Musa Shanib(ov) [Yuri Shanibov]

President of the Confederation of the Peoples of the Caucasus (CPC), Chairman of the Congress of Kabardian People.

Born 25 May 1935 in the city of Nalchik in the Kabardino-Balkar ASSR, he graduated from the Law Faculty of Rostov University, a Candidate of Philosophical Sciences, Doctor of the Chair of Political Science of the Kabardino-Balkar State University. He worked in the post of Secretary for Ideology at the Kabardino-Balkar Regional Committee (VLKSM: All-Union Youth Communist League of Lenin).

Founder and Scientific Director of the Centre for Sociological Research of the Kabardino-Balkar State University. Doctor of Sociology of the International Personnel Academy (Kiev, The Ukraine); Doctor of Sociology of the International Open University (California, USA); Honorary Professor of the Abkhazian State University. From August 1989 he was Chairman of the Coordinating Council of the Assembly of the Mountain Peoples of the Caucasus; from 1992 First Deputy-Chairman of the Congress of the Kabardian People.

In September 1992 he was arrested on a charge of inciting inter-ethnic strife, which gave rise to disturbances in Kabarda; on 27 September he fled and from October 1992 found himself in Abkhazia. For his part in the war he received the title Hero of Abkhazia.

On Shanibov's initiative, the headquarters of the Confederation of the Peoples of the Caucasus was set up in Gudauta for the provision of help to Abkhazia. According to his own statements, he felt himself secure only in Chechenia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia. He considered that it was the politics of Russia and Georgia which led to the Caucasian War.

+ See the CW's Interview with Musa Shanib

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Bourdieu's Secret Admirer in the CaucasusBourdieu's Secret Admirer in the Caucasus
A World-System Biography

University of Chicago Press, 2005.

by Georgi M. Derluguian

Bourdieu's Secret Admirer in the Caucasus is a gripping account of the developmental dynamics involved in the collapse of Soviet socialism. Fusing a narrative of human agency to his critical discussion of structural forces, Georgi M. Derluguian reconstructs from firsthand accounts the life story of Musa Shanib—who from a small town in the Caucasus grew to be a prominent leader in the Chechen revolution. In his examination of Shanib and his keen interest in the sociology of Pierre Bourdieu, Derluguian discerns how and why this dissident intellectual became a nationalist warlord.

Exploring globalization, democratization, ethnic identity, and international terrorism, Derluguian contextualizes Shanib's personal trajectory from de-Stalinization through the nationalist rebellions of the 1990s, to the recent rise in Islamic militancy. He masterfully reveals not only how external economic and political forces affect the former Soviet republics but how those forces are in turn shaped by the individuals, institutions, ethnicities, and social networks that make up those societies. Drawing on the work of Charles Tilly, Immanuel Wallerstein, and, of course, Bourdieu, Derluguian's explanation of the recent ethnic wars and terrorist acts in Russia succeeds in illuminating the role of human agency in shaping history.

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 With the Kabardian volunteers. Abkhazia, Autumn 1993


Shanib(ov) being greeted in Abkhazia by the Chorus of Abkhaz Veterans‏


Shanib(ov) playing mandolin at home, 1970s‏


Shanib(ov) explaining Freud to students, 1970s‏


Prof. Shanib(ov) in his Nalchik state university office, 2003‏


Musa Shanib(ov) & George Hewitt. Sukhum, Abkhazia, 2008

Photo Credits:
+ Georgi Derluguian ''Bourdieu's Secret Admirer in the Caucasus.'' © All rights reserved.
+ George Hewitt