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The South Ossetian- Georgian conflict: 1990-2008

Bora, Aslı
This thesis deals with the South Ossetian- Georgian conflict and its internationalization especially since the Rose revolution in Georgia in 2003. The main objective of the thesis is to examine the changes in the rivalry between Russia and the United States over the Caucasus and their effects on the relations between Georgia and the South Ossetia. The thesis argues that the development of the conflict between Georgia and the South Ossetia has been shaped by the changes in the level of involvement by Russia and the United States rather than the bilateral relations between Tbilisi and Tskhinvali. Thus, international and systematic factors are more determining than local dynamics of this conflict. The thesis has six chapters, including the introduction and conclusion chapters. After the introduction, the second chapter examines the ethnic origins of the Ossetians and the Georgians as well as historical background of their relations. The third chapter analyzes the sources of the conflict and the 1991-1992 war between Georgia and the South Ossetia. The fourth chapter discusses the 2003 Rose revolution in Georgia and its affects on Georgia’s relations with the Western powers, namely the United States and the European Union. The fifth chapter examines the worsening relations between Russia and Georgia after the Rose revolution as well as the Russian-Georgian War in 2008 with its international consequences.