Exiting Anarchy: Militia Politics after the Post-Soviet Wars
Jesse Driscoll, Academy Scholar, Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, Harvard University, and Assistant Professor of Political Science, School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California at San Diego discussed his forthcoming book on how political order emerged in Tajikistan and Georgia after the violent chaos of the Soviet collapse. Despite enormous structural weaknesses—the absence of a national army, impassable mountains, ethnic cleavages, poverty, and foreign-backed insurgencies—stable regimes consolidated with unusual speed. Both states were recipients of substantial bilateral and multilateral assistance in "state-building" during the decade-long study period. Driscoll's revisionist history of civil war settlements is one of how local actors coordinate to hoodwink foreign donor communities, building the stable state structures that endure today.