Karabakh and Abkhazia

TheStruggleforIndependence Front_cover

Hratch Tchilingirian, The Struggle for Independence in the post-Soviet South Caucasus: Karabakh and Abkhazia. London: Sandringham House, 2003.  ISBN 9781366927606.


The Struggle for Independence 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.

Hratch Tchilingirian, Sociology Department, London School of Economics and Political Science.


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