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Laws in Conflict: Legacies of War, Gender, and Legal Pluralism in Chechnya

  • Egor Lazarev (a1)

Abstract

How do legacies of conflict affect choices between state and nonstate legal institutions? This article studies this question in Chechnya, where state law coexists with Sharia and customary law. The author focuses on the effect of conflict-induced disruption of gender hierarchies because the dominant interpretations of religious and customary norms are discriminatory against women. The author finds that women in Chechnya are more likely than men to rely on state law and that this gender gap in legal preferences and behavior is especially large in more-victimized communities. The author infers from this finding that the conflict created the conditions for women in Chechnya to pursue their interests through state law—albeit not without resistance. Women’s legal mobilization has generated a backlash from the Chechen government, which has attempted to reinstate a patriarchal order. The author concludes that conflict may induce legal mobilization among the weak and that gender may become a central cleavage during state-building processes in postconflict environments.

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Laws in Conflict: Legacies of War, Gender, and Legal Pluralism in Chechnya

  • Egor Lazarev (a1)

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