David  MatsaberidzeChange photo
Edit
  • 5 Kutateladze st, 179, Tbilisi, Georgia
    davidmatsaberidze@yahoo.com
Edit
The study reflects on various identity building narratives, which were formed in Georgia in the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. As a result of the undertaken research, these identity building... more
The study reflects on various identity building narratives, which were formed in Georgia in the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. As a result of the undertaken research, these identity building narratives were collected and systematized; interrelation between the narratives and their context were  also explored.
The study concentrated on different research directions, which singificantly add to the existing knowledge on the formation process of the Georgian identity:
• The period of formation of identity building narratives was deconstructed in detail; to this end, the local, Georgian, as well as imperial contexts, were analyzed. This was a necessary starting point for the adequate and compex comprehension of identity building narratives;
• Georgian, Jewish, Armenian, Azerbaijani, as well as Abkhazian and Ossetian identity building narratives were uncovered through local newspapers and publicist essays. They were collected, systematized and analyzed. Biographic information of the authors of various narratives, whose names are either less familiar for the wider academic communities or who published their works under pseudonyms, were prepared and attached to the main text. The present study assembles various identity building narratives of ethnic minorities residing on the territory of Georgia and provides their comparative analysis;
• The mainstream identity narrative was reconstructed; various identity narrative texts were selected and prepared for publication;
• Some texts written and published in minority languages were translated into Georgian;
• Interrelations of various identity narrartives created in Georgia in the second half of the 19th and the begginning of the 20th century were comprehended. This led to uncovering inter-cultural links and connections, as well as shared experiences of various ethnic groups. The peculiarities of various ethnic and cultural identities were uncovered.
This study reflects on the role of institutions and institutional actors in the conflict over Abkhazia from the late 1980s till the Russian recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia after the August War of 2008.... more
This study reflects on the role of institutions and institutional actors in the conflict over Abkhazia from the late 1980s till the Russian recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia after the August War of 2008. Institutionalism is chosen as the theoretical framework of the study. The investigation does not follow the traditional chronological description, but offers a problem-based narration. The research explores the Soviet-inherited institutions (constitutions, supreme soviets, political and economic decrees) which determined the path-dependence of the conflict. The research claims that the failure of the conflict resolution projects was caused by divergent interpretations of the future institutional relations between the two ethnic groups. Therefore, overcoming the Soviet institutionally inherited legacies is the number one problem. It is also argued that the re-institutionalization of Georgian-Abkhazian relations requires the re-modeling of the relations between external actors. Nevertheless, the flexibility of institutional solutions brings some hopes for the re-negotiation of inter-ethnic political relations between Georgians and Abkhazians.
The study looks at the post-soviet developments in the Tskhinvali Region, Georgia, through the interaction of internal and external elites. It downplays the viability of the use of the term ethnic conflict for describing the... more
The study looks at the post-soviet developments in the Tskhinvali Region, Georgia, through the interaction of internal and external elites. It downplays the viability of the use of the term ethnic conflict for describing the Georgian-South Ossetian confrontation, offering the idea of using the term Tskhinvali Region as the best option to denote conflict, thus avoiding the use of historically and ethnically charged concepts. In terms of interaction of the internal and external agencies the broader picture of the post-soviet regional developments is staged. In this respect, the processes of emergence and grounding of the major players (Russian Federation, OSCE, USA, EU) are set in a comparative perspective. The research brings the analysis of the developments up to the August, 2008. This event follows the line of the main argument, proves the main hypothesis and poses some crucial questions and research problems in terms of the regional and international repercussions of ethnic conflicts. The book should be interesting for political scientists, historians and IR specialists, working on the problems of nationalism and identity of the post- soviet Caucasus.
The paper analyzes the role of politics in formation and transformation of narratives as a pre-text of the conflict between the Georgian and Abkhazian ethnic groups. In this respect, the Soviet ethnic politics, contributing to the... more
The paper analyzes the role of politics in formation and transformation of narratives as a pre-text of the conflict between the Georgian and Abkhazian ethnic groups. In this respect, the Soviet ethnic politics, contributing to the process of the instrumentalization of narratives, will be critically reflected: that is the process of re-construction and interpretation of particular episodes from the past inter-ethnic relations of Georgians and Abkhazians with the aim of justifying and fulfilling political aims of elites during the end of 1980s and beginning of 1990s will be highlighted.
