The politics of non-recognition in the context of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict

This publication is the third in a series of ‘Dialogue through Research’ reports produced by Georgian and Abkhaz experts. The reports seek to shed new light on the conflict and to stimulate a different way of thinking about conflict-related issues. The issue of the ‘recognition’ or ‘non-recognition’ of Abkhazia was one of the first themes to be tabled at the beginning of this ‘Dialogue through Research’ process in May 2008 – even before the tragic war of August the same year and the subsequent unilateral recognition by Russia of both Abkhazia’s and South Ossetia’s independence. Until then, and indeed ever since, the policy of ‘non-recognition’ – based on the principle of territorial integrity – has remained the cornerstone of Georgian and Western policy towards the resolution of the two conflicts. Generally, civil dialogue processes tended to avoid the hot issue of political ‘status’ that had driven the official peace process into the ground, focusing mainly on ‘human security’ issues and areas of ‘common interest’. However, after August 2008, the dialogue participants themselves felt they needed to reassess the ‘new political realities’. (Русский)