Tsjetsjenske flyktninger på grensen til Georgia Foto: IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation/ Creative Commons/ CC BY-NC-NC 2.0

VIOLENCE AGAINST CIVILIANS: Few Russians protested against the massive violence done to Chechens

How war becomes acceptable

Published: 3 Oct 2016

What makes some conflicts difficult to engage in, while others are seen as logical, even necessary?

This is discussed in Julie Wilhelmsens most recent book: ““Russia’s Securitization of Chechnya – How war became acceptable”. The book provides an in-depth analysis of how mobilization and legitimation for war are made possible, with a focus on Russia's conflict with Chechnya.

Re-phrased as terrorists

Drawing on a detailed study of changes in Russia’s approach to Chechnya, this book argues that ‘re-phrasing’ Chechnya as a terrorist threat in 1999 was essential to making the use of violence acceptable to the Russian public. The book refutes popular explanations that see Russian war-making as determined and grounded in a sole, authoritarian leader. Close study of the statements and texts of Duma representatives, experts and journalists before and during the war demonstrates how the Second Chechen War was made a ‘legitimate’ undertaking through the efforts of many.

A framework

A post-structuralist reinterpretation of securitization theory guides and structures the book, with discourse theory and method employed as a means to uncover the social processes that make war acceptable. More generally, the book provides a framework for understanding the broad social processes that underpin legitimized war-making.

This book will be of much interest to students of Russian politics, critical terrorism studies, security studies and international relations.