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Contemporary violence

Postmodern war in Kosovo and Chechnya

edited by: Cerwyn Moore
published by
: Manchester University Press
ISBN: 9780719075995
$ 88, 07 | € 66,68

Book's frontpage

This book draws on several years of field research, as well as interpretive IR theory and analysis of empirical source material so as to shed light on contemporary violence.
Drawing on interpretive approaches to International Relations, the book argues that founding events and multiple contexts informed the narratives deployed by different members of each movement, illustrating why elements within the Kosovo Liberation Army and the armed forces of the Chechen republic of Ichkeria favoured regional and local strategies of war in the Balkans and the North Caucasus. The book draws on post-positivist analysis and empirical research so as unravel the relationship between narratives, stories and hermeneutic accounts of International Relations; regional politics and trans-local identity; globalisation and visual aspects of contemporary security; criminality and emotionality; which together illustrate the dynamics within the armed resistance movements in Kosovo and the North Caucasus and the road to war in 1999.
The book is a major addition to a small field of genuinely readable studies of IR theory. The book will be of interest to academics, researchers, students, area studies experts and policy-makers seeking to understand the formation of the armed resistance movements in Kosovo and Chechnya. Amongst other things, the book will be of interest to students and scholars of International Relations, Political Studies, Area Studies, as well as those within Cultural and Historical and Sociological Studies.


Table of contents

Introduction: Alternative Approaches to Violence in International Relations

1. Narrative Identity and the Challenge of Literary Global Politics: Towards Interpretive Pluralism
2. Kosovo and Chechnya/Kosova and Ichkeria
3. Regional Politics, Trans-Local Identity and History
4. Globalisation and Conflict: Screening War in Kosovo and Chechnya
5. Stories of War in the Balkans and Caucasus
6. Criminality and War
7. The Politics of Emotionality
8. Networks and Narratives: The Road to War in the Balkans and Caucasus

Selected Bibliography


Cerwyn Moore: Sleepless in Chechnya
by Chris Arnot from The Guardian

A terrorism expert tells Chris Arnot what turns people - especially women - into suicide bombers.
It comes as no surprise to learn that Dr Cerwyn Moore is an insomniac. His academic research has taken him to dangerous places to interview warlords and the survivors of terrorist atrocities. "When I get back, I can't sleep for days," he confides. "But I couldn't go to the pub and talk about it, because nobody would understand - apart, perhaps, from a soldier on leave from Iraq."
More sleepless nights probably lie ahead as he contemplates a return to the borders of Chechnya for the second anniversary of the attack by Chechen rebels on a school at Beslan. The death toll was close to 350, and at least 186 of those killed were children. "I want to go back to get a feel of what's still going on in a war that's little reported," he says.
Moore is a senior lecturer in international relations at Nottingham Trent University and something of a "talking head" whenever the conflict in Chechnya reignites and the media need expert comment. One of his quests is to understand the mentality of suicide bombers - female ones, in particular. "It's a complete transformation of society's expectations of women," he says. "Traditionally, they are carers rather than killers, bringers of life into the world rather than takers away. Now there are women killing themselves in order to kill others."
Unlike the suicide bombers of the Middle East, Chechen rebels are fired up by nationalism, says Moore. "It's a mistake to look at the so-called war on terror in Iraq and then transpose the conclusions to other conflicts. Although the Chechens are Sufi Muslims, the resistance is essentially about nationalism. (...)

To continue reading this article, please click here.


A short film on Chechnya narrated by Dr Cerwyn Moore, University of Birmingham. Part of the Contested Spaces Video Project, University of Sydney.

Click here to watch the video.


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