POLITICAL ELITES IN THE CONTEXT OF THE ETHNOPOLITICAL PROCESSES IN THE NORTHERN CAUCASUS

Ali SALGIRIEV


Ali Salgiriev, Ph.D. (Political Science), Chief Researcher, Sector of Philosophy and Sociology, Institute of Humanitarian Studies, Academy of Sciences of the Chechen Republic (Grozny, Russian Federation)


ABSTRACT

The author discusses the North Caucasian political elites as a subject of the political processes unfolding within the regional ethnopolitical processes.

The main role in these processes belongs to the local ethnopolitical elite (regional heads and their closest circles, business elites, clergy, etc.), who also rely on traditional ethnic institutions, national culture and time-honored practices, another source of influence on the masses. The federal Center has to take into account the interests of the ethnopolitical elites rooted in clan, family, and teip solidarity and realized through informal patron-client relationships. The elites closeness and durability are significantly slowing down the democratic processes in the region and interfering with the development of civil institutions.

The ethnic elites never hesitate to use their mobilization resource to haggle with the federal administrative elite over budgets. Not infrequently budget conflicts move to the next, extremist phase.

The author traces and systematizes the specifics of the ethnopolitical tension and contradictions in the region down to their historical, culturological, psychological, social, and economic roots.

Keywords: the Northern Caucasus, Russia, regions, elites, political elites, ethnopolitical elites, conflicts, national relations, nationalities policy, political process, clans.

Introduction

Ethnic relations are very sensitive to social changes: according to the available data, at the turn of the 1980s, about half of the countries of the world were involved in ethnic political conflicts; in the mid-1980s, 98 out of 120 armed conflicts (82%) were ethnic conflicts. The number of ethnopolitical conflicts is steadily climbing up under the pressure of globalization, marginalization, modernization, migrations, mounting global and regional instability, ethnization, ill-devised and..


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