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How to Feud and Rebel: 2. Histories, Cultures and Grievances of the Chechens and Albanians

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image of Iran and the Caucasus

This article analyses the historical roots and cultural characteristics of the Chechens and Albanians, and how they relate, in their recurrent conflicts with the Russians and Serbs, to long-term grievances, the second variable of my Brutalisation theory. In this article I also explain why the theory departs from the grievance rather than greed premise. Indeed, most of the Chechen and Albanian grievances appear to be based on real and correctly perceived, i.e. absolute deprivations. More fundamentally, given my post -constructivist proposition on the "acting-out" of norms, values and beliefs irrespective of factual or invented origins, I seek to show that martialism, (Sufiinspired) resistance, and (male) egalitarianism have helped to shape and sustain historic grievances, Islamisation (particularly among Chechens), nationalist aspirations and traditional violence-values in Chechen and Albanian societies. Finally, I describe how pre-1979 trauma's and devastations destroyed most records, buildings and symbols of their cultures and histories, as a cautionary note to my efforts to trace both the factual and mythologised foundations of their identities.

Affiliations: 1: Leiden University


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