Ethnopolitical situation in North Caucasus: experts evaluation
Dr. Sci. (Philos.), Prof., Federal Research Center the Southern Scientific Centre of RAS, Rostov-on-Don, Russia email@example.com
Southern Scientific Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, Rostov-on-Don, Russia firstname.lastname@example.org
The paper is devoted to analysis of the dynamics of ethno-political process in the North Caucasus. Empirical basis of the study are a series of expert interviews carried out in 2014. The results are compared to those of 2006 similar study. The research of 2006 was used as starting point to elaborate regional conflict scenarios. The first scenario was “temperately negative” and lasted up to 2008. In 2008-2009 there was a definite shift towards a completely negative scenario, and according to our previous estimates it should have lasted up to 2014 or further. Regional situation in 2014 changed to the better, and it is argued that the greatest contribution to stabilization of the region was made by security forces. At the same time economic, social and cultural conditions changed too little despite considerable administrative efforts and financial injections. Events in the North Caucasus disappeared from the headlines after Ukrainian crisis, but that does not mean that there has been significant improvement of the situation in the region. It is argued that moderate changes to the better should be assessed cautiously as returning from completely negative to temperately negative scenario. 2014 survey revealed that all the factors that caused aggravation of the situation in 2008–2009 still influence regional processes and thus moderately positive tendencies are labile and reversible. Among those factors corruption, economic conditions and religious radicalization are mentioned as most important. The new factor seen by experts is geopolitical situation. Experts regard deterioration of the relations in ethno-political and religious spheres as probable in the nearest future.