Download (.docx)
Paper analyzes the prospects of economic incentives for re-approachment of Tbilisi and Sokhumi/Tskhinvali (Georgia) after the Russian-Georgian August War (2008) and highlights their main impediments. It draws on economic aspects of the... more
Paper analyzes the prospects of economic incentives for re-approachment of Tbilisi and Sokhumi/Tskhinvali (Georgia) after the Russian-Georgian August War (2008) and highlights their main impediments. It draws on economic aspects of the post-August War peace projects initiated by the United National Movement and the Georgian Dream Coalition governments and points to their similarities and differences. Both of them promote creation of free economic zones across the secessionist regions/occupied territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia/Tskhinvali Region; each of them contain political-judicial aspects of border-crossing, which replicates negative drawbacks of the Ergneti Market (operating at the de-facto border of the former South Ossetian AO in 1996-2004). The Ergneti Market is praised as a medium of collaboration between conflict-affected communities thus Saakashvili’s government is denounced for its abolition in 2004 (its operation was stopped as it was a source of smuggling). The study explores economic visions and prospects of these peace proposals as an opportunity of improvement of inter-ethnic relations. Ultimately, economic aspects could bring tangible results in terms of effective communication between communities across the conflict lines, but the “Alliance and Strategic Partnership” document lately signed by Sokhumi and Moscow brings significant constrains on any peace proposal initiated by Tbilisi.
Download (.docx)
"The Russian-Georgian August War of 2008 could be seen both as an outcome of overt militarization of the Caucasus region, and Georgia proper, as well as a result of transforming security complex in the South Caucasus area, to which the... more
"The Russian-Georgian August War of 2008 could be seen both as an outcome of overt militarization of the Caucasus region, and Georgia proper, as well as a result of transforming security complex in the South Caucasus area, to which the first aspect was ahead. This paper will reconstruct a process of militarization of the region before the August War; then it will go to explore internal and external repercussions of the post-August War 2008 in terms of changing security balance in the region; and finally, it will deal with some miss-perceptions of security assistance of the George W. Bush's government to Georgia and explore re-consideration process of the US led security back-up of Georgia after the August War of 2008. Therefore, the study will draw the entire picture of internal and external security matrix of the region, in which Georgia represents to be the leading actor or the bargaining piece.
The offered analysis of the case of Georgia in terms of the post-August War security situation in the region will demonstrate that a broader internal and external contextualization of the pre- and post-August War 2008 developments is necessary. Arguably, these developments might have some crucial effects on the regional development in the South and North Caucasus, as well as on the Central Asia in general, and over Georgia, in particular. It is evident, that the Russian-Georgian August War confirmed once again that the EU and US do not have sufficient means (or willingness) to protect Georgia/South Caucasus from Russia; Thus, through the August War Russia managed to restore and even strengthen its military presence in the region, after the withdrawal of its military bases from Georgia according to the Istanbul Summit of 1999.
The paper would argue that there is an urgent need from the side of the EU and US stakeholders to devise the new security assistance and cooperation framework for Georgia, which will not only increase defense capacities of the country, but also will provide some tools to balance the overwhelming Russian presence in the [conflict] regions. And last, but not least, the August War of 2008 demonstrated that the provision of only hard security mechanisms is not a panacea for the regional stability; rather, it should be effectively combined with soft security mechanisms, specifically devised for the region."
Download (.docx)
The paper aims to reflect on the different visions of the concept of sovereignty in the post-Soviet Caucasus on the case of the regional conflict over Abkhazia. The present study draws on the case study of the post-August War scenarios.... more
The paper aims to reflect on the different visions of the concept of sovereignty in the post-Soviet Caucasus on the case of the regional conflict over Abkhazia. The present study draws on the case study of the post-August War scenarios. To this end, the paper offers analysis of peace plans of the central Georgian authorities and explores reactions of the Abkhazian and Russian sides. In this respect, the possibility of emergence of shared sovereignty could be seen in the sphere of economy, as, at a glance, this does not lead to an urgent determination of political status; nevertheless, it is also demonstrated that this is not such a simple problem and economic cooperation brings political aspects to the forefront, first and foremost in terms of border issue. It could be argued that the main problem stems from the fact that international talks are heavily centered on political issues, whereas it would be desirable to set aside the irreconcilable legal status of these regions and focus on provision of soft security to ensure stability. In addition, criticism of the peace plan is centered on the new formulation of name of contested territories by the peace plans. The phrases puppet regimes and occupied territories could create obstacles in negotiations with Abkhazians. Nevertheless, be it political or economic aspects of the future relations, i.e. political-economic status of Abkhazia and inter-relation with the central Georgian authorities, the issue of international guarantor still stands as a number one problem.
Download (.docx)
""The paper aims to critically engage in the existing scholarship of the post-Soviet affairs. It will highlight existing gaps in study of the post-Soviet processes and summarize methodological and theoretical suggestions for improved... more
""The paper aims to critically engage in the existing scholarship of the post-Soviet affairs. It will highlight existing gaps in study of the post-Soviet processes and summarize methodological and theoretical suggestions for improved analysis of the post-Soviet processes. The present study argues that institutionalism might be a valuable theoretical framework for the study of post-Soviet processes, as politics of the Caucasus have been formed through various political, economic, and cultural institutions since the creation of the Soviet Union; and understanding of the post-Soviet politics should rely on the analysis of interests and motivations, as well as aspirations of each actor involved in developments. These interests and motivations have been frequently represented in an institutionalized way at different stages of the transformation of conflicts.
