Terrorism, security, and power in Russia : domestic, regional, and international dimensions
Thesis DisciplinePolitical Science
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
This thesis examines the securitisation of the terrorism threat in Russia and its relation to regime consolidation and broadening of political influence. It traces and analyses terrorism- related securitisation moves made by the Kremlin from 1991 to early 2019, using securitisation theory to analyse Russia’s counterterrorism agenda in domestic, regional, and foreign policy. Counter-terrorist securitisation rhetoric runs through Russia’s domestic, regional, and foreign policy, making it an important component of Russia’s political and social set up. The presence of securitisation rhetoric at all levels of analysis shows not only its importance for Russian political life but also the centrality of the securitisation processes in generating political change. Thus, employing the Copenhagen School of security as the theoretical framework, I argue that since the Chechen-Russian conflicts the Kremlin has been using the threat of terrorism as the justification for its domestic, regional, and foreign policy alterations. These changes have resulted in the strengthening of the regime, the increase of Putin’s power and authority, and the expansion of Russia’s political influence on the regional and international level. It is argued that Russia’s counterterrorism agenda has been central to its endeavour to reclaim its superpower status.