Mark Youngman

Explaining the ideological evolution of insurgencies: The North Caucasus, 2007-2015

Supervisors: Dr Cerwyn Moore and Dr Derek Averre

Mark Youngman is undertaking doctoral research exploring the relationship between the ideological evolution of a group engaged in political violence and changes in its internal structure and operating environment. To do this, he is using the case study of the North Caucasus insurgency between 2007 and 2015, using Social Movement Theory (SMT) to examine how insurgent leaders have framed the conflict and how changes in framing relate to changes in both the composition of the groups they lead and in the political opportunities available to them and other actors operating in the region.

Profile

Mark Youngman is a doctoral researcher seeking to explain ideological variance and change in groups that engage in organised political violence. To do this, he is examining two case studies, Dagestan and Kabardino-Balkaria, from the insurgency that operated in Russia’s North Caucasus between 2007 and 2015. He is using Social Movement Theory and Social Network Analysis to explore how insurgent leaders have framed the conflict and how changes in framing relate to changes both in the composition of the groups they lead and in the political opportunities available to them and other actors operating in the same environment.

Biography

Mark Youngman gained a BA in International Relations and Russian from the University of Leeds, which included a year living and studying in Moscow, and further developed his language skills at Leeds with an MA in Applied Translation Studies. Prior to joining POLSIS, he spent seven years as an analyst researching the North Caucasus insurgency and terrorism in Russia, simultaneously acquiring an MLitt in Terrorism Studies from the University of St Andrews. His doctoral research is funded by a scholarship from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Qualifications

  • MLitt Terrorism Studies (University of St Andrews)
  • MA Applied Translation Studies (University of Leeds)
  • BA International Relations and Russian (University of Leeds)

Research interests

  • Terrorism, insurgency, and other forms of political violence
  • Ideology and political beliefs
  • Religion
  • Social Movement Theory and framing
  • Russia and the North Caucasus
  • Leadership
  • Field research in conflict zones

Contact details:

Email:  mxy566@bham.ac.uk