The paper will argue that joint analysis of different types of institutions from the Soviet period – political (Supreme Soviets and various union, republican and autonomous level constitutions), economic (related ministries of autonomous republic) and cultural (educational institutions and identity policy) is the necessary starting point for filling gaps in the existing literature, as path dependence in terms of the Soviet-era institutional political legacies looms heavily in entire post-Soviet developments. Institutionalism helps to understand the context and power of elites. Methodologically, process tracing seems promising approach, i.e. reconstruction of core aspects of the post-Soviet developments. This necessitates exploration of the Soviet-era history of region, so as to understand political process of the post-Soviet period in it’s entirely.
The chosen variables – political, economic and cultural institutions – bound together those crucial spheres of social life which formed foundations for flare-up of misunderstanding and conflict between various ethnic groups after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Although, the limits of institutionalism should not be forgotten while picking up [new]-institutionalism as the theoretical approach for the understanding of the post-Soviet conflict cases.""
Download (.doc)
The paper aims to comprehend the process of formation and consolidation of the Georgian nation, primarily the crystallization of the Georgian national project of Tergdaleulebi by the end of the 19th century on light of the European... more
The paper aims to comprehend the process of formation and consolidation of the Georgian nation, primarily the crystallization of the Georgian national project of Tergdaleulebi by the end of the 19th century on light of the European theories of nationalism – imagined community of Benedict Anderson and “three phases” of nation formation by Miroslav Hroch. The analysis will evolve around the famous triad offered by Ilia Chavchavadze – language, motherland, religion – to highlight the flexibility of understanding the Georgianness by those time craftsmen of the Georgian nation. This study explores the necessity of reformation of the Georgian language, refers to the case of re-unification of the Muslim region of Adjara into the territorial framework of Georgia and uncovers the interlock of motherland (patria), shared past history and common language vs. religion in formation of the Georgian nation. The paper will demonstrate how different markers [language, religion, shared past, motherland-territory] of the Georgian national identity were emphasized and re-emphasized according to mainstream political and religious circumstances. This paper will be the case study of nation-formation process on the periphery of the Tsarist Empire; that is, it will demonstrate how educated nobility of the periphery was transformed into intellectuals putting itself in service of nation-building process.
Download (.doc)
"The offered study will be a moderate attempt to analyze the Georgian and Abkhazian conflict resolution projects of the early 1990s and the early 2000s, which were aimed at the political settlement of the conflict over Abkhazia. The... more
"The offered study will be a moderate attempt to analyze the Georgian and Abkhazian conflict resolution projects of the early 1990s and the early 2000s, which were aimed at the political settlement of the conflict over Abkhazia. The research explores the main elements of the Georgian and Abkhazian propositions of those times and points to the existing contradictions between them. The study argues that the main deficiency and failures of the projects of both sides stemmed from the divergent interpretation of the future institutional relations between the Georgian and Abkhazian ethnic groups – the different political communities. Moreover, none of them considered the possibility of creation of joint institutional space for future inter-ethnic relations. The local secessionist authorities in Sokhumi were aspiring to creation of common state, whereas Tbilisi denied any offer which brought Abkhazian Autonomous Republic out of the state borders and political control of the central authorities of Georgia. Thus, irreconcilability of the two principles territorial integrity and secessionism was proved once again and the two different conflict resolution projects collided. The third section will demonstrate that there might be the alternative option to the Georgian and Abkhazian peace projects for future inter-institutional relations and mutual accommodation within joint institutional structures; although emotions and ethnic sentiments won over reason and resolution of the conflict has not been found yet.
Summarizing prospects and failures of the peace plans of the early 1990s in respect to solution of the conflict over Abkhazia, I would argue that the main problem in respect to those times Abkhazian and Georgian peace plans and federal or confederal solutions of the conflict stemmed from the lack of information concerning debates on political strategy taking place on the other side. The main contradictions ran across formation of new institutional relations between Sokhumi and Tbilisi."
Download (.doc)
"The paper will argue that propaganda of irreconcilable Georgian and Abkhazian identities and conflicting narration of the past would not lead to inter-ethnic clashes without existence of the Soviet time institutions [political and... more
"The paper will argue that propaganda of irreconcilable Georgian and Abkhazian identities and conflicting narration of the past would not lead to inter-ethnic clashes without existence of the Soviet time institutions [political and cultural] on ground. This is to claim that the divergent interpretation of the Soviet time institutionalized political and cultural rights on the part of the post-Soviet Georgian and Abkhazian elites paved the way to the conflict. Therefore, institutionalized political, cultural (and economic) legacies brought about the explosion of violent nationalisms in the post-Soviet Georgia.
