A specter is haunting Eurasia: the specter of revolution. Ironically, this time Washington stands accused of promoting subversion while Moscow emerges as the headquarters of counterrevolution and conservative order. Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, overlooked Abkhazia, and the terrible outbreak in Uzbekistan. On all sides experts are guessing: where next?
Rather than advancing informed guesses, let us consider the social processes driving this wave of rebellions and try to answer the question: how immune is Putin’s Russia? Specifically, what stands behind the extremely contradictory signals emerging from the ever troublesome North Caucasus? Is it international terrorism (a nefarious foreign import), the resurgence of Islamic identity (a deeply internal factor), the second attempt (after 1989) at national liberation and democratization, or, perhaps, the dangerous erosion of governance which can produce black holes, as in Somalia or Congo? […]