Narratives of Violence in the North Caucasus (2003 - 09)

Researchers: Dr. Cerwyn Moore (

Moore, Cerwyn (2006-2009) ‘Trans-local Identities and Transversal Politics: Re-imagining Narratives of Violence in the North Caucasus’ – British Academy Research Award (2006-2009) £7436.88k

Moore, Cerwyn (2003-2005) ‘Reinterpreting Critical Accounts of Contemporary Violence’ - Female Suicide Bombers and Chechnya - British Academy Research Award (2003-04): £4020.00k

In recent years, the conflicts in the North Caucasus have attracted the attention of ethnographers and political scientists alike, with the aim of identifying specific themes that distinguish the two wars in Chechnya, and the subsequent, indeed ongoing insurgency, from other conflicts. What has been argued is that the narrative of violence is shaped by broader foreign policy considerations which revolve around the political transformation of Russia, religious radicalism or theories of human rights.

The aim of this project is to analyse political violence in the North Caucasus. Of particular interest is the way in which aspects of violence in the North Caucasus have inscribed narratives of identity and broader theoretical accounts of transversal politics.

Project aims

The project aims to:

  • Produce a comprehensive study of the changing nature of violence in the North Caucasus, including an assessment of the dynamics within the insurgency (role of foreign fighters, use of suicide attacks), from 1991-present.
  • Examine the narratives of violence in the two Russo-Chechen Wars of the 1990s.
  • Critically assess the forms of political violence (terrorism, insurgency, guerrilla war) in both the second Russo-Chechen war (1999-2004) the subsequent insurgency in the North Caucasus (2004-present).
  • Use the research findings to build upon existing critical theoretical approaches in an attempt to enrich studies of both post-Soviet security and political violence in the North Caucasus.

Research outputs

The project, which is ongoing, has benefited from financial support from the British Academy and has led to a series of published pieces and forthcoming works.

  • Publications / Work-in-progress:

Moore, C (2010) Contemporary Conflict: Postmodern War in Kosovo and Chechnya (Manchester: Manchester University Press).

Moore, C (2010) ‘Suicide Bombing and Strategy: Chechnya, the North Caucasus and Martyrdom’, Europe-Asia Studies, (forthcoming).

Moore, C (2009) ‘Suicide Bombings Part of Tactical Shift by North Caucasus Rebels’, North Caucasus Weekly: Eurasian Daily Monitor, Volume: 6, Issue: 170, September 17th.

Moore, C., and Tumelty, P (2009) ‘Assessing Unholy Alliances in Chechnya: From Communism and Nationalism to Islamism and Salafism’ (with Paul Tumelty), Journal of Post-Communist Studies and Transitions Politics, Vol.25, No.1, pp.73-94. ISBN 1352-3279.

Moore, C., and Tumelty, P (2008) ‘Foreign Fighters and the Case of Chechnya: A Critical Assessment’ (with Paul Tumelty), Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, Vol.31, No.5, pp.412–433. ISBN 1057-610.

Moore, C (2008) ‘Review Article: Russia’s Post-Colonial War(s)?’, Europe Asia Studies, Vol.60, No.5, pp.855–865.

Moore, C., and Wills, D (2008) ‘Securitising the Caucasus: From Political Violence to Place Branding in Chechnya’, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, Vol.4, Issue.3, pp.252-262. ISBN 1751-8040.

Moore, C (2007) ‘Combating Terrorism in Russia and Uzbekistan’, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Vol.20, No.2, pp.303-323.

Moore, C (2005) ‘Post-Modern War, Genocide and Chechnya: the case of female suicide attacks as a problem for international law and International Relations’, International Criminal Law Review, Vol.5, No.3, pp.485-500. ISSN 1567-536.

  • Paper presentations

Moore, Cerwyn (2010) ‘Chechen Terrorism’, University of Cambridge, April 25th.

Moore, Cerwyn (2009) ‘A Critical Analysis of Spectacular Terrorism: Chechnya, Narrative and Suicide Terrorism’ British International Studies Association (BISA) Annual Conference, University of Leicester, December 16th.

Moore, Cerwyn (2009) ‘Chechnya and the Media’, Digital Media and Security Workshop, University of Warwick, May 21-22.

Moore, Cerwyn (2009) ‘Chechnya’, Sovereignty and Territoriality: Awkward Bedfellows, Chatham House, London, April 20th.

Moore, Cerwyn (2008) ‘After the War in Chechnya: The Radicalisation of the Chechen Insurgency’, MARRCH/SOAS, November 27th.

Moore, Cerwyn (2007) ‘Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism: Analysing political violence in the North Caucasus’, World Universities Network (WUN), November 26th.

Moore, Cerwyn (2007) ‘From Snipers to Suicide Attacks: Exploring the Representations and Realities of Conflict in Chechnya’, ESRC Gender and Violence Workshop, City University, London. February 17th.

Moore, Cerwyn (2006) ‘Female Suicide Attacks, The War on Terror and Beslan’, University of Nottingham, School of Politics, Institute for Asia-Pacific Studies, November 21st.

Moore, Cerwyn (2006) ‘The 'war on terror: Post-Soviet Terrorism, Chechnya and Suicide Attacks’, PSA Communist & Postcommunist Specialist Group Annual Conference 2006, University of Birmingham, March 18th.