DETERMINANTS OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE IN THE NORTHERN CAUCASUS: REGIONAL ASPECT

Ali SALGIRIEV, Maret BETILMERZAEVA, Abdulla AKHTAEV, Vakha GAZIEV


Ali Salgiriev, Ph.D. (Political Science), Leading Research Associate, Sector of Philosophy and Sociology, Institute of Humanitarian Studies, Academy of Sciences of the Chechen Republic (Grozny, Russian Federation)

Maret Betilmerzaeva, D.Sc. (Philos.), Professor at the Department of Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology, Chechen State Pedagogical University; Professor at the Department of Philosophy, Chechen State University (Grozny, Russian Federation)

Abdulla Akhtaev, Ph.D. (Sociol.), Assistant Professor, Head of the Department of History, Geopolitics and Political Science, Chechen State University (Grozny, Russian Federation) 

Vakha Gaziev, Ph.D. (Political Science), Assistant Professor, Department of History, Geopolitics and Political Science, Chechen State University (Grozny, Russian Federation)


ABSTRACT

The conflict potential that the Northern Caucasus had accrued throughout its history has made it a complicated and depressed region, a scene of confrontation of different political systems, diverse peoples and ethnic groups, seeking power and access to its resources. In the absence of political pluralism and freedom, poverty and social inequality provoke violence as an efficient mechanism of interaction. These conditions provide the background for the authors discussion of various types of political violence, its nature and causes. They present specific examples of how power elites use violence and the methods to which they resort to profit from conflicts.

The authors have concentrated on political elites as the main factors responsible for decision-making in different spheres. As subjects of political violence, they rely on ethnopolitical, religious and economic slogans to be actively involved in the political processes unfolding in the region. In the early 1990s, we witnessed an upsurge of what was presented as the national consciousness and which was, in fact, tension, conflicts and contradictions, stirred up by the North Caucasian political and administrative elites. Moscow has no choice but to take into account their interests and their strategies, in order to keep them away from using mobilizing resources to ignite and fan conflicts. The regional elites habitually use political violence as one of the instruments of their strategy: uncompromising opposition to any political or religious polemic, the use of force when dealing with any issues, including economic, as well as repressions, violations of electoral process, etc.

The authors have concluded their discussion with concise recommendations on how to possibly prevent political violence in the region.

Keywords: Russia, the Northern Caucasus, violence, political violence, conflictology, determinants, ethnopolitical elites, political process.


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