The Effects of War on the Chechen National Identity Construction
Since the end of the first war in 1996, the definition of the Chechen national identity has been at stake in a top-level competition. I argue that four main trends – the separatists, the radical Islamists, the traditionalists and the pro-Russians – are in competition. Each of them produces its own narrative, based on a specific rendering of history. Using a constructivist approach, I address the influence of an all-out war context on social interactions, self-perception and categorisation by the others. I then examine the narratives in competition. I finally show how history and traditions have become political weapons in the struggle for power and legitimacy by opposing self-proclaimed elites promoted by wars.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2006-06-01