Western academic discourse on post-Soviet de facto state phenomenon

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Abstract

This article examines how the so-called post-Soviet de facto states are conceptualized and discussed within the wider context of Western English language social and political sciences, including inter-disciplinary Russian, Slavonic, East European and Eurasian area studies. It outlines the main theoretical models and methodologies utilized in the analysis of this phenomenon, and identifies their respective benefits and shortcomings. The article posits that there is considerable unevenness between various theoretical paradigms in terms of their explanatory clarity and their relationship with empirical reality. I argue that Western academic discourse on the post-Soviet de facto states, and on post-Soviet politics more generally, has been increasingly shaped by mono-theoretical determinist models with heavy reliance on deductive quantitative research methods and secondary sources in English
language and non-academic analytical reports. A corollary has been a considerable deterioration in the epistemological quality of the discourse on de facto states, and on occasion its politicization.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-238
JournalCaucasus Survey
Volume3
Issue number3
Early online date30 Sep 2015
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Sep 2015