AVKSENT’EV V.A., GRITSENKO G.D., IVANOVA S.Yu., SHULGA M.M. Risks in the North Caucasus: Potential or Real Escalation of the Ethnopolitical Situation

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.3.10 

Viktor A. Avksent’ev

Doctor of Sciences (Philosophy), Professor, Head of the Laboratory of Conflict Studies

Federal Research Centre The Southern Scientific Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SSC RAS)

Chekhov St., 41, 344006 Rostov-on-Don, Russian Federation

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0762-3529

Galina D. Gritsenko

Doctor of Sciences (Philosophy), Professor, Chief Researcher, Laboratory of Conflict Studies

Federal Research Centre The Southern Scientific Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SSC RAS)

Chekhov St., 41, 344006 Rostov-on-Don, Russian Federation

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8281-7409

Svetlana Yu. Ivanova

Doctor of Sciences (Philosophy), Professor, Chief Researcher, Laboratory of Conflict Studies

Federal Research Centre The Southern Scientific Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SSC RAS)

Chekhov St., 41, 344006 Rostov-on-Don, Russian Federation

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2375-6348

Marina M. Shulga

Doctor of Sciences (Sociology), Professor, Leading Researcher, Laboratory of Conflict Studies

Federal Research Centre The Southern Scientific Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SSC RAS)

Chekhov St., 41, 344006 Rostov-on-Don, Russian Federation

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4698-5197


Abstract. Introduction. Positive dynamics in the ethnopolitical sphere of the North Caucasus does not mean that there are no further risks of the escalation of the ethnopolitical tension and stabilizing processes are irreversible. The goal and objectives of the article are the identification of the current ethnopolitical situation in the North Caucasus and assessment of the achievements or failures of the decade-long implementation of programs of reconstructiong the region. The authors identify risk factors of the ethnopolitical tension in the North Caucasus as a key approach to conflict forecasting, develop a hierarchy of risk factors, and assess the optimality of management decisions.

Methods and discussion. In the context of the discussion the most relevant is understanding risks as an inevitable product of decision-making (Luhmann). The analysis of risk generating processes in the North Caucasus is most effective from the standpoint of the conflict studies (conflict resolution) approach (Burton). Empirical data was obtained by series of expert surveys, the Delphi method, content analysis of media sources (the Internet, printed press, radio, television) and analysis of official statistical data. The conclusion was made that during the past three years positive results have been achieved mainly due to administrative resources and activities of the institutions of force (“siloviki”), but those resources are close to exhaustion. All “classical” risk factors identified by the country’s leadership in 2009 remain and “new” risk factors are actualized. Among the “classical” risks, the first positions are occupied by the low level of industrial production, the critical dependence of the North Caucasus republics on federal budget subsidies, the lag in life standards in these republics from the average in Russia, the retention of a high unemployment rate. These risks are to a large extent due to such factor as the low efficiency of regional authorities. The “new” risk factors include those that were in a latent state, but now can turn into manifest conflicts. This is, above all, a land-use problem that has various modifications: ethnic, territorial, economic, historical. Further studies of the problems of the North Caucasus are related to the analysis of the effectiveness of the system of ethnopolitical security and centre-peripheral relations, to the new non-trivial approaches in the theory of Russian federalism, to the choice of a model of spatial development of the Russian Federation.

Analysis and results. Despite the general improvement of the climate of ethnic relations, risk factors in the ethnopolitical situation in the North Caucasus can result in the return of the region to the negative conflict scenario. The modern North Caucasus can be characterized as a risk society, in which risks appear as a result of decision making more and more frequently. Some positive “shifts” in the economic and social basis of life in the region are not sufficient for irreversible changes of the situation for the better. The specificity of current problems in the North Caucasus is that their conflict potential can be implemented “unexpectedly” through various indirect links.

Key words: North Caucasus, risk analysis, ethnopolitical situation, ethnopolitical conflicts, forecasting and scenario analysis.

Citation. Avksent’ev V.A., Gritsenko G.D., Ivanova S.Yu., Shulga M.M. Risks in the North Caucasus: Potential or Real Escalation of the Ethnopolitical Situation. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2020, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 115-128. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.3.10  

Лицензия Creative Commons

Risks in the North Caucasus: Potential or Real Escalation of  the Ethnopolitical  Situation by Avksent’ev V.A., Gritsenko G.D., Ivanova S.Yu., Shulga M.M is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Attachments:
Download this file (3_Avksentev_etc.pmd.pdf) 3_Avksentev_etc.pmd.pdf
URL: https://hfrir.jvolsu.com/index.php/en/component/attachments/download/2250
178 Downloads