Seminar with Prof. Marlene Laruelle – March 16

Is Russia fascist? Unraveling propaganda East West

Welcome to next RUCARR seminar with Prof. Marlene Laruelle, George Washington University, where she will present and discuss her latest book Is Russia fascist? Unraveling propaganda East West.

When: March 16, 15.15–17.00 (Swedish time)
Where: Zoom, Sign up here

In the book Is Russia fascist? Unraveling propaganda East West, Dr. Laruelle argues that the charge of “fascism” has become a strategic narrative of the current world order. Vladimir Putin’s regime has increasingly been accused of embracing fascism, supposedly evidenced by Russia’s annexation of Crimea, its historical revisionism, attacks on liberal democratic values, and its support for far-right movements in Europe. But at the same time Russia has branded itself as the world’s preeminent antifascist power because of its sacrifices during the Second World War while it has also emphasized how opponents to the Soviet Union in Central and Eastern Europe collaborated with Nazi Germany. She argues that ultimately the current memory fight is a struggle to define the future of Europe, and it is the key question of Russia’s inclusion or exclusion that draws the line of divide.

Bio

Marlene Laruelle, Ph.D., is Director and Research Professor at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES), Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University.  Dr. Laruelle is also Director of the Illiberalism Studies Program and a Co-Director of PONARS (Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia).  Dr. Laruelle received her Ph.D. in history at the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Cultures (INALCO) and her post-doctoral degree in political science at Sciences-Po in Paris. She has recently published Russian Nationalism. Imaginaries, Doctrines, and Political Battlefields (Routledge, 2018), and Memory Politics and the Russian Civil War. Reds versus Whites (Bloomsbury, with Margarita Karnysheva).

Seminar with Dr. Peter Eltsov

The Long Telegram 2.0: A Neo-Kennanite Approach to Russia

Dr. Peter Eltsov, Associate Professor of International Security Affairs at the College of International Security Affairs, National Defense University (Washington), will present his recent book The Long Telegram 2.0: A Neo-Kennanite Approach to Russia. In this book, Eltsov lays out an original argument for understanding Russia that goes deep into its history, starting with the tri-partite dictum “orthodoxy, autocracy, nationality,” formulated in 1833 by count Sergey Uvarov. Eltsov explores Uvarov’s triad in the context of modern Russia, adding five more traits: exceptionalism, expansionism, historical primordialism, worship of the military, and glorification of suffering.

The author argues that, as presently constituted, Russia cannot become a democracy, and, sooner than later, it will disintegrate, replicating the fate of the Soviet Union. The key reasons for these, according to the author, are: weak mechanisms for the transition of power, poorly developed institutions of the state, feeble economy and education, frail ideology, and, most importantly, the lack of a unified national identity. Following this assessment, Eltsov defines a strategy for dealing with Russia, based on a combination of offensive realism and realpolitik, recommending that the West copes with Russia in a more pragmatic manner. Eltsov also will connect his ideas to most recent events in Russia, such as the adoption of a new constitution and the relations with Belarus.

When: April 12, 4-6 pm (Swedish time)
Where: Zoom

Bio

Peter Eltsov is an anthropologist and historian. He holds MA in South and South East Asian Studies from the University of California at Berkeley and PhD in Anthropology from Harvard.  Prior to the National Defense University, Eltsov held positions at Free University in Berlin, the Library of Congress, Harvard University, and Wellesley College. Eltsov has published both in academic and mainstream venues and provided numerous commentaries for the media. In his current research, he is particularly interested in how competing interpretations of the past affect modern politics, including conflict and war.

Putin och Rysslands rebeller

RUCARR uppmärksammar två nyutkomna och aktuella böcker om Ryssland: Hans-Wilhelm Steinfelds ”Putin” och Geir Flikkes ”Ruslands rebeller”, båda utgivna på norska av Cappelen Damm.

Författarna presenterar själva sina verk. Därefter följer kommentarer av Carolina Vendil Pallin samt diskussion och frågor från publiken. Medverkande: Geir Flikke, professor, Universitetet i Oslo. Hans-Wilhelm Steinfeld, Norsk Rikskringkasting (NRK); Carolina Vendil Pallin, forskningsledare Totalförsvarets forskningsinstitut, FOI.

När: 1 december, 15.15-17.00.

Var: Zoom – länk här

Seminar with Dr Lincoln Mitchell – The Caucasus in the Post-Covid Multi-Polar World

You are invited to attend the RUCARR online seminar on October 6  The Caucasus in the Post-Covid Multi-Polar World with Dr. Lincoln Mitchell, affiliated to Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, Columbia University (bio below).

When: October 6, 3.15-5.00 pm (Swedish time)
Where: Zoom platform
The seminar is open to staff and students as well as other interested. Welcome to sign-up at rucarr@mau.se.

Abstract

One of the results of the mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic by the American government has been to accelerate the movement towards a truly multi-polar world. Instead of controlling the pandemic within its own borders and offering assistance to the rest of the world, the US suffered more loss of life and greater damage to its economy that most countries. One of the effects of this has been to damage not just America’s standing in the world, but also limit its ability to impact political events in the rest of the world. This development will be felt acutely in the Caucasus.

The three South Caucasus countries as well as the Russian regions in the North Caucasus have long had to navigate a path between major political powers, but the nature of that challenge began to change in 2017, when Donald Trump became President of the US, and has accelerated in recent months. These polities now find themselves in a very different world, one where the American footprint will be lighter and China’s almost certainly heavier. Additionally, the possibility of the world becoming less globally integrated will have major impact on a region that has long been a crossroads between different regions. These developments will have an impact on the domestic politics of the countries in the region on issues ranging from democracy and human rights to domestic stability as well as their relations with each other and the rest of the world including with regards to questions of trade, fighting terrorism and national security.

