Jean-François Ratelle's research while affiliated with Charles University in Prague and other places

Publications (11)

Article
Full-text available
Islamic law denotes as haram any forbidden behavior, object, beverage, or food. Despite subscribing to a similar Salafi ideology, very few jihadi groups use violence against haram targets (e.g., brothels, casinos, statues, liquor stores, mixed sex schools, and gay clubs). This study argues that haram-centered violence unites ethnically-mixed jihadi...
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This article assesses the successes and setbacks of Moscow’s policy of counterinsurgency and beyond. It challenges the general consensus in scholarship positing that military successes associated with Chechenisation have been obtained against the backdrop of Chechnya’s increasingly autonomous status within Russia, considered by some as a case of ‘s...
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This article looks into the dangers posed by the return of the North Caucasus militants in Syria and Iraq to the security of the Russian Federation. The article first divides the recruitment of North Caucasian foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq into two distinct waves. I argue that the first wave of North Caucasus foreign fighters (2011–2013) chose...
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Introducing this special issue of Caucasus Survey on networked insurgencies in Eurasia, this article discusses some of the key themes discussed in the issue. We present the case for the networked character of insurgencies in Eurasia, in which distinct insurgent fronts borrow, incorporate and transform ideas, goals and human experiences among themse...
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Can former insurgents in the service of counterinsurgent paramilitaries be considered a perfectly loyal force? What mechanisms may help to deter subsequent defections of individuals who have already “betrayed” once? Drawing on a unique set of primary data, this article examines the effective counter-defection practices of Chechnya’s pro-Moscow para...
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This article provides an in-depth literature review of the different trends and debates in the English academic literature on the violent conflicts in the North Caucasus during the post-Soviet period. This literature review is separated into three major debates and focused on four major themes that consistently appear in the study of violent confli...
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This article posits that the remnants of archaic sociocultural norms, particularly the honour-imposed custom of retaliation, play a crucial role in the process of insurgent engagement in Russia's autonomous republic of Dagestan. Through a series of interviews with former insurgents, this study outlines two retaliation-centred mechanisms: “individua...
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This article seeks to foster a better understanding of the diffusion of conflict in the North Caucasus. We argue that diffusion of conflict is a dynamic and adaptive process in which outcomes are shaped by the intersection of three social mechanisms—attribution of similarity, brokerage, and outbidding—and the political, social, and religious contex...
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This article seeks to assess the role of political ethnography in the study of civil war, and more particularly research which focuses on the micro-dynamics of violence. By focusing on the representations put forward by econometric and structural research about civil war, this article underlines the importance of fieldwork research and political et...

Citations

... 10 Even after the May 1994 ceasefire between Armenia, the NKR, and Azerbaijan, the line of contact between the Karabakh Defence Army and the Azerbaijani army has remained a genuine front line, the scene of frequent exchanges of fire despite the officially valid ceasefire agreement. From time to time these exchanges escalate into more serious clashes using heavy weaponry; in April 2016 they gave rise to the so-called four-day war, which led to a slight change in the course of the front line (giving more territory to the Azerbaijanis) and caused heavy losses of life on both sides (Souleimanov 2016). The Armenia-Azerbaijan border itself -which is currently closed and partially mined (HRw 2001, 850-851) -also occasionally witnesses exchanges of fire or diversionary operations (especially by the Azerbaijani side). ...
... By protecting the Syrian government from opposing armed forces, this would, for example, avoid the emergence of radical Islamists, which in turn would create a vacuum of instability south of the Caucasus (Souleimanov, 2016: 112;Treisman, 2012). There is an inherent contradiction in this argument, however, as Russia's intervention arguably served to radicalise also the Russian and Central Asian 'foreign fighters' who had flocked to Syria (Ratelle, 2016). In this light, in contrast to Russia's self-proclaimed aim of fighting terrorism in Syria, the core motivation for Russian intervention is argued to be its pursuit of protecting (both politically and militarily) its key ally in the region at all costs, with Russia targeting not only those groups considered terrorist, but also the more moderate rebels (Hill, 2013;Notte, 2016). ...
... Future research should explore whether and how coethnics' loyalty can be guaranteed under those conditions. Current studies are insightful, but they privilege cases in which the influence of external powers on coethnics is not strong (Souleimanov et al. 2018). ...
... For the post-Soviet period, the literature on the conflicts in the North Caucasus has been surveyed by Ratelle who points out that it has revolved around four themes: "grievance, greed, trauma, and radicalisation" (2015). Three debates have structured publications on these themes: (i) the causal role of identity, nationalism, and greed in the conflicts of the 1990s; (ii) the role of Islamist radicalization in mobilization patterns after 1999; and (iii) the patterns of violence diffusion in the North Caucasus and the role of counter-terrorism (Ratelle 2015). In this article, the focus is on radical Islamism. ...
... Economic discrimination, exclusion and marginalisation may be involved in the creation and maintenance of the low socio-economic status of portions of the population. They may be characterised by income inequality, hampered access to labour or the housing market and to the education system (Agnew, 2017;Da Silva et al., 2018;Getoš, 2012;Lowrence, 2006;Ratelle & Souleimanov, 2017;Stern, 2003). On the global level, grievances may be related to the negative repercussions of capitalist neoliberal economic and political systems and trends like globalisation (Türkmen, 2010;Villiger, 2017). ...
... People can gather relatively spontaneously or coordinate by wordof-mouth, especially when facing common hardship (such as water scarcity) in a familiar setting. Second, the presence of widely accepted opinion leaders or traditional institutions might be more relevant than population density, wealth and electrification (Ratelle, 2013), especially with regard to small-scale protests. A case in point is the pivotal role that women's networks played in initiating water protests in the Turkish town of Diyarbakır (the case with the 9th lowest nightlight emissions in the sample) in June 2006 (Al Jazeera, 2008). ...
... Moreover, the conflict's diffuse nature, occupying the conceptual space between a simmering war and isolated terrorist attacks, hampers attempts to establish a coherent narrative strand (Moore, 2012). Despite this, a stream of literature that broadly agrees on the concept of supra-regional jihad, inspired by interwoven anti-Russian grievances and the globalisation of jihad, transpired (Campana & Ratelle, 2014;Notte, 2016;Souleimanov, 2014;Toft & Zhukov, 2015). Overall, the core PIs have become common currency among scholars. ...