Edited by Tim Hall and Vincenzo Scalia
Chapter 9: State, society and violence in Russia: towards a new research agenda
This chapter argues that in Russia state and private violent actors often act together, protecting each other from economic competition and political opposition, and strategically using social and moral conflicts to strengthen the dominant social order. Putin’s political regime colludes with criminal actors, exchanging information, goods and services. It cooperates with violent vigilante groups and encourages conflict in society through the sphere of moral emotions. The legislative acts targeting speech acts on the basis of 'violated dignity' and 'insulted religious sentiments' of citizens provide the state with justification for political persecution and cultural censorship, and act to bring together new groups of 'victims' in support of the state agenda. The chapter argues that it is not so much the weakness of the state but the interests of the dominant groups that push them towards condoning or encouraging violence outside the state.
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