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After the War Ends: Violence in Post-Soviet Unrecognized States

What happens after the fighting in intrastate conflicts officially ends? Peace settlements and military victories are assumed to bring an end to violence, yet they are often followed by high levels of crime and fighting among former enemies, even among former allies.

Questions about post-war violence are particularly important in unrecognised states born out of violent struggles, as these are vulnerable entities in the international system from the very outset. Unrecognised - or de facto - states lack international recognition but function as state-like entities in that they control the population within their territories. While unrecognised states have been features on the international scene for decades, the fall of the USSR and subsequent separatist conflicts gave rise to several such state-like entities - Abkhazia, Chechnya, Nagorno Karabkah, South Ossetia, and Transnistria.

This study theorises and examines the causes and consequences of post-war violence within these unrecognised states, following a two-pronged research strategy. First, based on statistical analyses of survey data, the study assesses how the inhabitants’ experiences of criminal and political violence affect  their views of the unrecognised states and their regimes. Second, the study traces how the organisation and nature of war-time violence shapes post-war peace and stability (or lack thereof).

  • Outputs (6)