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Open Access Publications from the University of California

State Building and the Reconstruction of Shattered Societies. 1999 Caucasus Conference Report.

  • Author(s): Ascher, Ivan
  • Patten, Alexandra
  • Monczewski, Denise
  • et al.

Since the late 1980s, the Caucasus and Caspian littoral states have passed through a period of extreme turmoil. In addition to the economic costs of decentralizing and marketizing their economies and the political difficulties associated with constructing new political and institutional infrastructures, they experienced interstate and intrastate war, as well as a devastating earthquake in Armenia in 1988. Despite these difficulties, there have been signs of regional stabilization and recovery in parts of the region: economic growth, an abatement of many conflicts, and an improvement of internal order; but this stabilization remains partial and precarious. This is a report from a conference held in 1999 that addressed: the prospects for democratic consolidation; comparative economic performance and prospects for recovery; the impact of Russia's economic problems and the implications of the global financial crisis for economic stabilization and restructuring; the role of outside powers in contributing to, or undermining, stability in the region; the cultural heritage of the peoples of the Caucasus and the relationship between tradition and "modernity"; coping strategies for surviving the turmoil of the past ten years; and the ability of the international community to help reconstruct the region.

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