Asia Europe Journal

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 47–67 | Cite as

Georgia’s frosts: ethnopolitical conflict as assemblage

  • Ondrej DitrychEmail author
Original Paper


This article is a reinterpretation of ‘frozen conflicts’ as assemblages binding together and strategically orienting a variety of components from both human and nonhuman estates at various scales in order to make a move toward ‘unfreezing’ their research. It then demonstrates how this perspective may be employed in the case of the ethnopolitical conflict in Georgia. The resulting analysis points to several important processes that animate the constant pulsation of the conflict field even when arms are calm and contribute to the dynamic and becoming nature of the conflict and its dynamic (re-)assembling. It illuminates how the visibility function of the assemblage operates and endows with meaning the structure of relations in the conflict field. It traces how the bricolage of Georgian social association transformed over time, notably under Saakashvili, and how it has also been a key element of statebuilding practice in the separatist entities. The analysis moreover demonstrates how the actual instantiations of collective violence form but a fraction of that which takes place in the conflict field, from other forms of political and criminal violence to regime change, state (un-)making through processes of contraction or extension of heterogenous, ‘hybrid’ governscapes including some distinctly virtual ones but betraying real political effects. Finally, it expounds how the ethnopolitical conflict assemblage affixes together a variety of agency from human agents to institutions from local to state governments or the international conflict resolution apparatus in addition to the material (nonhuman) actants enrolled in the translation networks populating the conflict field.


Funding information

I acknowledge funding by the Charles University Research Program PROGRESS Q18 Social Sciences: From Multidisciplinarity to Interdisciplinarity.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.D.CENT Karl Deutsch Centre for International Political and Social Research, Faculty of Social SciencesCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic

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