Tom Trier, Hedvig Lohm, David Szakonyi – Under Siege: Inter-Ethnic Relations in Abkhazia

Located in the northeastern corner of the Black Sea, Abkhazia was once part of Georgia but broke away from the country after the fall of the Soviet Republic. For fifteen years the region functioned as a de facto independent, though internationally unrecognized, state, until August of 2008, when the short war over South Ossetia (another breakaway territory) ended in Russia’s recognition of Abkhazian and South Ossetian sovereignty.

Consequently, Abkhazia has become a crucial component of Russia’s struggle to redefine its global influence and a major player in its geopolitical battle with the West. Under Siege clarifies Abkhazia’s ethno-political dynamics, which have played a major role in the country’s state-building efforts and have come to shape the conditions under which the country’s many ethnic communities live. Abkhazians, Armenians, Georgians, and Russians all call Abkhazia home, and this volume explores the effect of the government’s de facto status on these groups’ ideas of nationhood and continuing tensions between Georgia, Abkhazia, and Russia. This book also launches a rare investigation into the conflict brewing among human rights, minority protections, and Abkhazia’s state building project.

Available at Amazon.com; Review (Catherine Baker, H-Genocide)

Trier, T., Lohm, H., & Szakonyi, D. (2010). Under Siege: Inter-Ethnic Relations in Abkhazia. New York, Columbia University Press.

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