The Post-Soviet Wars: Rebellion, Ethnic Conflict, and Nationhood in the Caucasus

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NYU Press, 2007 - 289 pages
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A brief history of the Caucusus region during and after the Post-Soviet Wars

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.


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Introduction War and Peace in the Caucasus
Setting the Stage The Past the Nation and the State
Making Sense Conflict Theory and the Caucasus
Wars over Chechnya
Wars in Georgia
The War over Karabakh
Wars That Did Not Happen Dagestan and Ajaria
Conclusion PostSoviet Wars and Theories of Internal Wars

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About the author (2007)

Christoph Zürcher is Professor of Political Science at the Free University of Berlin. He is the editor of Potentials of Dis/Order: Explaining Violence in the Caucasus and in the Former Yugoslovia.

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