On the case study of Abkhazia, the research will demonstrate that propaganda of irreconcilable identities, coupled with majority-minority institutional separateness of Georgians and Abkhazians, made the clash between majority and minority nationalisms unavoidable. The Soviet time political and cultural institutions were crucial structures in terms of crystallization of nationalist claims and national movements into political projects after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It is necessary to look at these aspects of the problem through the new, more complex dimension – cultural institutions and their interplay with political ones in the build-up and maintenance of the conflict.
The study will demonstrate that the Soviet institutionalized differences made the crystallization of the conflicting identities and conflicting interaction of ethnic groups possible as they [Abkhazians and Georgians] were locked in the [different and their own] Soviet institutional (mostly in political and cultural) structures. The importance of uncovering these institutional constraints and institutional interaction of the two ethnic groups in conflict is thus clear. The study proposes some sketches for future elaboration along the lines of institutionalized opposition of the conflicting Georgian-Abkhazian identities.
This research will prove the need for institutional reflection on the Georgian-Abkhazian confrontation through conflicting identities. The paper will try to fill in the gaps in terms of joint analysis of identities, narratives and institutionalized actors who have created them. It’ll propose some sketches for future elaboration along the lines of institutionalized opposition of the conflicting Georgian-Abkhazian identities.""""
Download (.doc)
"The paper will argue that an institutional approach might be the convenient theoretical framework for the analysis of post-Soviet conflicts. Drawing the conflict over Abkhazia as the case study for this purpose, it claims that the... more
"The paper will argue that an institutional approach might be the convenient theoretical framework for the analysis of post-Soviet conflicts. Drawing the conflict over Abkhazia as the case study for this purpose, it claims that the research should take the Soviet time inherited institutions as the cornerstone of analysis for understanding of the post-Soviet developments. After the brief introduction of those properties of institutions which help to understand an interaction of actors, the study highlights those conceptual novelties which are brought by [new] institutionalism to the understanding of [ethnic] conflicts in general and the case of conflict over Abkhazia, in particular. In addition, the present research introduces the concept of conflict space as an appropriate tool for linking institutions and actors in reflection of [ethnic] conflicts.
The paper mainly explores political debates over sovereignty issues, crystalized around the various Soviet time constitutions of the Georgian SSR, the Abkhazian ASSR and the Abkhazian SSR, contentions over education (higher education in particular) and linguistic rights, which were essentially part of policy debates, but in reality were revealed as struggle for maintenance and preservation of identities’ of “warrior” sides, and shortly refers to economic rights and policies by the end and aftermath of the Soviet Union, seeing as a rational for conflicting behavior. The exploration of conflict over Abkhazia through the concept of conflict space brings the opportunity to track on institutionalization of the Georgian-Abkhazian power- relations by end of the Soviet Union. "
Download (.doc)
This paper analyzes potential of maintenance of the post-August War 2008 status quo in Abkhazia and explores possible transformation scenarios of existing situation. The present study will try to investigate remained seeds of prospective... more
This paper analyzes potential of maintenance of the post-August War 2008 status quo in Abkhazia and explores possible transformation scenarios of existing situation. The present study will try to investigate remained seeds of prospective conflict, as the current reality might contain some potential of eruption of violence; namely, construction of the Sochi Olympic complex, which irritates Georgians and Circassians, as well as portion of Abkhazians; the North Caucasian new policy line, initiated and followed by the central Georgian authorities, and Georgia’s recognition of the Russia Genocide of Circassians in the 19th century, which should become leverage against the Russian Federation in the wider Caucasus region. All of these aspects make up the present security dilemma in the region. It is interesting whether changes in the Abkhazian-Georgian and Abkhazian-Russian relations could be expected in the foreseeable future.
The paper analyzes the idea of the Caucasian House, perceived by the presidents of independent Georgia as a chance to get rid of the post-Soviet imperial Russia (Zviad Gamsakhurdia), an opportunity to solve the aftermath conflicts (Eduard... more
The paper analyzes the idea of the Caucasian House, perceived by the presidents of independent Georgia as a chance to get rid of the post-Soviet imperial Russia (Zviad Gamsakhurdia), an opportunity to solve the aftermath conflicts (Eduard Shevardnadze) and the platform for the Russian containment (Mikheil Saakashvili). The study explores causes of failure of the Caucasian House as the North-South joint resistance to Russia, inability of its transformation into peace project(s) for the conflict over Abkhazia and existing contentions between the regional states and external actors over this idea after the Russia-Georgian August War of 2008.
The mutually exclusive visions of Georgian, Abkhazian and Russian politicians and experts regarding the Caucasian House made its institutionalization impossible. The Caucasian house turned out stillborn due to political conjunctures of each era; divergent attitudes of the South Caucasian states towards the project, ambiguous positions of the North Caucasian political-administrative units and direct or indirect involvement of the Russian Federation in the region have significantly contributed to its failure. Whereas the Caucasian House as a peace project failed due to different positions of Georgian and Abkhazian scholars and politicians. The Georgian vision centered on the idea of unification of the three South Caucasian states with their conflicting territories (Abkhazia, Tskhinvali, Nagorno-Kharabakh); whereas the Abkhazian proposition was aimed at the creation of the pan-Caucasian union, assembling the North Caucasian Republics of the Russian Federation in addition to the federated Republic of Abkhazia-Apsny, South Ossetia and the Adjarian Republic in a common state with Georgia.
