By Robert Bruce Ware, Enver Kisriev
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Additional resources for Dagestan: Russian Hegemony and Islamic Resistance in the North Caucasus
25 The movement of muridism was emerging as a moral response to the degradation of the sociopolitical basis of djamaat society under external pressure from the empire to the north. Yet its organized opposition to those external pressures soon culminated in expansionist efforts to unite Muslims throughout Dagestan with those of Chechnya. In turn, the efforts to achieve this unification implied an internal struggle against not only the presumptions of the local aristocrats but also the particularism of the djamaats, which fractured Dagestan into hundreds of little states.
Many intellectuals despaired that the legacy of imperial expansion, the decline of the Orthodox creed, and the collapse of communist ideology left Russia in a cultural void without a coherent national ethos. Russia was confronted by some of the same centrifugal forces that had fragmented the Soviet Union as some republics clamored for greater independence while others sank into border disputes that threatened their disintegration. At the same time, broad coalitions in the Urals, the Far East, the Western borders, and the Caucasus began to challenge Moscow’s authority.
Competitions between the central institutions and the republics were exacerbated by Boris Yeltsin’s personal competition with Gorbachev. 22 The result was a catastrophic struggle between two compelling visions of Russia’s future: Russia, on the one hand, as a sovereign national entity emancipated from far-flung and sometimes debilitating entanglements, and on the other hand, Russia as an imperial power. 34 Chapter 3 Yet while Russian reformers initially welcomed national movements they began to fear that the drive toward self-determination might be directed not only against the Soviet Union but also against Russia itself.
Dagestan: Russian Hegemony and Islamic Resistance in the North Caucasus by Robert Bruce Ware, Enver Kisriev