The scholarship on post-Soviet de facto states has structurally focused on issues related to their contested status, and has long assumed that these entities are transient phenomena. In this article I propose a path towards a new research agenda on post-Soviet de facto states based on two main arguments. Firstly, scholars researching post-Soviet de facto states should start from the working assumption that these entities will continue to exist in the current configuration for the foreseeable future, and proceed in their integration with the patron. Secondly, they should seek new terms of comparison beyond contested territories and conflict regions, and they should apply the same terminology to these entities and ask at least some of the same research questions as they would do when studying uncontested territories.
De facto states. Post-soviet. Conflicts. Small dependent jurisdictions. Caucasus.