1st Edition

Small Nations and Great Powers A Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict in the Caucasus

By Svante Cornell Copyright 2001

    Introduces the geographical, historical and ethno-linguistic framework of the Caucasus, focusing on the Russian incorporation of the region, the root most conflicts; analyses individual conflicts, from their origins to the attempts at resolving them; analyses the role of the three regional powers (Turkey, Iran and Russia); and sets out a synthesis of the Caucasian conflicts and a conclusion on the place of the Caucasus in world affairs.

    1. The Caucasus: a region in conflict Historical and geographical settings and ethnolinguistic Divisions The Caucasus: a security complex? 2. The legacy of history: underlying factors in the Caucasian conflicts The Russian conquest of the Caucasus: the North Caucasus; The Soviet legacy: Leninist nationality policy and the structure of the Soviet Union The devaluation of autonomy: a cause of conflict and an impediment to resolution The fall of the Soviet Union and conflicting identities; A structural instability? The nature and roots of the Caucasian conflicts 3. The Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh; Early history and conflicting claims; The Soviet era and the suppression of the conflict: 1921–87; Perestroika and the re-emergence of the conflict: 1987–91; Full-scale war: 1992–94; The search for solutions 4. Georgia: from unitary dreams to an asymmetric federation? The historical background; The Georgian national revival; The re-emergence of Abkhazian separatism; Perestroika and the road to independence; The escalation of tension with the minorities Potential disturbances in Georgia; Peacekeeping 173 The search for solutions 5. Russia’s war with Chechnya Prelude: deportation and return The revolution; The tragedy; International reaction and attitudes; Legal considerations: the decolonization aspect; The post-war era 6. Conflicts in the North Caucasus; The Ingush-Ossetian conflict; The Northwestern Caucasus; The Lezgin quest for unification; Dagestan: complexity par excellence 7. Turkey: priority to Azerbaijan Turkey: Azerbaijan’s only ally? Turkey and Armenia: doomed to animosity? Georgia: from neglect to commitment; Chechnya and the North Caucasus: an ambiguous stance 8. Iran: a reluctant neighbour 9. Russia: a retreating hegemonic power, The Russian foreign policy debate and foreign policy goals in the ‘Near Abroad’ Patterns of intervention 10. The United States: towards engagement; 1991–94: incoherence and ‘Russia-First’ policy The watershed: war in Chechnya; 1997 and after: strategic engagement of the Caspian region 11. The Caucasus in Eurasian geopolitics: from backwater to centre-stage? Caucasian strategic alignments in Eurasian geopolitics; Implications for conflict resolution, Conclusions


    Svante Cornell

    'A fine and important book, and usually accompanied by a helpful bibliography and collection of maps.' - Central Asian Survey

    'A useful source for Western readers' knowledge about the Caucasus and its present political problems.' - Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society