Defending History? The Impact of Context and Speaker in Russia
When? March 15th, 3:15pm
Where? Zoom: https://mau-se.zoom.us/j/64203597686
As part of their nation-building efforts, political elites in post-communist Europe have increasingly regulated how the past can be talked about in public. Critical historical discourse has been eradicated from public discourse through memory laws in particular. However, we lack insights into the implications of such laws for what people make of the past and under what circumstances people are prepared to accept critical comments on a country’s history.
Employing an original vignette experiment conducted in 2021, this article addresses these lacunae in the context of the Russian Federation, where the memory of the Red Army’s victory in World War II has been overwhelmingly embraced by the population. Our results demonstrate that in-group criticism of a shared norm is accepted, while criticism by an out-group member is rejected. Additionally, we find that the state has little power to shape what citizens hold to be true about a specific past event; rather, the interpretations historical events are given reflect existing lines of political support and opposition within Russia.
Biography: Félix Krawatzek is a political scientist and, since September 2018, a senior researcher at ZOiS, where he coordinates the research cluster Youth in Eastern Europe. He is also an Associate Member of Nuffield College (University of Oxford). His research focuses on post-Soviet politics and European politics more broadly. Félix Krawatzek is particularly interested in the role of youth in politics, the significance of historical representation in political processes, and questions related to migration and transnationalism. Before joining ZOiS, Félix Krawatzek held a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Oxford’s Department of Politics and International Relations. He finished his doctorate at the University of Oxford and was a visiting fellow at Sciences Po Paris (Centre d’études et de recherches internationales) and at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University.
Russia’s identity and foreign policy: understanding the roots of the international crisis
When?: March 1st 2022, 3:15pm
The seminar will focus on the role of identity in Russian foreign policy making and the trajectories that Russian identity formation has followed since the break-up of the Soviet Union. What are the main Russian concepts of the collective Self and how have they been connected to the Western Other? What is the function of supranational identitary constructs such as Eurasianism or Russian civilizationism? What role did identity play in the 2014 Ukraine crisis and the current tensions around Ukraine? How does the authoritarian regime in Russia instrumentalize identity? What are the possible policy implications and how should we approach Russian behavior based on our understanding of identity?
Dr. Aliaksei Kazharski received his PhD from Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovakia) in 2015. As a doctoral student, he spent time as a guest researcher at the University of Oslo (Norway), University of Tartu (Estonia) and the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna (Austria). He has also been a visiting researcher at the University of Vienna and has worked as a researcher and lecturer at Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic) and Comenius University in Bratislava. Aliaksei’s doctoral dissertation was published by Central European University Press as a monograph in 2019 (Eurasian Integration and the Russian World: Regionalism as an Identitary Enterprise). He has also contributed to the work of regional think tanks and debate platforms such as the GLOBSEC Policy Institute and Visegrad Insight. Aliaksei’s main areas of research have been Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, regionalism and regional integration, and identity in international relations. He has published his scholarship on these subjects in Geopolitics, Problems of Post-Communism and other academic journals with an international impact.
RUCARR is happy to announce that on Friday the 11th of February at 1315 a roundtable discussion regarding the evolving Russia-Ukraine situation will be held. Three expert panelist will be involved giving their views on what is occurring and then taking questions from the audience.
The Panelists involved are Professor Derek Hutcheson, Dr. Sarah Whitmore, and Dr. Kateryna Zarembo. Chair: Nick Baigent, RUCARR.
The event will be held online and can be accessed on zoom at the following link:
Meeting ID: 693 8029 0094
Dr Sarah Whitmore is a reader in Political Science at Oxford Brookes University. Dr Whitmore’s research focuses upon post-Soviet politics and she is interested in the evolution of formal institutions, their significance in structuring and reproducing power in post-Soviet states, their relationship with informal practices and the implications this has for the political system. Her empirical focus is predominantly on Ukraine and Russia. Her current British Academy funded research project together with Professor Bettina Renz at the University of Nottingham is investigating the importance of the political and strategic context for military reform in Ukraine.
Kateryna Zarembo is a Kyiv-based policy analyst and university lecturer. Her area of expertise is foreign and security policy as well as civil society studies, with a focus on Ukraine. She is an associate fellow at the New Europe Center (Kyiv, Ukraine). She also teaches at the National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”.
Prof. Derek Hutcheson is a Professor of Political Science in the Department of Global Political Studies (GPS) and vice dean of the Faculty of Culture and Society (KS) at Malmö University, Sweden. He has an extensive background working on issues around Russian and post-Soviet politics, as well as comparative research on transnational citizenship, electoral rights, and local democracy.