The Northwest Caucasus
Past, present, future
Routledge – 2009 – 256 pages
Series: Central Asian Studies
This is the first book to present a comprehensive history of the Northwest Caucasus. Based on extensive research, it describes the peoples of the Northwest Caucasus, which have a significantly different ethnic makeup and history than the Northeast (Chechnya and Daghestan). The book examines their struggles for survival against repeated invasions and their ultimate defeat at the hands of the Russians. It explores interethnic relations and demographic changes that have occurred in the region over time with a particular focus on the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries, incorporating recently published archival materials concerning the deportation of the Abazas, Circassians and Ubykhs to the Ottoman Empire by the Russians, which is treated as the first act of ethnic cleansing in modern history. The book also closely examines the struggles the Northwest Caucasus peoples continue to undergo in the post-Soviet era, facing pressures from organized crime, religious extremism, and a federal government that is unresponsive to their needs. It emphasizes the strategic importance of the region, lying on the northeastern shore of the Black Sea directly on the border between the "Christian" and "Muslim" worlds. Overall, it will be of interest to scholars of Russian history and politics, Caucasus and Central Asian Studies, genocide studies, international relations and conflict studies.
'Of great interest to scholars and those active in politics focused on the Caucasus and Central Asia. Summing up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.' - A.V. Isaenko, CHOICE July 2009 Vol. 46 No. 11
'This historic analysis is based on an impressive catalogue of sources including many post-Soviet and some older Russian studies, documents and statistics. The book is valuable for those who wish to navigate this extremely complex, diverse and conflict-prone region, which remains isolated even today.' - Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, August 2009
'…the book is remarkable in many respects. First and foremost, it is the most comprehensive book thus far comparing the histories of Circassian and Karachai-Balkar nations. Secondly, while some research has been published on various Northwest Caucasian groups over the last decade, this book ties many topics of the existing scholarship together' - TIMOFEY AGARIN, Europe-Asia Studies,Volume 61 Issue 9, 2009
Introduction 1. Origins 2. Culture 3. Struggles for Independence, 1300-1760 4. The Caucasus War 5. Incorporation into Imperial Russia 6. The Soviet Period 7. The Rise of Nationalism 8. The Northwest Caucasus in the Twenty-First Century. Conclusions: Possible Futures
Walter Richmond is Assistant Professor of Russian studies at Occidental College, Los Angeles, US. His research interests include Islamic movements in the former Soviet Union, ethnopolitics in the North Caucasus and the politics of oil in the Caspian Basin.