The post-August War initiative of Caucasian unity reveals the past grievances, causes ambiguous positions of the South Caucasian states to the increase of the Turkish-US influence in the region and irritates Armenia with its Azerbaijan-Georgian-Turkish axis, which grants Turkey a central role in emerging project of the Caucasian House.
Download (.doc)
This short report aims to brief on the main proposals for the regulation of the (un)frozen conflicts in Georgia (mainly centered on Abkhazia as a case study, although most of their aspects are applicable to the conflict over Tskhinvali... more
This short report aims to brief on the main proposals for the regulation of the (un)frozen conflicts in Georgia (mainly centered on Abkhazia as a case study, although most of their aspects are applicable to the conflict over Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia) from the early 1990s to the post-August War 2008 reality. It sums up the various projects, initiated at different times, by the Georgian, Abkhazian and foreign politicians, scientists and experts. The description and evaluation of the main offers and essence of the peace projects, as well as the mutual criticism from the side of Georgian and Abkhazian circles are also provided. The analysis of the peace projects reveals that timing is the crucial aspect for grounding and initiating any kind of peace project. On the other hand, the necessity of contextualization of each project in the existing discourse of the particular period should not be missed during the analysis of these peace proposals. All of these projects are centered on the following aspects: governmental-territorial status, institutional subjugation, political and economic freedom in the internal and external affairs. Paradoxically, the various offers of Abkhazians of the late 1990s look more or less attractive after the August War 2008, although they are not readily acceptable nowadays as they contain the ever-existing contradictions between [territorial]-integrity of Georgia and the sovereignty of Abkhazia.
Download (.doc)
The paper will argue that the propaganda of the irreconcilable Georgian and Abkhazian identities and the build-up of the conflicting narration of the past would not lead to the inter-ethnic clashes without the existence of the soviet time... more
The paper will argue that the propaganda of the irreconcilable Georgian and Abkhazian identities and the build-up of the conflicting narration of the past would not lead to the inter-ethnic clashes without the existence of the soviet time institutions [political and cultural] on ground. That is to claim that the divergent interpretation of the soviet time institutionalized political and cultural rights on the part of the post-Soviet Georgian and Abkhazian elites paved the way to the conflict. Therefore, the institutionalized political, cultural (and economic) legacies brought about the explosion of the violent nationalisms in the post-Soviet Georgia.
Download (.doc)
Putin's Information Policy and the European Far-Right Politics Abstract The paper analyzes concurrencies and linkages between the Putin's information policy and political positions of the European far-right groups in the contemporary... more
Putin's Information Policy and the European Far-Right Politics Abstract The paper analyzes concurrencies and linkages between the Putin's information policy and political positions of the European far-right groups in the contemporary Europe. The rise of popularity of the radical right-wing parties of Europe is not pushed by the external support of Putin, but rather by the internal logic of the European integration, which at some point clashed with the national level politics. Through its information politics the Russian Federation succeeded in creation of the Fifth Column in the EU, which is used for projection of the Russian interests in Europe and for extension of its influence on the European far-right groups. This serves as an indirect leverage in the hands of the Russian Federation over the portion of electorate of various European states. The paper reflects on circumstances of the rise of popularity of the right wing parties in Europe in the light of transformation of the existing economic and migrant's crisis of Europe into the political capital. Concentration on national politics, which comes at the expense of shared EU positions on various issues, will weaken containment of the Russian aggression in the post-Soviet states, thus meet with expectations and aims of the Kremlin/Putin. The second part of the study analyses the standing of the Pravy Sector in the post-Maidan politics of Ukraine. Under prolonged conflict in the Eastern Ukraine and due to the poor performance of the government in terms of reformation and combatting corruption, the dissatisfied population might turn to the radical, nationalist parties in the upcoming elections. All in all, the Pravy Sector might pose some serious threats to the implementation of the Minsk process.
Download (.docx)
Download (.docx)
Paper analyzes the prospects of economic incentives for re-approachment of Tbilisi and Sokhumi/Tskhinvali (Georgia) after the Russian-Georgian August War (2008) and highlights their main impediments. It draws on economic aspects of the... more
Paper analyzes the prospects of economic incentives for re-approachment of Tbilisi and Sokhumi/Tskhinvali (Georgia) after the Russian-Georgian August War (2008) and highlights their main impediments. It draws on economic aspects of the post-August War peace projects initiated by the United National Movement and the Georgian Dream Coalition governments and points to their similarities and differences. Both of them promote creation of free economic zones across the secessionist regions/occupied territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia/Tskhinvali Region; each of them contain political-judicial aspects of border-crossing, which replicates negative drawbacks of the Ergneti Market (operating at the de-facto border of the former South Ossetian AO in 1996-2004). The Ergneti Market is praised as a medium of collaboration between conflict-affected communities, thus Saakashvili’s government is denounced for its abolition in 2004 (its operation was stopped as it was a source of smuggling). The study explores economic visions and prospects of these peace proposals as an opportunity of improvement of inter-ethnic relations. Ultimately, economic aspects could bring tangible results in terms of effective communication between communities across the conflict lines, but the “Alliance and Strategic Partnership” document lately signed by Sokhumi and Moscow brings significant constrains on any peace proposal initiated by Tbilisi.
