Russia's Federal Security Service in the twenty-first century : terrorism, the political manipulation of domestic intelligence, and the dramatic expansion of the FSB
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The objective of this research was to analyze the evolution of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) during the twenty-first century, using historical institutionalism as a framework. Three critical junctures were President Putin’s election in 2000, the Nord-Ost Terrorist Crisis in 2002, and the Beslan Terrorist Crisis in 2004; theories dealing with insecurity, the psychological effects of terrorism, and domestic intelligence were also incorporated. This study found that the expansion of the FSB has provided it with greater potential for carrying out its functions as a domestic intelligence service as well as abusing authority and assisting the state in regime consolidation. Consolidation, in the intelligence community and state, was made possible by legitimate terrorist crises and the perception of threats, which were manipulated by Vladimir Putin’s administration. Public support for consolidation, favoring security over freedom, was mobilized around Putin’s war against terrorism and perceived foreign “threats” within a political system devoid of effective checks against the executive.