The Post-Soviet Wars is a comparative account of the organized violence in the Caucusus region, looking at four key areas: Chechnya, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Dagestan. Zürcher’s goal is to understand the origin and nature of the violence in these regions, the response and suppression from the post-Soviet regime and the resulting outcomes, all with an eye toward understanding why some conflicts turned violent, whereas others not. Notably, in Dagestan actual violent conflict has not erupted, an exception of political stability for the region. The book provides a brief history of the region, particularly the collapse of the Soviet Union and the resulting changes that took place in the wake of this toppling. Zürcher carefully looks at the conditions within each region—economic, ethnic, religious, and political—to make sense of why some turned to violent conflict and some did not and what the future of the region might portend.
This important volume provides both an overview of the region that is both up-to-date and comprehensive as well as an accessible understanding of the current scholarship on mobilization and violence.
Zurcher, C. (2007). The Post-Soviet Wars: Rebellion, Ethnic Conflict, and Nnationhood in the Caucasus. NYU Press.
Author focuses on two of the many instances of “ethnic” war and peace currently in progress throughout the Caucasus. The two, in the former Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics of Abkhazia and Ajaria, which are both now technically within the Republic of Georgia, seemed to best illustrate events in the boiling cauldron of Caucasian politics.
Derluguian, G. M. (1998). The tale of two Resorts: Abkhazia and Ajaria before and since the Soviet collapse. Research Series-Institute of International Studies University of California Berkeley, 261-292.
As a contribution to promoting sustainable democracy in Georgia and in the wider context in the South
Caucasus region, International IDEA, in partnership with Georgian and regional actors, initiated a programme
of ‘democratic assessment through dialogue’ in Georgia, in autumn 2001.
International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (2003). Building Democracy in Georgia: Democratization in Georgia.
Civilizations have collided in the Caucasus Mountains since the dawn of history, and the region’s dozens of ethnic groups have been noted for “obstinacy and ferocity” since ancient times. Stalin was born in these mountains, and it was also here that the Soviet empire began to crumble. The story of the Republic of Georgia illustrates that the peoples of the Caucasus may prove as incapable of self-rule as they were resistant to rule by outsiders.
Kaplan, R. (2000, November). Where Europe Vanishes. Atlantic Monthly, 67-81.
The thick description of the post-rose revolutionary Georgia from the different angles, including comments by diverse individuals (Mikhail Saakashvili, Sergei Shamba, Ghia Nodia, Dato Turashvili, Davit Lortkipanidze) by renowned British journalist Neal Ascherson.
Ascherson, N. (2004). After the Revolution. London Review of Books, 26(5).