State-Building as Lawfare: Custom, Sharia, and State Law in Postwar Chechnya

Citation:

Lazarev, Egor. Forthcoming. State-Building as Lawfare: Custom, Sharia, and State Law in Postwar Chechnya. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Abstract:

State-Building as Lawfare offers a unique study on how the state and other social forces regulate everyday life. Focusing on the case of Russian state presence in postwar Chechnya, the book explores how state and non-state legal systems are used to achieve political goals. Egor Lazarev applies this theory of state-building as lawfare to study how politicians and individuals navigate Russian state law, Sharia, and customary law in postwar Chechnya. The book addresses two interrelated puzzles: why do local rulers tolerate and even promote non-state legal systems at the expense of state law, and why do some members of repressed ethnic minorities choose to resolve their everyday disputes using state legal systems instead of non-state alternatives? By analyzing the legacies of the prolonged armed conflict of the 1990s and 2000s, Lazarev sheds an important light on state-building from above and below.