The Russo-Chechen conflict: analysis, impact, transformation
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This thesis explores the ongoing Russo-Chechen conflict, which is one of the most intractable inter-group conflicts in the world. It analyzes the root causes of the Russo-Chechen conflict and discusses a number of key themes that are correlated to the consequences of the war and violence in Chechnya. This thesis also investigates the opportunity to improve the conflict situation and offers a systematic method of its resolution. The research is conducted through a number of qualitative data collection strategies such as interviewing, participant observation, and narrative analysis. Chechen refugees were interviewed in three countries- Azerbaijan, Canada, and the US. The research has resulted in a number of key findings. Those include but are not limited to the following: a) Thinking of conflict analysis and resolution as two separate fields would be misleading and unproductive. Instead, the former should inform the latter. It is true for any conflict case, including the Russo-Chechen conflict; b) A multimodal and multilevel approach to conflict analysis as well as an organic and multilevel approach to conflict resolution is needed in order to reach the objective of constructive conflict handling; c) Conflict resolution practices in Russia took place primarily within civil society organizations. The complexities of the Russo-Chechen conflict entail employing a number of different effective conflict transformation practices, which requires different conflict areas be addressed simultaneously; d) The Russo-Chechen war is not a religious- or culture-based war. However, both religion and culture have a strong motivational role in this conflict; e) Despite the severity of the conflict and the loss of human lives in Chechnya, most Chechens do not harbor hatred towards the Russian people; f) It is necessary that Chechens abandon their claims for full political independence, and Russians cease labeling the Chechens as terrorists to successfully transform the conflict; g) Even the most radical subjects interviewed for this study displayed some regrets that Chechnya did not follow the path of Tatarstan in the early 1990s, and h) Violence is not a solution to the problem. Furthermore, this thesis offers a comprehensive conflict resolution framework that includes forgiveness, peace education, storytelling, negotiating for mutual gains, interactive problem-solving workshops, and interfaith dialogue. The model offers an effective way to utilize informal conflict resolution methods that would involve all segments of population participating in the process of conflict transformation.