Ethnicity, Nationalism and Conflict in the South Caucasus: Nagorno-Karabakh and the Legacy of Soviet Nationalities Policy, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Ethnicity, Nationalism and Conflict in the South Caucasus

Nagorno-Karabakh and the Legacy of Soviet Nationalities Policy, 1st Edition

By Ohannes Geukjian


264 pages

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This book examines the underlying factors of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the South Caucasus from 1905 to 1994, and explores the ways in which issues of ethnicity and nationalism contributed to that conflict. The author examines the historiography and politics of the conflict, and the historical, territorial and ethnic dimensions which contributed to the dynamics of the war. The impact of Soviet policies and structures are also included, pinpointing how they contributed to the development of nationalism and the maintenance of national identities. The book firstly explores the historical development of the Armenian and Azerbaijani national identities and the overlapping claims to the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. The author goes on to assess the historical link between ethnicity and territorial location as sources of ethnic identification and conflict. He examines how identity differences shaped the relationsa between Armenians and Azerbaijanis during the different phases of conflict and presents a detailed historical account of Soviet nationalities policy and ethno-territorial federalism - the basis of which ethnic relations were conducted between governing and minority nations in the south Caucasus. This invaluable book offers students and scholars of post-Soviet politics and society a unique insight into the causes and consequences of this long-standing conflict.


'Ohannes Geukjian expertly analyzes the history and development of the conflict, presenting both the Armenian and Azerbaijani perspectives, and highlighting the Gorbachev era as the major factor precipitating open warfare between the two national groups.' Robert O. Freedman, Johns Hopkins University, USA 'Geukjian highlights the complexity and historical nature of the relationship between Armenia and Azerbaijan. By examining the various actors, from Russia, Persia, Turkey and Europe, Geukjian explores how this relationship has been pushed and pulled, with a particular emphasis on the Soviet nationalities policy. The genealogy provides an extended view of the region economically, politically and geographically like a time-lapse film that conveys continual change, emphasising that neither party is completely innocent. The book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the South Caucasus region, and for scholars working on ethnicity and nationalism.' Europe-Asia Studies 'For those who do not know the story of this conflict, the book serves as a useful primer.' Slavic Review 'The book is well written and I recommend it to anyone who is interested not only in the history of Nagorno-Karabakh, but also in how ethnicity and nationalism shape conflict.' Political Studies Review

About the Author

Ohannes Geukjian is an Assistant Professor at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.

About the Series

Post-Soviet Politics

Post-Soviet Politics
The last decade has seen rapid and fundamental change in the countries of the former Soviet Union. Although there has been considerable academic comment on these changes over the years, detailed empirical and theoretical research on the transformation of the post-Soviet space is only just beginning to appear as new paradigms are developed to explain change. Post-Soviet Politics is a series focusing on the politics of change in the states of the former USSR. The series publishes original work that blends theoretical development with empirical research on post-Soviet politics. The series includes work that progresses comparative analysis of post-Soviet politics, as well as case study research on political change in individual post-Soviet states. The series features original research monographs, thematically strong edited collections and specialized texts. Uniquely, this series brings together the complete spectrum of work on post-Soviet politics, providing a voice for academics world wide.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General