Religion, Conflict, and Stability in the Former Soviet Union

Religion, Conflict, and Stability in the Former Soviet Union

by Katya Migacheva, Bryan Frederick


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Despite the growing importance of religion in countries in the former Soviet Union (FSU), the role of religion in conflicts in the region is not well understood. This volume of essays by international scholars and policy experts finds that while religion has not been the source of conflict in the FSU, it has sometimes sustained or intensified it as states and nonstate groups increasingly rely on religion to mobilize their supporters.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780833099846
Publisher: RAND Corporation
Publication date: 02/28/2018
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 6.89(w) x 10.02(h) x 0.66(d)

Table of Contents

Preface iii

Figures and Tables ix

Summary xi

About the Authors xiii

Acknowledgments xvii

Abbreviations xix

Chapter 1 Religion, Conflict, and Stability in the Former Soviet Union Katya Migacheva Bryan Frederick 1

About This Volume 5

Overall Themes 9

Chapter 2 Armenia-Azerbaijan: Rethinking the Role of Religion in the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Artyom Tonoyan 11

Religion and Conflict Analysis 12

Politicizing Religion and Religionizing Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh 16

Religious Symbols and Cleavages in the Conflict 21

Reflections on Future Trajectories 32

Chapter 3 The North Caucasus: How Islam and Nationalism Shaped Stability and Conflict in the Region Sufian N. Zhemukhov 35

Why Young People Turn to Islam in the North Caucasus: Revival of Islam in the North Caucasus 37

What Drove People Toward Religion? 40

Nationalism and Islam in Russia's North Caucasus 43

How Different Ideological Trends Shaped Radicalization in the North Caucasus 48

Russia's Evolving Antiterrorism Concept 55

Reflections on Future Trajectories 62

Chapter 4 Central Asia: Where Did Islamic Radicalization Go? Svante E. Cornell 65

The Rise and Fall of Islamic Radicalism in Central Asia 66

Cultural and Historical Determinants of Islam in Central Asia 77

External Islamic Influences 80

Government Policies 85

Reflections on Future Trajectories 96

Special Feature Religion and Intergroup Conflict: A Social-Psychological Approach Steven L. Neuberg Gabrielle Filip-Crawford 99

A Social-Psychological Approach 99

The Global Group Relations Project and Survey 104

Findings: Religious Infusion, Values Incompatibility, and Resource Competition 110

Implications of Social-Psychological Approaches for Policy and Practice 111

Conclusion 114

Chapter 5 Kazakhstan: Islamic Revival and Trajectories of State-Society Relations Nargis Kassenova 115

Islamization and Fragmentation of Society 117

State Policies Toward Islam: Changes over Time 127

Contestation Between the State and Religious Movements 133

Reflections on Future Trajectories 136

Chapter 6 Ukraine: Religious Confessions in Competition Under the Dominance of Political Discourse Vadym Vasiutynskyi 139

Religious Confessions in Ukraine, Past and Present 139

The Nature of Interconfessional Tensions in Ukraine 144

Sociopolitical and Psychological Differences 150

People's Perceptions of the Role of Religion in the Conflict in Donbas 153

Reflections on Future Trajectories 155

Chapter 7 Russia: The Stability Implications of State Policies Toward Religion and the Russian Orthodox Church Irina du Quenoy 159

The Evolution of State Policy Toward the ROC/Religion in Post-Soviet Russia 160

Reflections on Future Trajectories 176

Chapter 8 Religion and Stability in the Former Soviet Union: Policy Implications of Analysis Jonah Blank 181

Analysis of Religion and Stability in the FSU 182

Policy Recommendations 191

Conclusion 204

References 207

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