War in Chechnya as a Paradigm of Russian State-Building Under Putin, The

Gail Lapidus writes that the war in Chechnya has played a complex and highly negative role in Russia's political development. It served in some respects as a testing ground for policies that would be expanded to embrace the Russian Federation more broadly. It has been a major obstacle to the progress of reform and democratization in Russia, and has rather elicited and strengthened the more coercive and authoritarian impulses within the Russian elite. It has equally been a barometer of broader trends in Russian state-building and is highlighting many of the dramatic new departures this process is taking under President Putin.