April 26th, 15:15-17:00: Seminar with Dr. Isaac McKean Scarborough, “What Constitutes Post-Soviet Sovereignty? Tajikistan and the (re)Formation of National Security after the Collapse of the USSR”

When? April 26th, 2022, 15:15-17:00

Where?: https://mau-se.zoom.us/j/66662568106

What Constitutes Post-Soviet Sovereignty?  Tajikistan and the (re)Formation of National Security after the Collapse of the USSR

Isaac McKean Scarborough

As recent events attest, the state of post-Soviet sovereignty is, to put it lightly, contested.  Yet this is nothing new: since 1991 the traditional boundaries of sovereignty, from national borders to state security services to control over populations have existed in fluctuating and hybrid forms across the former Soviet Union.  This paper argues that the hybridity of post-Soviet sovereignty and the blending of national security structures across national borders in the post-Soviet space is directly related to the collapse and reformation of the Soviet security services in and around 1991.  Using the case study of Tajikistan, it demonstrates that the breakdown of state order across the Soviet divide was accompanied by a close and immediate reintegration of security services between Tajikistan and Russia, which over the coming decades would have important consequences both for Tajikistan’s sovereignty and the engagement between the countries’ governments.

Seminar with Dr. Félix Krawatzek, “Defending History? The Impact of Context and Speaker in Russia”, March 15th

Defending History? The Impact of Context and Speaker in Russia

When? March 15th, 3:15pm

Where? Zoom: https://mau-se.zoom.us/j/64203597686

Summary:

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.

 

Seminar with Dr. Aliaksei Kazharski, “Russia’s identity and foreign policy: understanding the roots of the international crisis” – March 1st, 3:15pm

Russia’s identity and foreign policy: understanding the roots of the international crisis

When?: March 1st 2022, 3:15pm

Where?:https://mau-se.zoom.us/j/64913784119

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.