Zone of conflict : clash of paradigms in South Ossetia

Nicolas Lemay-Hebert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Generally dubbed “frozen conflicts”, the separatist conflicts in the Caucasus are seen by many authors as political and military stalemates. This approach, however, tends to brush aside sociological dynamics at work inside what would be more accurately described as “zones of conflict”. With a specific focus on South Ossetia, this contribution highlights the different logics at play in the state building process of the region. The main argument is to demonstrate how the
oppositional logic of the autocratic de facto government in power and outside interference in the region, from Russia and Georgia mainly, are affecting the state building process of South Ossetia by marginalizing the local population and its needs. In fact, no real state building will take place in South Ossetia, either as a component of a Georgian Federation or as an entity in the Russian Federation, without addressing more carefully the needs of the local population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-85
JournalJournal of Central Asian and Caucasian Studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • South Ossetia
  • Georgia
  • Caucasus
  • state building
  • secessionist conflicts


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