Terrorism and the Definition of Civil War

Led by Pavel K. Baev
May 2006

image(soldier_and_child,0,0,right,,AAAAAA) This project aims to bring together the discussions in the CSCW on possible ways to define the phenomenon of civil war and research on the interplay between terrorism and civil war that is focussed on the special case of Chechnya. The point of departure was the debate on definitions of civil wars at the meeting of the leaders of six CSCW working groups on 27 May 2003, which was then continued in the meetings of WG1 on 30 October and 18 November 2003. These discussions provided for broadening the scope of the research on the war in Chechnya (on-going since the mid-1990s), resulting in the article 'Examining the "terrorism-War" Dichotomy' published in Contemporary Security Policy in 2003 and the article 'Instrumentalizing Counterterrroism' published in Studies in Conflict & Terrorism in 2004. The first article examines the US and Russian policies in the 'terrorism-war' dichotomy, arguing that terrorism is not just an 'asymmetric answer' but also a tool for keeping the war going. The second article looks into the instrumental use of terrorism for consolidating Puin's regime in Russia, arguing that victory is not really desirable. 

The research on Chechnya is focussed on the military aspects of the war, with a chapter for a volume edited by Richard Sakwa (Kent University) completed in April 2004 (a draft can be found at http://www.prio.no/page/Project_detail//9244/45100.html). The crisis of Russian policy-making mechanism for Chechnya, revealed by the tragic outcome of the hostage situation in Beslan, is investigated in the project 'Chechnya and Putin's Counter-Terrorism'

A particular dimension connects this project with broad academic debates on the causes and mechanisms of state failure, that were taken at the meeting of the leaders of CSCW working groups on 17 February 2004. These debates also were in the focus of the Peder Sather Symposium at the UC Berkeley on 19-20 April 2004 (http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/SpecialEvents/Sather2004.html). A large-scale joint PRIO/NUPI project 'State failure and regional insecurity' is currently under development with the application submitted to the Norwegian Research Council.




Popular Article

Baev, Pavel K. (2007) Moscow is Reminded that 'War on Terror' is Not Over, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 22 January.
Baev, Pavel K. (2005) Lacking Substance, Moscow Prefers to Talk Terrorism, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 19 September.

Conference Paper

Baev, Pavel K. (2005) Defining Civil War by Examining Post-Soviet Conflict, presented at Identifying Self-reparing Dynamics in Post-Conflict Societies: The Caucasus and Central Asia, Chicago, 2–5 February.
Baev, Pavel K. (2005) Instrumentalizing Counter-Terrorism for Regime Consolidation in Russia, presented at the 10th Annual Convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN), New York, 14–16 April.