Among the North Caucasian republics of the Russian Federation, a difference in political development can be observed between republics which have experienced political transitions and instituted some form of multi-candidate elections for positions of leadership, and those where such a transition has not taken place and where the remnants of the Soviet nomenklatura still control positions of power. In principle, it is possible to discern a group of republics which reflect political change: Chechnya, North Ossetia, Ingushetia and Adygeia; and a group which has largely been bypassed by such processes: Dagestan, KarachaiCherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria. The most striking observation is that those that have been most neglected by the processes of political transition are the multi-ethnic republics of the region. Chechnya, Ingushetia, and North Ossetia are all dominated by one titular ethnic group: Adygeia is a special case insofar as it has had a consistent Russian majority but is politically dominated by the Adyge. However, Dagestan, Karachai-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria are multi-ethnic societies in which no group forms a demographic majority (see Table 18.1). Dagestan is ethnically and demographically the most complex territory of the entire region, with over thirty ethnic groups, the largest (the Avars) representing less than 30 per cent of the population.