How to Feud and Rebel: 1. Violence-values among the Chechens and Albanians

in Iran and the Caucasus
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Abstract

This article focuses on so-called violence-values (a composite term coined by the author), the first variable of the author's Brutalisation theory, which combines elements from disciplines ranging from anthropology to military psychology. It forms part of my ongoing research, which explores the values (norms, customs, beliefs), aims (objectives, aspirations, ideologies) and methods (targets, tactics, techniques) of violence by Chechen and Albanian separatists during the last Cold War and first post-Cold war periods, i.e. between the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan on 24 December 1979 and the attack by Osama Bin Laden's Al Qaeda (The Base) network on the United States on 11 September 2001. Through a meticulous exposition—and comparison with international norms—of traditional morals on violence that still are salient in the remarkably similar communities of Chechens and Albanians, the author hopes to underpin his post-constructivist position that a genuine “acting-out” of norms, values and beliefs in vendettas, battles and other contests can shape one's identity, irrespective of whether these attributes are primordial, i.e. factual, or constructed, i.e. invented.

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