War and Peace in the Caucasus: Russia's Troubled Frontier (Columbia/Hurst)

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9780231700658: War and Peace in the Caucasus: Russia's Troubled Frontier (Columbia/Hurst)

Having spent decades reporting on conflicts in Georgia and Chechnya, Vicken Cheterian provides an authoritative account of ethno-nationalistic strife in the Caucasus since the collapse of the Soviet Union. He investigates why some nationalist movements became violent while others did not and explores various secessionist rebellions in the region. He also discusses ongoing instability in the North Caucasus, Georgia, and Armenia, and analyzes the competition between Western powers and a newly resurgent Russia for the Caucasus's hydrocarbon resources.

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About the Author:

Vicken Cheterian is a Geneva-based consultant specializing in Caucasus-related research projects.

Review:

This book is essential reading for all who want to understand the roots of conflicts in the Caucasus and those who seek to build a lasting peace in this strategically important region. The recent war between Georgia and Russia has demonstrated that the international community was wrong in assuming that conflicts in Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Nagorno-Karabakh can remain unresolved for decades. Vicken Cheterian's detailed and balanced account of brutal conflicts and their implications for the post-Soviet development of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan stands out on this subject. His nuanced understanding of the historic legacies and modern challenges facing the region, its peoples, and its leaders is based on many years iving and travelling in the Caucasus. He describes why diplomacy has failed to deliver reconciliation and just peace, and his insights should inform any future efforts to promote regional stability.

(Oksana Antonenko, program director (Russia and Eurasia), International Institute for Strategic Studies)

With the South Caucasus suddenly thrust into the center of world attention, Vicken Cheterian's book could not be more timely. Cheterian comes to this topic both as an insider with intimate deep knowledge of the region and as a cool analyst who brings the critical insights of a journalist and the sober judgments of a scholar to bear on historical and political complexities. His story is placed squarely in the context of Soviet collapse and the competing national projects of the Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Georgians, Abkhaz, Ossetians, and Russians. Rather than seeing conflict as primordial or inevitable, Cheterian reveals both the conjunctures and contingencies that made what seemed unavoidable possible. His analysis and interpretations range from pipelines to politicians and provide readers with the most comprehensive understanding of what lies behind the often distorted public rhetoric of state leaders.

(Ronald Grigor Suny, Charles Tilly Collegiate Professor of Social and Political History, University of Michigan, emeritus professor of political science and history, The University of Chicago)

One cannot understand the current unresolved turmoil in the Caucasus, including last fall's war in Georgia, without having read this book.

(Robert Legvold Foreign Affairs 1900-01-00)

Absolutely competent and reliably researched

(Choice)

Cheterian asks the very useful question as to why the four conflicts that form the focus of his book took the shape that they did.

(Alex Marshall War in History)

A comprehensive description of the painful wars in the Caucasus over the last twenty years and an innovative analysis that adds to the theoretical literature on the sources of violent conflict.

(Stephen F. Jones Slavic Review)

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