The head of the project: Vladimir Kolosov
The title of the project: Post-Soviet Non-Recognized States: Factors of Viability and Risks for Russia
Key words: non-recognized States, sovereignty, non-controlled territories, territorial identity, socio-economic development, geopolitical situation, fragmentation of political space, borders, separatism, secession
The project’s scientific importance is determined by the crisis of statehood in many regions of the world and the related processes of fragmentation of political space, instigated by both internal causes and foreign interference. Vast territories have spun out of control of states recognized by the international community. Some of these territories have existed already for decades and have turned into the arenas of rivalry between local chiefs, radical political leaders, criminal gangs, and drug lords, gaining no fixed borders. In other cases, polities have taken shape with most attributes of a state but they are not recognized by the international community or recognized only by few countries. To reveal the causes of the fragmentation of the global political space and the formation of a geopolitical order that allows the existence of non-recognized states and other non-controlled territories (NCTs) is a fundamental scientific problem. Its solution requires the analysis of changes of representations about sovereignty and their relationship with territorial identities, the “fuzzy” and exceptionally dynamic de facto state borders between NCTs and the remaining part of parent states, the sources of existence and external relations of non-recognized states, relations between them and neighbouring territories, the role of NCTs in regional conflicts, and so on. The topicality of the project is associated with security threats and political risks for Russia, caused by the unsettled status of the state formations that have appeared in the post-Soviet space in the immediate vicinity of its borders. Russia is deeply involved in the problems of six unrecognized (or partially recognized) states in the former Soviet Union.