ABSTRACT

The demise of the Soviet Union in 1991 was a hallmark of profound change. At the global level this change marked not only the fall of the world communism and end to bipolarity but also by the creation of a multiplicity of new states. At the regional level of post-Soviet Eurasia one of most important facets of this change concerns the growing importance of the politics of identity that followed the disintegration of the last modem empire. This chapter intends to survey major changes in issues and patterns of ethnopolitical conflict which took place in post-Soviet successor states and to assess larger contextual factors that influence ethnic peace in the area. It concludes by discussing the menu of ethnopolitical choice that democratizing countries are faced with in the realms of institutions and interactions.