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This dissertation seeks to analyse the upsurge of insurgent violence in the North Caucasus following the end of the counter-terrorist operation in Chechnya in 2009. By looking at the development of radical Islam and the impact of the Chechen spillover in the region, this research suggests that these factors should be analysed and contextualized in each republic. By comparing the cases of Kabardino-Balkaria, Ingushetia, and Dagestan, this dissertation seeks to demonstrate the importance of vendetta, criminal activity, religious repression and corruption as local factors that contribute to the increase of violence. By focusing on the case of Dagestan, the author proposes a political ethnographic approach to study the mechanisms and details of religious repression and corruption in everyday life. This analysis permits us to map out the different pathways towards the participation in insurgent groups in Dagestan. By doing so, it demonstrates that one can identify three different generations of insurgent fighters in Dagestan. This dissertation demonstrates that the role of Salafist ideology is often marginal in the early stages of the process of violent radicalisation, and slowly gains importance as the involvement in violence increases. The emphasis should be placed on vengeance and religious repression as crucial triggering factors as they provoke a cognitive opening for young people in Dagestan to engage in violence.