Download (.docx)
The paper will highlight one of the foundations of the contradictions between the central Georgian authorities and the local governing elites of Abkhazia, which started by the end of the 1980s and mostly ran through re-considerations and... more
The paper will highlight one of the foundations of the contradictions between the central Georgian authorities and the local governing elites of Abkhazia, which started by the end of the 1980s and mostly ran through re-considerations and re-interpretations of the soviet time constitutions of these units. Therefore, the Constitution of the Georgian SSR of 1978, the Constitution of the Abkhazian SSR of 1925 and the Constitution of the Abkhazian ASSR of 1978 will come under the focus of the present research. The comparative analyzes of the particular clauses from these constitutions will highlight the strengths of the claims of the Abkhazian authorities on the secession from the Republic of Georgia and the foundations of the insistence of the Georgian authorities on impossibility of the legal separation of the Abkhazian Autonomous Republic from the Republic of Georgia based on these documents.
Download (.pdf)
Download (.pdf)
Download (.pdf)
The paper analyzes the construction and transformation of the post-Soviet security thinking of Georgia and Ukraine in the context of the post-Soviet Russian foreign policy in the near abroad, quite often termed as the legitimate sphere of... more
The paper analyzes the construction and transformation of the post-Soviet security thinking of Georgia and Ukraine in the context of the post-Soviet Russian foreign policy in the near abroad, quite often termed as the legitimate sphere of the Russian influence. After the Rose Revolution of Georgia and the Orange Revolution of Ukraine the independent/pro-Western orientation of these two countries became the main issues securitized by the Russian Federation. Correspondingly, the maintenance of territorial integrity became the top security issue for Georgia (since the early 1990s) and most likely will become so for Ukraine after the Crimean occupation from the side of the Russian Federation (March, 2014) and the subsequent developments in the Eastern Ukraine. The changes in the internal politics of these countries were transposed into the international competition between Russia and the West/US, expressed through the clash of ‘Sovereign Democracy’ and ‘Colour Revolution’ paradigms for the future of post-Soviet states. Practically, these are the tools of maintenance of the Russian influence on the one hand, and exerting the Western values and power across the FSU area, supported with European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) and the Eastern Partnership (EP) projects. The military actions of Russia in Georgia (2008) and Ukraine (2014), a response to the soft power applied by the West, were aimed at creation of a buffer zones in the shape of “frozen conflicts,” which could be used as indirect leverage in the hands of the Russian Federation to block the process of the Western aspiration of Georgia and Ukraine.
Download (.pdf)
The paper deals with the transformation of ethnic politics of Georgia in the post-Soviet period and tries to find answer to the following question: Whether change of the post-Soviet Georgian nationalism from ethnic nationalism of... more
The paper deals with the transformation of ethnic politics of Georgia in the post-Soviet period and tries to find answer to the following question: Whether change of the post-Soviet Georgian nationalism from ethnic nationalism of Gamsakhurdia to liberal nationalism of Shevardnadze ending with civic one of Saakashvili led to the advancement of civic integration process in the country? The study analyzes the political statements of the four presidents of Georgia in the light of ethnic policy discourse through changes in the accents of the state nationalism vs. transformation of state-church relations. The study demonstrates that a shift from ethnic into civic nationalism was exploited as a source of peaceful integration of ethnic minorities of Georgia. The language policy is taken as a case study for the research. It was hoped that civic policies and rhetoric would lead to peaceful integration of conflicting ethnic groups as well, although this was not found to be the truth so far. The paper will try to explain the success and failure of civic integration policy vis-à-vis different ethnic minorities of the country drawing on the language aspect of the National Concept on Tolerance and Civil Integration policy document.
Download (.pdf)
The present paper aims to explore the following aspects of the regional security: whether the developments of the August, 2008 were an attempt from the side of Georgia to recover its control over the South Ossetia? (as argued by some... more
The present paper aims to explore the following aspects of the regional security: whether the developments of the August, 2008 were an attempt from the side of Georgia to recover its control over the South Ossetia? (as argued by some scientists) or as a [defensive] response of the Russian Federation to protect its own citizens? (as it claims); apart from this, another set of legitimate questions do arise: should we comprehend this precedent of war as an attempt of a regime change in Georgia initiated by the Russian Federation to stop the pro-western orientation of the country? Or was it a contradiction between Russia and the US/West over the zones of influences in the [South] Caucasus region, in which Georgia was a key player?
