Seminar “Communist state administrative structures” with Astrid Hedin – Dec 14

Seminar with Dr. Astrid Hedin, Associate Professor, Visiting scholar at Harvard Univ. Davis Center: Communist state administrative structures. Welcome!

When? December 14, 4.15-5.30 pm
Where: Zoom link

Abstract

Despite the common progeny of communist regimes across the world, research has often treated each communist regime as sui generis, as a class by itself. At the same time, area studies tend to assume that readers are already familiar with the basic structures and core administrative traits of communist regimes. 

This article seeks to acquaint a broader set of researchers with communist state administration as a “family” or type (cf. Wollman, 2021). In focus are the core political-institutional features and administrative traditions of the communist state; the historical doctrines, terminology, and actual practices under communism. Administrative structures are described from a broad institutionalist perspective, guided by classic questions concerning principles of hierarchy, autonomy, and complexity, as well as historical praxis and norms, emergent standard operating procedures, and informal rules and relations. 

Popular understanding often envisages communist-type administration as hierarchical commands from the top, which can be quietly resisted and circumvented by a purportedly nonpolitical bureaucracy and everyday life. In contrast, empirical studies of both historical communist regimes and 21st-century China draw up a picture of political control more as a tangled and overlapping grid, trellis, espalier, or net.  

A concluding section comments on the historical difficulties of doing research on communist administration and suggests some prospects for the field’s change and development

 

Whose Culture War is it? Seminar with Rico Isaacs on Dec 7

Dr Rico Isaacs, Associate Professor in Politics, University of Lincoln:
Whose Culture War is it? The Istanbul Convention and the Politics of Gender, Tradition & Morality in Latvia

 
December 7, 3-5 pm (zoom)
This paper explores the concept of culture wars through a thematic analysis of an on-going discussion of the ratification of the Istanbul Convention in Latvia. The analysis finds that the Latvian parliament’s struggle to ratify the Convention can be ultimately understood as a power struggle in which various political, religious and family-based interest groups are aiming to restore a self-perceived equilibrium within Latvian society In response to the perceived loss of male power, prestige and highly contestable notions of ‘traditional’ Latvian family values. The analysis eschews simple dichotomies that litter current conceptualisations of culture wars, recognising instead the fluid, dynamic and complex nature of Latvia’s culture war, and using Björn Kraus’ (2014) constructive theory of power the paper details how different sides within the debate are seeking to instruct or restrict the rights, resources, and values of others.
 

The Putin Predicament by Bo Petersson

The new publication The Putin Predicament” by Prof. Bo Petersson has appeared. Congratulations! Celebration at the Department of Global Political Studies.

Using the Russian president’s major public addresses as the main source, Bo Petersson analyzes the legitimization strategies employed during Vladimir Putin’s third and fourth terms in office. The argument is that these strategies have rested on Putin’s highly personalized blend of strongman-image projection and presentation as the embodiment of Russia’s great power myth. Putin appears as the only credible guarantor against renewed weakness, political chaos, and interference from abroad—in particular from the US.

The Putin Predicament. Problems of Legitimacy and Succession in Russia

Bo Petersson. Foreword by J. Paul Goode. ibidem Press, 2021. Read more about the book here 

 

Seminar with Prof. Vello Pettai Sept 28

Foresight Scenarios on Populism: Imagining Central and Eastern European Politics in 2030

Welcome to the RUCARR seminar with Prof. Vello Pettai, University of Tartu: Foresight Scenarios on Populism: Imagining Central and Eastern European Politics in 2030

When: September 28, 3-5 pm (Swedish time)

Where: Zoom, sign-up here

Abstract

Foresight research offers a range of techniques and perspectives in order to analyse political trends looking toward the future. This presentation will lay out a series of foresight scenarios about populist politics in Central and Eastern Europe that have been developed within the EU Horizon-2020 project “POPREBEL”. The scenarios are not meant as predictions, but rather as perspective-enhancing exercises about how different drivers might come together to create different outcomes by 2030. Participants will be asked to provide their analytical advice about how to improve the scenarios.

New publications by Dr Kamal Makili-Aliyev

RUCARR researcher Dr Kamal Makili-Aliyev has recenly publised two new articles:

  • The Perspective of Post-Soviet States on the Burqa Ban. A Study of the Delegalization of Religious Headwear in Post-Soviet States’, in Matwijkiw A. and Oriolo A. eds., Law, Cultural Studies and the Burqa Ban, Cambridge: Intersentia, 2021, pp. 329-348. (ISBN 978-1-83970-058-3) <https://bit.ly/3DgGffy> 
  • The Role of Azerbaijan in the Non-Aligned Movement Through the Lens of International Law and Security’, in Dimitrijević D. and Čavoški J. eds., The 60th Anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement, Belgrade: Institute of International Politics and Economics, 2021, pp. 359-370. (ISBN 978-86-7067-283-3) <https://doi.org/10.18485/iipe_60nam.2021.ch20>

Seminar with Dr. Nino Antadze – October 19

The role of traditional rituals in resisting energy injustice: The case of hydropower developments in Svaneti, Georgia

RUCARR seminar with Dr. Nino Antadze (University of Prince Edward Island)

October 19, 3.15 pm (zoom)

Sign-up here

Abstract

This study with co-author Kety Gujaraidze intervenes in the energy justice literature by bringing to the foreground the local, emplaced, and bottom-up perspective. We specifically explore the potential of place-based agency, expressed in the form of traditional rituals, to expand the repertoire of extra-institutional means of resistance against various manifestations of energy injustice. We investigate the recent developments in the hydropower sector in the Svaneti region of the Republic of Georgia. Based on a qualitative research design involving personal interviews and document analysis, we explain how and why the traditional ritual of taking the oath of unity on the icon of St. George has been used to oppose hydropower developments, and how the employment of this extra-institutional action is linked to the changed political opportunity structure. In addition to underscoring the need to recognize and respect the cultural and religious importance assigned to traditional rituals by local communities, the findings of our study imply a need to consider traditional rituals not merely as symbolic or/and performative means of resistance, but also as political tools that may have a significant impact on the development of energy projects.

Bio

Dr. Nino Antadze is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island (Canada). Dr. Antadze studies environmental planning processes with the emphasis on environmental and energy justice, and large-scale environmental change with the focus on climate justice and just transitions. Dr. Antadze earned a PhD in urban and regional planning from the University of Waterloo, Canada. She also holds an MSc in Environmental Management and Policy from Lund University, Sweden and an MSc in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Central European University, Hungary.