Conclusions: the future of conflict in the former USSR
Sussex, M, Conclusions: the future of conflict in the former USSR, Conflict in the Former USSR, Cambridge University Press, M Sussex (ed), UK, pp. 195-209. ISBN 978-0-521-76310-3 (2012) [Research Book Chapter]
It is rare that specific conclusions about a book's subject matter can be
drawn from an edited collection of this type. Certainly, the contributors
to this volume would not agree on a rank order of causes for the different
conflicts that have occurred on the territory of the former USSR.
Nor would we necessarily agree on which of the wars since 1991 are
more significant than others, and we would not be able to articulate a
common position on the most appropriate way to resolve conflict in the
former Soviet space. Such is the nature of academic discourse. So too
is it the nature of war itself, which can be prompted by myriad structural,
political, economic, social, ideational and technological forces,
sometimes in easily recognisable patterns, and sometimes not. Yet it
is instructive that all the chapters in this book find common ground
on one key area: the prospects for future conflict. Each contribution
explicitly notes that the conditions that can give rise to conflict have not
been ameliorated in the two decades since the collapse of the USSR.
In fact, it can be argued that they have actually grown more acute in
some cases. There are several reasons for this, each of which has been
addressed in more detail in specific chapters. Perhaps the most significant
has been the inability of former Soviet states - whether due
to material weakness, failure to construct appropriate domestic and
regional institutions, competing interests, polarised identities, or a mix
of these - to address the root causes of regional conflict.