Karabakh and Abkhazia: The Struggle for Independence in the Post-Soviet South Caucasus

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Sandringham House, 2003 - Abkhazia (Georgia) - 294 pages

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In *The Struggle for Independence in the Post-Soviet South Caucasus: Karabakh and Abkhazia* Hratch Tchilingirian presents a discussion of inter-ethnic conflicts in post-Soviet South Caucasus and analyses of the struggle for independence in Nagorno Karabakh and Abkhazia, two failed Soviet autonomies, from a sociological perspective. Drawing on comparative case studies of the two former Soviet autonomies in the South Caucasus, the research demonstrates that a unidimensional analytical framework of inter-ethnic conflicts in the Caucasus does not adequately explain why ethnic groups struggle for independence. This sociological study argues that when social and political restructuring is resisted or ignored by a dominant social group over a long period of time, alternative measures are sought by minority groups either to force a change or to create a new social order, especially when ‘historic’ opportunities are presented. Minority-majority relations in the process of restructuring involve territorial claims, ethnicity, economic inequalities, cultural differences, religion, social customs, political inequalities, access to political power, and group interests. 

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