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Instability, economic stagnation and the role of islam in the North Caucasus


  • Dobler, Constanze


Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, the North Caucasus is known as a politically unstable region and as a melting pot for terrorism and all kinds of criminal activity, reaching from drugtrafficking and illegal arms trade to hijacking and extortion. Furthermore, the North Caucasus is one of Russia's poorest and least developed regions. Although the role of Islam as a destabilizing factor should not be overestimated, it is a determining characteristic regarding the region's past and current development. The paper considers specific influencing factors like the North Caucasus' geographical location, foreign influence, its Soviet past, its history of Islamization, its societal structure, its ethnic heterogeneity and the prevalent Russian institutional vacuum with a focus on Islam and its local characteristics. Then it is questioned whether sustainable socio-economic development is possible within the prevalent institutional environment and whether Islam plays a decisive role or not. It is discovered, that weak governance on the central and regional levels and the inability to implement and enforce the rule of law are responsible for the region's socio-economic situation. The form of societal organization plays a role, too. These factors, however, are historically determined and will therefore persist, in part even in the long run.

Suggested Citation

  • Dobler, Constanze, 2011. "Instability, economic stagnation and the role of islam in the North Caucasus," Violette Reihe: Schriftenreihe des Promotionsschwerpunkts "Globalisierung und Beschäftigung" 35/2011, University of Hohenheim, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Evangelisches Studienwerk.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:hohpro:352011

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Guido Tabellini, 2010. "Culture and Institutions: Economic Development in the Regions of Europe," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 677-716, June.
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    More about this item


    country studies; economic history; economic systems; formerly centrally planned economies; regional history; religion;

    JEL classification:

    • N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N94 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • P20 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - General
    • P30 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - General
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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