Download (.pdf)
The paper aims to reflect on the different visions of the concept of sovereignty in the post-Soviet Caucasus on the case of the regional conflict over Abkhazia. Considering the limited space for discussion of related issues, the present... more
The paper aims to reflect on the different visions of the concept of sovereignty in the post-Soviet Caucasus on the case of the regional conflict over Abkhazia. Considering the limited space for discussion of related issues, the present study will draw on the case study of the post-August War scenarios. To this end, the paper offers analysis of peace plans of the central Georgian authorities and explores reactions of the Abkhazian and Russian sides. In this respect, the possibility of emergence of shared sovereignty could be seen in the sphere of economy, as, at a glance, this does not lead to an urgent determination of political status; nevertheless, it will be also demonstrated that this is not such a simple problem and economic cooperation brings political aspects to the forefront, first and foremost in terms of border issue. It could be argued that the main problem stems from the fact that international talks are heavily centered on political issues, whereas it would be desirable to set aside the irreconcilable legal status of these regions and focus on provision of soft security to ensure stability.
Download (.pdf)
This paper explores particular disruptive events around the conflict of Abkhazia, occurring during the late 1980s and early 1990s. It summarizes main contentious issues, forming basis for an initial inter-ethnic misunderstandings and... more
This paper explores particular disruptive events around the conflict of Abkhazia, occurring during the late 1980s and early 1990s. It summarizes main contentious issues, forming basis for an initial inter-ethnic misunderstandings and providing fruitful basis for emergence of conflict in the region. It could be argued, that the conflict between central Georgian authorities and local secessionist of Gudauta/Sokhumi was started through bargaining around soviet time constitutions, educational issues, linguistic rights, sovereignty issues, referendums, economic issues and military aspects, which paved the way to actual confrontation and warfare activities. It is notorious that all of these factors were tightly intertwined and had somewhat cumulative effect on each-other as “flows of action rather than single events, and their beginnings and ends [were] necessarily fuzzy” (Beissinger, 2002, p. 69). The second part of paper summarizes main stages of the acute phase of conflict and highlight internal and external causing reasons, motivations and constraints on occurrence of military activities in Abkhazia. The paper will end with the fall of Sokhumi, which is one of the crucial turning points in the post-Soviet developments around Georgian in general, and over Abkhazia in particular.
Download (.pdf)
This paper analyzes potential of maintenance of the post-August War 2008 status quo in Abkhazia and explores possible transformation scenarios of existing situation. The present study will try to investigate remained seeds of prospective... more
This paper analyzes potential of maintenance of the post-August War 2008 status quo in Abkhazia and explores possible transformation scenarios of existing situation. The present study will try to investigate remained seeds of prospective conflict, as the current reality might contain some potential of eruption of violence; namely, construction of the Sochi Olympic complex, which irritates Georgians and Circassians, as well as portion of Abkhazians; the North Caucasian new policy line, initiated and followed by the central Georgian authorities, and Georgia’s recognition of the Russia Genocide of Circassians in the 19th century, which should become leverage against the Russian Federation in the wider Caucasus region. All of these aspects make up the present security dilemma in the region. It is interesting whether changes in the Abkhazian-Georgian and Abkhazian-Russian relations could be expected in the foreseeable future.
Download (.pdf)
The paper demonstrates the role of politics in the creation, maintenance and transformation of the conflicting narratives used for the build-up of the conflict between Georgian and Abkhazian ethnic groups in the Republic of Georgia. This... more
The paper demonstrates the role of politics in the creation, maintenance and transformation of the conflicting narratives used for the build-up of the conflict between Georgian and Abkhazian ethnic groups in the Republic of Georgia. This necessitates investigation of the role and impact of the particular policies on the instrumentalization of narratives. In this case study of the interaction of the Georgian-Abkhazian nationalisms, the uses and abuses of the Soviet era identity building process will be deconstructed; that is the links between identity politics and historical narratives. The legacy of the Soviet policies (mainly political and cultural) has provided the institutional opportunities for the both – re-consideration and re-assessment of the past and laid the foundations for the pretenses within the re-modeling of the future institutional relations between the two ethnic groups. The study argues that
in the context of the institutionalized past, politicians referred to the concrete political and cultural institutions for the backup of their pretenses and build-up of their future political basis.
Download (.pdf)
This paper argues that the Confederation of the Mountain Peoples turned the ethnic relations among the peoples of the Caucasus into a zero-sum game. Initiated as a platform for peaceful collaboration among the Caucasian peoples, the... more
This paper argues that the Confederation of the Mountain Peoples turned the ethnic relations among the peoples of the Caucasus into a zero-sum game. Initiated as a platform for peaceful collaboration among the Caucasian peoples, the Confederation turned into a kind of hub where ethnic claims and contradictions were played out among the various ethnic groups in general and between the Georgians and the Abkhazians in particular. This study claims that establishment of the Confederation was motivated by the political conjunctures generated by dissolution of the Soviet Union and that the Abkhazian secessionist, central Georgian, and Russian authorities, as well as the leaders of the North Caucasian ethnic groups, used it to pursue their radically different [political] interests. Hence, there are serious doubts about the prospect of the Confederation forming a common platform for settling the conflict over Abkhazia and building peace in the post-Soviet Caucasus.
