Recent Research on the North Caucasus — May 2018

A monthly report highlighting recent scholarly publications relating to the contemporary North Caucasus. 

Inclusion does not constitute endorsement. If there are any publications I’ve missed or you think should be included in the next report, please flag it via Twitter or email.

Sokirianskaia (2018) ‘Putin’s Third Term and the North Caucasus.’

Abstract: Ekaterina Sokirianskaia considers the implications for the North Caucasus of Vladimir Putin’s re-election as Russian president. She notes that the federal centre responds differently to challenges like corruption in each of the republics, and identifies the risks inherent in current approaches – including the reliance on those with security service backgrounds to resolve socio-economic problems.

Reference: Sokirianskaia, Ekaterina (2018) ‘Putin’s Third Term and the North Caucasus,’ Kontrapunkt, accessed 3 April 2018 at

Hendley (2017) Everyday Law in Russia

Abstract: This book is about how the law works in Russia as a whole, and how Russians perceive and operate within the legal system. She highlights problems of time, cost, and perverse incentives. It is not about the North Caucasus, and may not even cover the region, but I’ve included it because it is important to understand the legal system as functions (or not) in the region within its broader Russian context. A review of the book is available here (

Reference: Hendley, Kathryn (2017) Everyday Law in Russia, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Sahakyan (2018) ‘Language Debate and Visions of the Future in Revolutionary Dagestan’

Abstract: The collapse of the old order in the Russian Empire in 1917 gave an opportunity to intellectuals on imperial borders to draft and implement their own visions of the future. The language debate in Dagestan was crucial in these plans given the multi-national character of the country. While Muslim scholars agreed on the importance of language, their opinions differed in the choice of Arabic, Turkic, various Dagestani languages or Russian. On the basis of Muslim periodicals, historical tracts of the period and official reports of political meetings, this paper examines the positions of Dagestani ʿulamāʾ on the political significance of language. I argue that at a time of revolution different concepts of the state demanded a certain language profile at schools. There is a direct link between the choice of a political project and a preferred language of instruction.

Reference: Sahakyan, Naira (2018) ‘Language Debate and Visions of the Future in Revolutionary Dagestan,’ Caucasus Survey,


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