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  • Author: Nicole Gallina
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The problems of weak state structures, including state territoriality, in the South Caucasus has highly influenced political developments and the building of a democratic state. This paper explains the difficulty of recovering statehood in the cases of Armenia and Georgia, both in the context of post–Soviet state transformation and post–conflict state-rebuilding. It argues that recovering statehood in the South Caucasus meant at once maintaining the status quo within the state structures and managing the highly volatile political and ethnic relations (culminating in armed conflict). In the cases of conflict, elite management impeded conflict solution. In this context, this paper finds that elite power slowed the construction of a democratic and effective state. In particular, elite fragmentation has led to serious impediments for state development and the consolidation of territoriality. In sum, elite-led state development and conflict management hindered the successful consolidation of state territoriality.
  • Political Geography: Soviet Union, Armenia, Georgia, South Caucasus
  • Author: Dr. Mehmet Bardakçı
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The EU's role in conflict resolution and peace building has evolved in response to the changes in the international system, the EU's own internal political dynamics, and the EU's capacity and willingness to play a major role in regional and international conflicts. During the 1990s, the EU approached the South Caucasian region the same way it approached the other former Soviet republics. In spite of the enhanced profile of Georgia in EU foreign policy after the Rose Revolution in 2003, the EU was content with providing technical and economic aid to Tbilisi and supporting the negotiations between Tbilisi and its breakaway regions, South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Despite its failure to preclude the outbreak of the conflict, the EU's role in conflict resolution in Georgia has paradoxically been enhanced in the aftermath of the August 2008 Russian-Georgian War. It is, however, important to note that in spite of these positive developments in the EU's role in conflict resolution, Brussels' efforts to promote its visibility in the region is to some extent constrained by the lack of a coherent conflict resolution strategy for the Eastern Neighbourhood, the “capacityexpectations” gap, and an increasingly self-confident Russia.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union, Georgia, Tbilisi, South Ossetia, Abkhazia
  • Author: Andrey Kazantsev
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The deep and multidimensional crisis of Gazprom in 2009-2010 is analyzed in this paper as a crisis of the specific geopolitical model of the “energy super-state” that was especially important for Russian foreign policy towards Europe and the Former Soviet Union. Russia’s attempts to monopolize the sphere of gas production and gas transportation in this part of the world, institutionally represented by the state-controlled monopoly Gazprom, was a key element for sustaining this geopolitical model. It is argued that this policy was based on a configuration of Russian geopolitical and economic interests that could be economically sustained only in the period of high energy prices. After the start of the global gas market crisis and, specifically, Gazprom’s crisis, this configuration has started to disappear. This may have a profound influence on Russian foreign policy towards Europe and the Former Soviet Union.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Central Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Dr. Alexander Rondeli
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: On both fronts we have serious problems, because for any post-Soviet country, meeting the EU's requirements is not easy. The Baltic [countries] are the exception for many reasons, for many good reasons, and we are happy that at least they are there. They are also a fantastic example and a role model for us. But meeting these criteria is not easy. Everyone understands that there is a long way to go.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Soviet Union, Georgia
  • Author: Vladimer Papava, Michael Tokmazishvili
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The article discuses Russia's aggressive energy policy towards the EU and the former Soviet republics, with its main goal of reinforcing the country's monopoly over the transportation of oil and, especially, gas to the West. The language of “alternative pipelines” is used by Russia in the context of the “Pipeline Cold War” paradigm which creates significant problems for the energy safety of the EU by increasing the energy dependency of European countries upon Russia. In reality, the energy resource users are interested in a systematic supply of these resources. This can be achieved through the diversified resource producers and development of a mutually supplementary network of pipelines which should minimise the opportunity for using the energy resources for political purposes. This is the idea upon which the “Pipeline Harmonisation” paradigm is founded. The Western countries have a key role to play in the realisation of this idea.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Soviet Union
  • Author: Nathan Paul Jones
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The countries of the former Soviet Union inherited a unique system for managing the needs of ethnic minorities. The question is how these countries utilize Soviet constructs to develop policies suitable for their distinct political contexts. Kazakhstan's leaders have chosen to fashion a multiethnic civic nation and established the Assembly of the Peoples of Kazakhstan to oversee the work of creating a uniform national identity. This paper discusses major theories pertaining to civic nation-building, highlights the Soviet approach to building a civic nation, and describes how the ideology, form, and activities of the Assembly contribute to civic nation-building in Kazakhstan. Finally, it describes the author's own ethnographic research demonstrating how people react to Kazakhstan's civic nation-building efforts. The paper argues that Kazakhstan's attempts to create a civic national identity are failing because it has not yet provided a consolidating national discourse as strong as socialism was during the Soviet period.
  • Political Geography: Kazakhstan, Soviet Union
  • Author: Dr. Julie A. George
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: My book examines separatist politics, looking for explanations for the outbreak of conflict in some post-Soviet autonomous republics and oblasts and not others. It also examines the waxing and waning conditions of conflicts over time, trying to nudge out similarities and differences in experiences to explain stability or absence of stability. So it looked at the politics of Chechnya, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia and their respective relationships with the Russia and Georgia from 1990-2008. (It actually looked at a broader swath of cases to include non-conflictual republics: Achara, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Ingushetia, and Dagestan.) I'm particularly interested in the effects of state weakness and regional wealth on bargaining over autonomy. I started with the argument that state weakness in both Russia and Georgia after the Soviet collapsed created conditions for regional ac tors – particularly in the so-called ethnic republics – for bargaining for greater position in the new political environment. In Georgia, this enhanced bargaining position was true for Achara as well as South Ossetia and Abkhazia, even though Achara might not be construed as an "ethnic" region.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union, Georgia