Futuribles Journal n° 448

Institutions - Société, modes de vie

South Caucasus: Turmoil and Prospects

Par

Completing the comparison of value systems on the European continent begun by Pierre Bréchon and Myriam Désert’s article on the values of the Russian people, Futuribles offers an insight here into the populations of the states of the South Caucasus, also based on European Values Study (EVS) surveys. As our readers will be aware, there are two parts to the Caucasus region: North Caucasus (Chechnya, Daghestan etc.), which is part of the Russian Federation, and the South Caucasus comprising three independent countries (with some territories disputed) between the Black and the Caspian Seas. It is the values expressed in these three countries — Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan — that Anton Eichberger compared with those of Western and Eastern Europeans, particularly with regard to the European Union and nationalist sentiment.

After reminding us of the conflicts and tensions that have affected the South Caucasus for decades, Eichberger shows the disparities that exist between these countries in terms of nationalism. If national values emerge as essential — and distinctly more marked than in Western or Eastern Europe — the nature of that nationalism varies, being at times closed and identitarian (Azerbaijan or Georgia) and at others more oriented toward shared ways of life (Armenia). Something similar applies with the attitude to immigrants, Armenians and Georgians expressing more compassion than Azerbaijanis — and even than Europeans. In these areas, the weight of history and the relationship with Russia remains influential, as is evidenced in particular by the distinct openness of Georgia toward the European Union, though this is something which might be cooled to a substantial extent by the war Russia began against Ukraine in 2022.

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