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Violence in Ethnonational Conflicts in the Post-Soviet Space
Pages 49-54

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From page 49...
... In some cases, however, it can even have self-sufficient significance. But for the researcher oriented toward seeking sociopolitical means for resolving conflicts, violence appears in only one form: the absence of consciousness of an involved party regarding resources and means for peacefully resolving conflicted relations or contradictory interests, or else a rejection of these resources and means for various reasons unconnected with the very nature of the conflict.
From page 50...
... The fundamental principles of ethnonational collisions are based on the unreformed lingering heritage of the Soviet empire, which creates a mass of problems that remain unresolved at the state or political levels. This issue primarily concerns the very structure of unequal and hierarchical ethnonational relations, which formed in the totalitarian society and were maintained not only by repression but also by the then-existing system of economic relations characterized by planned distributions, personnel assignments and transfers, social mobility, and so forth.
From page 51...
... Therefore, the universal arming of the population became common in zones of ethnic tension, while violence, especially involving ethnic paramilitary units, often provided participants with the most effective means of resolving problematic situations. In this sense, the very nature of state power (even in its negative form its weakness or absence)
From page 52...
... For the researcher, this means adhering to several methodological requirements that give rise to the need to consider the following points: · definition of the situation, interests, and motives of the groups acting on behalf of the state or the ethnic whole · definition of the situation, interests, and motives of the ethnic minority and its representatives (the local or national intelligentsia, the ethnonational bureaucracy, the elites, and leaders of religious groups) · attitude toward these representatives by the bulk of the ethnic minority population and leaders of the major traditional formations (clans; teips; kinship-based, tribal, and locality-based associations; and so forth)
From page 53...
... . The degree of intensity with which a conflict progresses is conditioned by a number of factors, with special importance attached to the following: such · the nature of religious beliefs justifying or condemning violence as · archaic cultural traditions and rituals; for example, admiration of or even a cult of aggression against outsiders, as well as the renegade culture as a remnant of initiation rituals in the Caucasus · special characteristics of ethnic or religious identity (images of self and of threats from outsiders)
From page 54...
... Conflicts caused by one set of reasons and by one type of participant could take on a more radical and aggressive nature by virtue of their very duration, inasmuch as the composition and motives of conflict participants are changing. Regardless of the direct basic reason for the taking of sides, widescale conflicts are initially motivated by the interests of elite ethnic groups in society that are striving either to restrain acting institutions, power relations, and associated economic prospects or to change these in their favor and create new structures.

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