This special issue deals with the phenomenon of violence in the post-Soviet space. The central preoccupation is to examine both political and legal discourses and practices of internal and external violence, broadly conceived, in this space. Simultaneously the special issue aspires to situate these discourses and practices in the broader literature on political violence and ethnic and separatist conflict, and to examine these from political, legal, and security studies perspectives.
The issue approaches the problem of violence in the post-Soviet space from three perspectives: The international-structural, inter-state, and domestic-political. The contributors focus on structural sources of violence: The relevance of the self-determination principle, the role of democratization, and the relationship between violent behavior inside and outside the state. They also analyze the role of the Russian Federation in generating, perpetuating, and mitigating political violence. Finally, they adopt a bottom-up approach, exploring how non-state actors contribute to political violence.