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Politics and International Relations (PIR): Research


Islamic Radicalisation in Russia


  • Luke March (Politics & IR) and Roland Dannreuther (Politics & IR)

Funding scheme

  • Economic and Social Research Council

Project summary

The project investigates the causes of Islamic radicalisation within Russia and their consequences for Russia's relevant domestic policies (for example ethnic, regional, immigration policies, and domestic democratisation), as well as its foreign policy response towards the Muslim world in the context of the global 'War on Terror'.

Russia is a critical, but often neglected, dimension in the debate over the causes and impacts of radicalisation and Islamist political violence (except for a sizeable body of research on Chechnya). Russia's President Putin has staked much of his reputation on his 'success' in providing order and stability to counter the threat of the external importation of 'international terrorism' and 'Islamic fundamentalism'. Russia has seen itself as an integral part of the War on Terror, and therefore this research engages as much with the transnational elements of Islamic political violence as it does with those specific to Russia.

The project has four principal research questions that define each section of the research:

  1. It analyses how Russian policy-making and academic elites (including political parties) conceptualise the idea of 'radicalisation' and political violence and terrorism, particularly in relation to Islamist radicalism.
  2. The project will analyse how these discourses relate to, or are translated into, state practice and policy. There will be a detailed analysis of how the Russian government,  press and political parties, presents and conceptualises these events, how they extrapolate their broader significance, and make linkages with subsequent policy decisions.
  3. We will assess these state-driven practices affect policies and attitudes on the ground, and the extent to which they feed or undermine underlying processes of radicalisation.
Freshers 2013