Asymmetry of values, indigenous forces, and incumbent success in counterinsurgency: evidence from Chechnya

Souleimanov, E. A. and Aliyev, H. (2015) Asymmetry of values, indigenous forces, and incumbent success in counterinsurgency: evidence from Chechnya. Journal of Strategic Studies, 38(5), pp. 678-703. (doi:10.1080/01402390.2014.952409)

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Abstract

This article fills the gap in existing scholarship on asymmetric conflict, indigenous forces, and how socio-cultural codes shape the dynamics and outcomes of conflict transformation. Specifically, it identifies three key socio-cultural values commonplace in honorific societies: retaliation, hospitality, and silence. As sources of effective pro-insurgent violent mobilisation and support from among the local population, these values provide insurgents with an asymmetric advantage over much stronger incumbents. Using the case studies of the two Russian counterinsurgencies in Chechnya, the article shows the mechanisms on the ground through which Moscow’s deployment of indigenous forces against insurgents helped to stem the tide of conflict, reversing the insurgents’ initial advantage in terms of asymmetry of values.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Aliyev, Dr Huseyn
Authors: Souleimanov, E. A., and Aliyev, H.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Central and East European Studies
Journal Name:Journal of Strategic Studies
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0140-2390
ISSN (Online):1743-937X
Published Online:10 October 2014
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 Taylor and Francis
First Published:First published in Journal of Strategic Studies 38(5): 678-703
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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