Acting like a state
Armed violence in post-war Abkhazia
This article examines the complex local dynamics of armed violence in post-war Abkhazia. Drawing on in-depth interviews with the Abkhaz participants and non-participants in this violence and a range of secondary materials, it adapts the conceptual and analytical tools developed in civil war studies to capture the irregular and regular aspects of this violence and its location in the contested areas of Abkhazia after the Georgian-Abkhaz war of 1992–1993.
This analysis highlights continuities of the war in the post-war period. Bridging this literature with studies of violence after war and grounding the analysis in the Abkhaz perspectives point to the changes in the actors involved as Abkhaz forces acted like a state in post-war violence and the shift to the localized nature of the Abkhaz struggle as the contested areas within Abkhazia became central to the defense of Abkhazia’s military victory in the war and its statehood after the war.