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About George Hewitt

George Hewitt is professor of Caucasian languages at London's School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS). His work includes (as editor) The Abkhazians: A Handbook (Routledge, 1998)

Articles by George Hewitt

This week’s front page editor

Adam Ramsay, Editor

Adam Ramsay is a co-editor of openDemocracyUK.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Abkhazia, from conflict to statehood

A bitter post-Soviet war in 1992-93 saw the Black Sea territory of Abkhazia resist invasion from Georgia and establish an independent statehood. But amid non-recognition from all but a handful of countries, and persistent hostility from Georgia, the young republic has faced many challenges in the subsequent two decades. The leading scholar of Abkhazia and advocate of its case, George Hewitt, presents an overview of these twenty years and outlines a scenario for the future.

Democracy in Abkhazia: a testing year

An eventful political period in the Black Sea republic of Abkhazia that began in 2011 with the premature death of its president, Sergej Bagapsh, continued with the election of - then a murky assassination attempt on - his successor, Aleksandr Ankvab. The ensuing challenges make the integrity of the country’s institutions and processes even more important, says George Hewitt.

Abkhazia: presidential election, political future

The Black Sea republic of Abkhazia has elected its third president since securing effective independence from Georgia in 1993. The tiny country faces economic and social difficulties, in part deriving from its lack of international recognition. But its democratic experience deserves more attention and respect than much of the world seems prepared to give, says George Hewitt in the capital, Sukhum.

Abkhazia: two years of independence

The small Black Sea republic of Abkhazia, already free of Georgia’s control since the war of 1992-93, emerged more secure from the Georgia-Russia war of August 2008. But if the “dreadful” years of its modern history have ended, the young state is now living through “difficult” times. George Hewitt, in Sukhum, reports and reflects.

Abkhazia, Georgia, and history: a response

An anniversary article on the Georgia-Russia war of August 2008 from the perspective of Abkhazia has provoked a vigorous reaction focusing on questions of linguistics, settlement, and current politics. Its author, George Hewitt, responds to some of the points raised.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia, a year on

The Georgia-Russia war of August 2008 has altered calculations about the future of the two territories that were central to the conflict. The scholar of Abkhazian linguistics and history, George Hewitt, offers an assessment from Sukhum.

(This article was first published on 11 August 2009)

Abkhazia and South Ossetia: heart of conflict, key to solution

The Georgia-Russia war of August 2008 carries a vital lesson: the small territories that broke from Georgia's control in the early 1990s have their own voice, identity, and interest. They must be active participants in deciding their own future, says George Hewitt, the leading scholar of Abkhazian linguistics and history.

(This article was first published on 18 August 2008)

Abkhazia: land in limbo

The unrecognised republic of Abkhazia lies at the heart of the Georgia-Russia dispute. George Hewitt, leading scholar of Abkhazian language and identity, considers how the Abkhaz today view their own future.

Sakartvelo, roots of turmoil

The current political convulsions in Georgia can be understood only against the background of its post-Soviet history, says George Hewitt.
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