Timothy Blauvelt and Jeremy Smith (Eds.) – Georgia after Stalin: Nationalism and Soviet Power

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.

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

Available at Amazon.com

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.

Tim Poitier – Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia: A Legal Appraisal

The conflicts in the South Caucasus appear impervious to solution. The hopes raised by independence have been dashed by an insidious cocktail of past and present regional hegemony, historical antipathy and Soviet planning. Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, continue to wait for their long awaited Spring. In a region where Western academic writing has focused, during the last decade, almost exclusively on the dynamics of regional security and “Great Power” rivalry, even in the context of conflict, this volume provides a legal appraisal of the possible processes and structures which may, ultimately, facilitate the finding of constitutional settlement in Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In the work, Tom Potier, an academic lawyer with much experience in the Caucasus, has written an account which should prove not only to be of use to academics, diplomats and government officials working in the region, but also as a contribution to the ongoing development of the international law on self-determination and autonomy.

Potier, T. (2001). Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia: A Legal Appraisal. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

See on books.google.com; Review (Lala Jumayeva, Caucasian Review of International Affairs)

South Caucasus at a Crossroad: Thorny Realities and Great Expectations

In June 2013 the South Caucasus Regional Office of the Heinrich Boell Foundation celebrated 10 years since its establishment in the region. On June 5-6, 2013 the Foundation dedicated the international conference “South Caucasus at a Crossroad: 10 years of the Heinrich Boell Foundation in the Region” to its jubilee. Politicians, analysts and civil society activists from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the United States of America and the European Union took part in the event. The conference was aimed at assessing the complex political, social and cultural developments that took place in the three South Caucasus nations during the previous decade. Exactly in a year after the Foundation’s 10th anniversary, owe to generous engagement and kind assistance of its friend and supporter Ms. Salome Asatiani, processing of the Conference materials successfully resulted in the bilingual (Georgian and English) publication “South Caucasus at a Crossroad: Thorny Realities and Great Expectations”.

The book consists of four main sections. The first part, entitled “The West and the Region: Views from Outside and Within “provides in-depth, realistic and matter-of-fact perspectives on the complex interrelations between the EU and USA, on the one hand, and Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan on the other. After the overview of the intricate interrelations between the West and the region, the book devotes separate sections to internal situations in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan – from a political perspective, as well as from the point of view of post-Soviet modernization, the state of civil society and urban development.

The “South Caucasus at a Crossroad: Thorny Realities and Great Expectations” will be disseminated throughout the South Caucasus region and wider Europe and its presentations accompanied by discussions will be organized in the capitals of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

South Caucasus at a Crossroad: Thorny Realities and Great Expectations (2014). Tbilisi, Heinrich Boell Foundation.

See on ge.boell.org

Laure Delcour & Kataryna Wolczuk – Spoiler or Facilitator of Democratization?: Russia’s role in Georgia and Ukraine

This article examines Russia’s reaction to political changes in Georgia and Ukraine in light of the interplay between the democracy promotion policies implemented by the EU and US and domestic patterns of democratization. We argue that despite the relatively weak impact of EU and US policies vis-a-vis domestic structures, Russia has responded harshly to (what it perceives as) a Western expansionist agenda in pursuit of reasserting its own hegemonic position in the post-Soviet space. However, coercive pressure from Russia has also unintended, counterproductive effects. We argue that the pressure has actually made Georgia and Ukraine more determined to pursue their pro-Western orientation and has spawned democratization, thereby supporting the objectives of the Western democracy promoters.

Delcour, L., & Wolczuk, K. (2015). Spoiler or facilitator of democratization?: Russia’s role in Georgia and Ukraine. Democratization22(3), 459-478

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