Social and political turbulence in the post-Soviet space: causes and consequences

Shmelev B.A.


The article analyses the socio-political processes in the post-Soviet space, leading to the emergence of conflicts both within and between the Newly Independent States of CYU. The socio-political turbulence in the region is an integral part of the instability that has engulfed a vast region, stretching from Eastern Europe to the Pacific Ocean. Most of the conflicts that undermine not only regional but also global stability are concentrated here. The article notes that although the nature of conflicts and the dynamics of their evolution in different countries located in this vast territory are different, they are united by searching for their identity, leading to interstate conflicts or internal crises. The socioeconomic factors that dominated the state's development and divided the political parties on the right and the left gradually gave way to political forces struggling to assert their understanding of identity in society. Often, the clash of supporters and opponents of different concepts of identity, meaning different vectors of the country's social and geopolitical development, leads to a tough confrontation of various political parties and movements, in their intensity not inferior to the outgoing class struggle. As the author notes, the struggle to establish different models of identity in the NIS will determine the political landscape in the foreseeable future. The search for identity is accompanied by the assertion of the ideology of nationalism as the basis of state-building, which often leads to interstate conflicts, including armed clashes. The article deals with the correlation between nationalism and Islamism in Central Asian countries and the consequences of its increasing influence in Central Asian countries on the nature of its relations with Russia. The author pays great attention to studying the role of civilizational and geopolitical factors in the emergence of socio-political turbulence in the post-Soviet space. Not only is there a struggle between the various Centers of Power to subordinate the development of the NIS to its regional and global interests, but it is also about the desire of various civilizations to draw them into the zone of their gravitational pull. These cases together erode the geopolitical unity of the post-Soviet space and transform it from a subject into an object of modern international relations. According to the author, the main trends in the development of the post-Soviet space show that it remains and will remain a zone of growing conflicts, leading to the strengthening of its disintegration. The NIS is not oriented in its policy to strengthen integration, led by the Russian Federation, but within the framework of their multi-vector foreign policy are trying to balance primarily between Russia and the West, and more recently between Russia and China. The article is written based on the materials of the international scientific conference «The reasons for the growth of socio-political turbulence in the post-Soviet space. Consequences for Russia», held on March 24, 2021, at the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences.


identity; multi-vectors; nationalism; integration; confrontation; turbulence; crisis; post-Soviet space.

DOI: 10.31249/rsm/2021.04.04

Download text