Beginning with the religion law of 1997, and progressing through laws on social organisations, political parties, extremists, migration, foreigners, the media, and political demonstrations, the Russian state has tightened up its control of civil society in recent years. According to Aleksandr Gurov, a current member and former chairman, the Duma Committee for Security considers the concept of national security in the widest sense. This chapter examines securitisation in contemporary Russia as a specific feature of domestic policy-making. It focuses on the use of the securitisation discourse to convince key audiences — policymakers, legislators, and the general public — that particular policy areas are legitimate security concerns and therefore require special attention, oversight, and control. The first example of a securitisation discourse in a specific area of civil society in contemporary Russia is in relation to religion and, specifically, the Law On Religious Associations passed in 1997. As part of its analysis of Russia's securitisation efforts in the areas of spirituality and extremism, this chapter also discusses other legislation on civil society including the Law On Combating Extremist Activity enacted in 2002.
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