By James Hughes
The sheer scale and brutality of the hostilities among Russia and Chechnya stand out as an exception within the regularly peaceable breakup of the Soviet Union. Chechnya: From Nationalism to Jihad offers a desirable research of the transformation of secular nationalist resistance in a nominally Islamic society right into a fight that's its antithesis, jihad. Hughes locates Chechen nationalism in the wider flow for nationwide self-determination that the cave in of the Soviet empire. whilst negotiations failed within the early Nineties, political violence used to be instrumentalized to consolidate opposing nationalist visions of state-building in Russia and Chechnya. The resistance in Chechnya additionally happened in a nearby context the place Russian hegemony over the Caucasus, particularly the assets of the Caspian basin, was once in retreat, and in a global context of emerging Islamic radicalism. along Bosnia, Kashmir, and different conflicts, Chechnya turned embedded in Osama Bin Laden's repertoire of jihadist rhetoric opposed to the "West." It used to be no longer easily Russia's destruction of a nationalist choice for Chechnya, or "Wahabbist" infiltration from with out, that created the political house for Islamism. relatively, we needs to glance additionally at how the clash used to be fought. the shortcoming of proportionality and discrimination within the use of violence, quite by means of Russia, speeded up and intensified the Islamic radicalization and thereby remodeled the character of the conflict.
This nuanced and balanced learn presents a much-needed antidote to the mythologizing of Chechen resistance sooner than, and its demonization after, Sep 11. The clash in Chechnya comprises the most contentious concerns in modern foreign politics—how can we differentiate among the valid use of violence to withstand imperialism, profession, and misgovernment, and using terrorism opposed to valid rule? This ebook units out vital classes for knowing conflicts concerning the risky mix of nationalist insurgency, jihad, and terrorism, such a lot significantly for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Additional info for Chechnya: From Nationalism to Jihad
5 By this Brought to you by | Stockholms Universitet Authenticated Download Date | 10/3/15 8:18 PM 32 Chapter 2 measure the Russian Federation has been very successful. The predicted break-up of Russia did not occur. A claim to secession was asserted in only two ethnic republics, Chechnya and Tatarstan. Only in Chechnya did the assertion of secession led to violent armed conflict. How can we explain the political stability of the Russian Federation and Chechnya's exceptionalism? Obviously, to argue that the limited scale of secession potential was a factor in the noncollapse of Russia would be to present a circular logic.
This common conceptualization of the conflict should be distinguished from cleavages within and between the parties to the conflict. The use of the terms "Russians" and "Chechens" for the protagonists is an oversimplification. The "Russian" side of the conflict is best categorized by dividing it into pro- and anti-interventionist, or pro- and anti-militarist positions. These positions were a cross-cutting cleavage in Russian politics for much of the 1990s, as support for either was drawn from the elites to the right and left of the political spectrum.
A strong case could be made that the secessionists in Chechnya attempted to strengthen their claim to self-determination by engaging in "ethnic cleansing" and that, consequently, it would be wrong of the international system to legitimize secession consolidated by such means. Brought to you by | New York University Bobst Library Technical Services Authenticated Download Date | 10/3/15 8:13 PM 16 Chapter 1 Second, the idea that the current territory of Chechnya corresponds to a historical Chechen homeland is contestable because two regions of northern Chechnya bordering Russia, the Naurskii and Shelkovskii districts, were transferred from Russian jurisdiction to Chechnya under Khrushchev in 1957.