Download (.doc)
Download (.pdf)
Download (.pdf)
Download (.pdf)
The project aims to analyze the role of the Soviet time political and cultural institutions in formation of the conflicting Georgian and Abkhazian identities. To this end, the study draws on example of the post-Soviet clash of the... more
The project aims to analyze the role of the Soviet time political and cultural institutions in formation of the conflicting Georgian and Abkhazian identities. To this end, the study draws on example of the post-Soviet clash of the Georgian and Abkhazian nationalisms. The research hypothesis assumes that the main role in flare up and maintenance of the conflict over Abkhazia was played by different types of institutions from the Soviet period – political (Supreme Soviets and the various union, republican and autonomous level constitutions), economic (related ministries of the autonomous republic) and cultural (educational institutions and identity policy); although, the present research will not deal with economic institutions, as long as their role was mainly determined by political actors and institutions. These institutions have significantly contributed to the institutional struggle and legitimization of various claims between center [Tbilisi] and periphery [Sokhumi] during the late 1980s and the early 1990s, which was mainly aimed at separation of the Abkhazian AR from the Republic of Georgia.
The project is aimed at the investigation of the identity building narratives formed in Georgia in the beginning of the 20th century (till 1921). The texts reflecting Georgian, Abkhazian, Ossetian, Armenian, Azerbaijani and Jewish... more
The project is aimed at the investigation of the identity building narratives formed in Georgia in the beginning of the 20th century (till 1921). The texts reflecting Georgian, Abkhazian, Ossetian, Armenian, Azerbaijani and Jewish identity formation process will be collected and analyzed. The research will enable to reconstruct the processes of formation of ethno-cultural identities and its general context in Georgia by the beginning of the 20th century. The identity forming narratives of ethnic minorities of Georgia will be collected and analyzed on the very first time; The texts, written and published in other languages, will be translated into the Georgian language; The interrelations of the identity narratives, created in Georgia in the beginning of the 20th century, will be reflected and analyzed on the very first time; project seeks to investigate intercultural links and shared experiences of the various ethnic and cultural identities under consideration. The formation process of the above-mentioned narratives will be analyzed in the Georgian as well as in the general imperial contexts. The project will end up in the publication of the key texts of the identity building narratives accompanied with the information on their authors, interrelations of the various narratives and the results of the analysis of their contexts.
The project tried to answer the questions on the origin and outcomes of the conflicts in the selected countries and to present to Ukrainian audience the negative impact the above-mentioned conflicts had on the development of the... more
The project tried to answer the questions on the origin and outcomes of the conflicts in the selected countries and to present to Ukrainian audience the negative impact the above-mentioned conflicts had on the development of the respective countries.
Download (.pdf)
The project tried to analyze the peculiar role of institutions and institutional actors in the conflict over Abkhazia from the late 1980s till the Russian recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia after the August War... more
The project tried to analyze the peculiar role of institutions and institutional actors in the conflict over Abkhazia from the late 1980s till the Russian recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia after the August War of 2008. It looked at the post-Soviet developments through the wider prism of the institutional account. The research explored the internal institutions inherited from the Soviet times as the main factors contributing to the crystallization of the conflict. The research demonstrated that the post-Soviet Georgian and Abkhazian national projects were supported politically, economically and culturally through the Soviet-era institutional policies and structural creations. In this respect the study analyzed the problem through the range of regional, Soviet-inherited institutions (constitutions, supreme soviets, various economic and political decrees), which determined the path-dependence of the conflict. The study explored the Georgian and Abkhazian conflict resolution projects of the early 1990s and the early 2000s and highlighted their main elements. It argued that the main deficiency and failures of those projects stemmed from the divergent interpretation of future institutional relations between the two ethnic groups and the exclusion of the possibility for creating joint institutional space for future inter-ethnic relations. Exploring the pre- and post-August War developments, the study argued that the satisfactory integration of the Russian Federation in any peace plan is the necessary precondition for the regulation of the conflict over Abkhazia. The study concludes that the overcoming of the Soviet institutionally inherited legacies is the number one problem, although it is also demonstrated that the reinstitutionalization of Georgian-Abkhazian relations requires the re-modeling of the relations between the external actors in the wider geopolitical space. It also asserts that the flexibility of institutional solutions brings some hopes for the re-negotiation of the inter-ethnic political relations between Georgians and Abkhazians.
Download (.pdf)
-
author rank

Join David and 37,977,573 other researchers on Academia.edu

not now
Academia © 2016