental organizations’ (NGOs) use of informal networks, contacts and connections, as well as about the ‘informalization’ of post-communist civil society in the former Soviet Union. Research on the subject has been mostly restricted to the study of civil society organizations in Central Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Russia, leaving the use and significance of informality among the South Caucasus’s NGOs largely ignored. Drawing on qualitative in-depth elite interviews, this study examines the importance of informal networking within the NGO sectors of post-Soviet-rule Azerbaijan and Georgia. The findings of this study document that in Azerbaijan and Georgia the practices of using informal networks of relying on patron–client relations with donors and of individuals using their positions within organizations for profit-making are widespread among the NGOs included in this research.

Broers, L., Iskandaryan, A., & Minasyan, S. (2015). Introduction: The Unrecognized Politics of de facto States in the Post-Soviet space. Caucasus Survey, 0(0), 1–8.

Introducing this special issue of Caucasus Survey on the unrecognized politics of de facto states in the post-Soviet space, this article discusses some of the key problems involved in the study of these entities. It relates the origins of the articles contained in this collection and briefly introduces the main themes they deal with: the definition, representational politics, resourcing and engagement of de facto states.

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Dafflon, D. (2015). Ethnic Policies in Post-Soviet States: How Inclusive is Georgia? IICEES World Congress, 3-8 August 2015. 

Georgia is certainly one of the states of the former Soviet Union in which the national-building process is the mostcomplex. Ethnic diversity which characterizes Georgia makes it by essence a multi-ethnic state. However, thedebate on diversity and on the degree of inclusion of the different ethnic groups composing the Georgian nationremains extremely vivid in the country. It particularly concerns the Armenian community of Georgia, representingapproximately 7%.

The seizure of power by Mikheil Saakashvili in 2003 was accompanied by a more inclusive discourse on thenation, thus instilling among the representatives of national minorities the hope of better opportunities in terms ofpolitical participation and economic inclusion. Simultaneously to this new civic discourse, the authorities aimedto restore their presence on the territory inhabited by ethnic minorities through both concrete and symbolic statebuildingmeasures. Thus, the state based its integration policy on strong imposition of the state language uponrepresentatives of national minorities, hoping to strengthen their feeling of belonging to Georgia as a state.

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Kabachnik, P., Gugushvili, A., & Jishkariani, D. (2015). A Personality Cult’s Rise and Fall: Three Cities after Khrushchev’s “Secret Speech” and the Stalin Monument that Never Was. Region: Regional Studies of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia, 4(2), 309–326.

Recently, in post-Soviet space, new Stalin statues have been created, and old ones have reappeared. These battles, both symbolic and material, over monuments fuel and exemplify contemporary “memory wars.” This article highlights the disparate meanings of three historical Stalin monuments that served as focal points for three major cases of mass demonstrations during Khrushchev’s de-Stalinization campaign: Tbilisi, Budapest, and Prague. Next, drawing on newly found materials from Tbilisi’s Central Committee Archive of the Communist Party of Georgia, this article discusses Bogdan Muradovich Kirakosian’s never-realized project to build a massive Stalin monument that would have overlooked Tbilisi. Last is the analysis of survey data that captures individuals’ attitudes towards Stalin for those born in Georgia before 1945 in order to surmise how such a grand monument to Stalin would have been received at the time.

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Paul, A. (2015). The EU in the South Caucasus and the Impact of the Russia-Ukraine War. The International Spectator, 50(3), 30–42.

Despite hopes that it would act as a transformative tool in the South Caucasus to strengthen democracy, stability, security and regional cooperation, the Eastern Partnership (EaP) has produced limited results, with the region more fragmented today than it was five years ago. Russia’s war against Ukraine has further exacerbated the situation, raising concerns over the extent to which South Caucasus countries can genuinely rely on the West. Today, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan have different geostrategic trajectories. While Georgia has stuck to the Euro-Atlantic track, Armenia joined the Russian-led Eurasian Union in January 2015. Meanwhile Azerbaijan has the luxury of choosing not to choose. Developments in the region have demonstrated that a ‘one size fits all’ approach does not work and a more differentiated policy is required.

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Slade, G. (2015). Violence as Information During Prison Reform: Evidence from the Post-Soviet Region. British Journal of Criminology.

When reform occurs in prison systems, prisoner insecurity increases. One reason for this is disorganization. The disruption to informal governance structures, distributions of power and mechanisms for establishing trust causes conflicts. This paper argues that a key mechanism linking disorganization to conflict and violence is information flow. Incomplete information in interpersonal interaction marks prison settings. Informal institutions for producing certainty for both staff and prisoners emerge to overcome this. Such institutions are handicapped by reform directed at reducing informal prisoner controls. In such cases, violence becomes an information-generating activity and can substitute for reputation. The paper examines this proposition as it applies to prisoners and staff through a critical case study of radical prison reform in the South Caucasus country of post-Soviet Georgia.

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Skhirtladze, N., Javakhishvili, N., Schwartz, S. J., Beyers, W., & Luyckx, K. (2015). Identity Processes and Statuses in Post-Soviet Georgia: Exploration Processes Operate Differently. Journal of Adolescence.

When reform occurs in prison systems, prisoner insecurity increases. One reason for this is disorganization. The disruption to informal governance structures, distributions of power and mechanisms for establishing trust causes conflicts. This paper argues that a key mechanism linking disorganization to conflict and violence is information flow. Incomplete information in interpersonal interaction marks prison settings. Informal institutions for producing certainty for both staff and prisoners emerge to overcome this. Such institutions are handicapped by reform directed at reducing informal prisoner controls. In such cases, violence becomes an information-generating activity and can substitute for reputation. The paper examines this proposition as it applies to prisoners and staff through a critical case study of radical prison reform in the South Caucasus country of post-Soviet Georgia.

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Zarifian, J. (2015). U.S. Foreign Policy in the 1990s and 2000s, and the Case of the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia). European journal of American studies, (Vol 10, no 2).

The foreign policy of the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations in the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia) shows U.S. foreign policy under a rather positive light. With consistency and continuity, they were able to implement a multidimensional realistic foreign policy, the main manifestations of which allowed the U.S. to gain, in a few years, solid political, economic, military, and diplomatic leverages. Its vital interests were not at stake in the region and, from the early 1990s onwards, it has been in the position of a potent “challenger” that worked on consolidating its position in order to be influential and powerful when and if necessary. Although it did not become the sole dominant regional power, the U.S. succeeded, mostly in the second half of the 1990s and the first half of the 2000s, in strongly geopolitically penetrating a region with which it previously had no contact and on which it had no major expertise.

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Filed in: News

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