A model of secession, ethnic conflict and political violence in Tatarstan and Chechnya: The role of the *state

Elizabeth Frombgen, Purdue University


Using the comparative historical method, this project examines the reasons behind the differential policy of the Russian state toward the secessions of the republics of Tatarstan and Chechnya, despite the existence of significant similarities between the cases. The Russian state invaded Chechnya in December 1994 and again in September 1999, but signed a bilateral treaty with Tatarstan in February 1994. Similarities between Tatarstan and Chechnya include: both are Islamic nationalities, both were brought under Russian rule by force, both were autonomous republics in the Russian Republic at the end of the Soviet Union and are republics in the Russian Federation, both refused to sign the 1992 Federation Treaty and the Russian Constitution of 1993, and both declared independence or sovereignty. Factors influencing the decisions of the state include: geography, demographics, the historical relationship with Russia, the leadership styles of Shaymiyev in Tatarstan and Dudayev in Chechnya, and the domestic context in Russia. This research makes several important contributions to the field of political science. First, Russia's policy toward Chechnya since 1991 has significant implications for Russia's relationship with the West and its transition to democracy. Second, Russia's consolidation of democracy is fundamentally important to the world community as Russia has nuclear capability. Third, this research contributes to an understanding of why some secessions erupt into violent conflict while others are peaceful. This is especially significant because violent ethnic and national conflicts are common today in every part of the world. ^




Major Professor: Rolf H. W. Theen, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Political Science, General

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