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How to Feud and Rebel: 3. Combat-stress and Violence-values among the Chechens and Albanians

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image of Iran and the Caucasus

This article examines the interplays between combat-stress and traditional violencevalues—two of the four variables of my Brutalisation theory—among the Chechens and Albanians in the latest conflicts against the Russians and Serbs. I first introduce some major theories and approaches on combat-stress in military psychology. I then point to some current shortfalls in this field, including a serious dearth of research on combat-stress and traumas among armed non-state actors, generally and Chechen and Albanian insurgents, specifically. As a partial compensation to this lack of knowledge, I describe how violence-values affect combat-stresses (and vice versa) among Chechens and Albanians. Finally, I suggest that stresses and traumas of Chechen and Albanian combatants account for many of their brutalities (also in post-war settings). Such brutalities violate international and local norms, i.e. the very violence-values of martial valour and honour that enhanced their combatstress to begin with.


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