2008 seemed to mark a new dawn of self-determination movements: Kosovo declared independence, and was recognised by a majority of Western powers, while Russia announced its recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The article discusses the extent to which there has been a change in the international norms and practice of state recognition and analyses the effect this had on the conflict in Nagorno Karabakh: Is a peaceful solution now even less likely or could these developments provide the necessary push towards compromise? It is argued that the possibility of a compromise solution is affected by both external and internal forces, and although the uncertainty created by Kosovo’s recognition influenced the strategies of both sides, which could have resulted in a window of opportunity for conflict resolution, a solution was not forthcoming. We can therefore expect the status quo to continue for the foreseeable future.
Keywords: conflict resolution, Kosovo, Nagorno Karabakh, peace process, war in Georgia
Denis Gutsko’s novel Russophone (Russkogovoriashchii) describes how a young man handles the transition from being a Russian in Soviet Georgia to becoming a Georgian Russian in post-Soviet Russia. Both Gutsko’s biographical background and the topic of the novel are reasons why Russophone can be classified as a work of Russian immigrant fiction. The author discusses why a new Russian immigrant fiction is currently in the making, and shows how the situation in Western Europe and the post-socialist states differs when it comes to literature by multicultural and migrant authors. She argues that a combination of theory from cultural memory studies and narrative theorycan help us understand what Russophone can tell us about the confusion that Soviet Russian immigrants to post-Soviet Russia experience concerning the question of (national) identity.
Keywords: cultural memory, Georgia, national identity, narrative theory, post-Soviet Russia, Russian immigrant fiction