Kadyrovism: Hardline Islam as a Tool of the Kremlin? Russie.Nei.Visions, No. 99, March 2017
This paper analyses the phenomenon of “Kadyrovism” as a relatively coherent ideology which possesses its own internal logic and propaganda tools and which reflects the reality of Ramzan Kadyrov’s rule, based on submission to Vladimir Putin while also being marked by provocative acts directed at the paternal figure of the Russian President.
Kadyrovism is defined by two major appropriations: first, of the anticolonial Chechen narrative and its transformation into a Russian patriotic ideology which portrays the Chechens as harbingers of Putin’s successes; second, of a hardline, puritanical, version of Islam inspired by the Gulf States and its inter-breeding with traditional Chechen Islam. Putin’s regime is not a political monolith: many ideological entrepreneurs develop in the “ecosystem” created by the Kremlin, taking advantage of a certain room of manoeuvre whose limits are never clearly defined. Ramzan Kadyrov is one of these entrepreneurs. Thus, like all other ideological constructs in Putin’s Russia, Kadyrovism is in flux, casting uncertainty over the future of the regime and its ideology.
Marlène Laruelle is Research Professor at the George Washington University, Washington DC, Director of GW’s Central Asia Program, Associate Director of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES), and co-director of PONARS-Eurasia.