I have been debating whether to write this post for the last few hours since rumors regarding the identity of the Boston marathon bombers and their Chechen origin began to spread. On the one hand, I still think it is completely possible that the motivations of the bombers will turn out to be similar to those in Columbine, Denver, and Newtown. If this is the case, then the non-stop attention to their Chechen background will be at best a distraction and at worse gratuitous. However, to the extent that everyone is already talking about Chechnya and the Caucasus, I’d to like to see academic research included in the discussion. My inclination now is the cat is out of the bag on this one, so let me offer the following references:
- Rajan Menon and Charles King in Foreign Affairs on the spread of violence from the North Caucasus.
- Jean-Francois Ratelle on the upsurge of violence in the North Caucasus since 2009.
- Kimberly Marten’s book Warlords has a chapter on Chechnya.
- Ekaterina Stepanova on the Moscow Domodedovo airport terrorist attack.
- Georgi Derluguian on “Who are the Chechens?“
- Elise Giuliano on the diversity of political outlooks in the Caucasus region
- Brian Glyn Williams on Jihad and ethnicity in postâ€communist Eurasia.
- Mark Kramer on Chechen terrorist attacks that occurred outside Russia.
If you are a journalist looking to write an article about the Chechen conflict and related issues, these would all be very good people with whom you could get in touch.
(Huge h/t to my colleagues at PONARS Eurasia for their suggestions for this list.)
[Cross-posted at The Monkey Cage]