This seminar will explore these questions and probe how the Caucasus will be changed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bio

Lincoln Mitchell is a political analyst, pundit and writer based in New York City and San Francisco. Lincoln works on democracy and governance related issues in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. He also works with businesses and NGOs globally, particularly in the former Soviet Union. Lincoln was on the faculty of Columbia University’s School of International Affairs from 2006-2013. He retains an affiliation with Columbia’s Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies and teaches in the political science department as well. In addition, he worked for years as a political consultant advising and managing domestic political campaigns. […] Continue reading: http://lincolnmitchell.com/about

RUCARR seminar with Dr My Lilja

Drug discourses in Russia

My Lilja, PhD, University Lecturer in Criminology, Malmö University

Abstract

Since the beginning of the 21st century, there has been an intensified debate about drugs in Russia, for example in the parliament and in the press, and the drug problem is now regarded as one of the country’s most serious problems and an issue of top priority for the Russian government. This presentation will focus on ongoing and previous research about drug discourses in Russia. Some issues of particular interest were the identification of dominant discourses on drugs, the determination of which understandings of the drug problem were taken for granted and which were not recognised, whether there were any discussion of the consequences of the problem and an analysis of which actors that were represented in the debate.

When: May 19, 15.00–16.30
Where: Zoom, for sign-up, contact rucarr@mau.se

New publication on Gorbachev and the collapse of the USSR

A book with the intriguing title Mistakes, Errors and Failures across Cultures (eds. E. Vanderheiden & C-H Mayer, Springer) has recently appreared

The RUCARR contribution in this context is the chapter Mistakes and Demise: Mikhail Gorbachev and the Dissolution of the Soviet Union by Prof. Klas-Göran Karlsson (Deputy chairman of RUCARR’s advisory board; left) and Prof. Bo Petersson (Co-director of RUCARR; right).

Abstract and more info here.

 

Seminar with Mikhail Suslov

RUCARR seminar on February 14

Dr. Mikhail Suslov: Fantasy and Politics in Contemporary Russian Science Fiction
When: February 14, 13.15
Where: Niagara Building, Nordenskiöldsgatan 1, Room: NIC:1029

Abstract
This talk inquires into the ways in which utopian narratives interact with political discourses and facilitate identity-making in post-Soviet Russia. The paper brings together various academic perspectives, including literature studies, cultural studies, and studies of ideologies and politics in order to comprehensively analyze the syncretic genre of science fiction. Works of science fiction condense political myths, metaphors, concepts and emotions, thereby giving us a better understanding of Russian political culture. I argue that the study of sociopolitical science fiction and utopias exposes the ideational tracks on which Russian society in Putin’s third presidency glided smoothly into the annexation of Crimea, the war in Donbas, and confrontation with the West. At the same time, post-Soviet science fiction addresses such issues of international pertinence as the rise of nationalism, right-wing populism and imperial revanchism and attempts to strike a balance between modernization and cultural authenticity.

Mikhail Suslov is Assistant Professor of Russian History and Politics at the University of Copenhagen. His research focuses on Russian intellectual history, conservative, right-wing and religiously-motivated political ideas, geopolitical ideologies and socio-political utopias. His most recent papers dealing with (geo)political imagination include “The “Russian World” Concept: ‘Spheres of influence’ in the post-Soviet geopolitical ideology,” Geopolitics 23, no. 2 (2018) and  “The Production of ‘Novorossiya’: A Territorial Brand in Public Debates,” Europe-Asia Studies 69, no. 2 (2017). Recently he edited Digital Orthodoxy in the Post- Soviet World: The Russian Orthodox Church and Web 2.0 (Stuttgart: Ibidem Verlag, 2016) and co- edited (with Mark Bassin) Eurasia 2.0: Post-Soviet Geopolitics in the Age of New Media (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2016).

RUCARR Caucasus Conference 2018

Thank you to all participants at the conference ‘Promoting International Dialogue and Protecting Cultural Heritage in the Caucasus’ December 5-6 at RUCARR, Malmö University. It has been two days of most interesting presentations and engaging discussions and comments with participants from all parts of the Caucasus! And many thanks to the Swedish Institute for making this event possible.

Invitation to student conference in Copenhagen

Invitation to take part in ”Young Russia Experts”:
Second International Student Conference, 22-23 November 2018

Time: 22-23 November
Place: ToRS, University of Copenhagen, Karen Blixen plads 10, Copenhagen

We are glad to invite you to the Third International Student Conference, which will take place on 22-23 November at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Area Studies, University of Copenhagen. The conference will bring together future Russia experts and professors from four universities: University of Copenhagen, Århus University, Lund University and the University of Malmö. This event is the continuation of the First Student Conference in Århus in November 2017, which was the result of successful collaboration between the universities of Copenhagen and Århus. In this year, on top of the collaboration between these two Danish universities, we are inviting Russia students from the Swedish side as well.

The purpose of this event is to introduce you to each other, to enhance your future professional networking, and to give you the possibility to receive feedback for your ongoing research/study projects from both your peers and your teachers. This is, however, a conference of students and for students, and we will only arrange and structure the event.

Presentations can be made in two forms. First, it can be an oral paper of 10-15 minutes with or without a PowerPoint, followed by 5-10 minutes of questions and answers. Second, it can be a ‘poster presentation’, that is an A3 format poster, on which you lay out and visualize your research problem and main results.  Poster presentations will also be discussed in groups. The conference will have four ‘official’ languages: English, Danish, Swedish and Russian, while the ‘by default’ language is English, so, for example, if you chose to present your paper in Danish, please prepare your PowerPoint slides in English.

If we have too many applications, we may not be able to accommodate everyone, so we kindly ask for your understanding.

The deadline for submitting your applications is 1 November.

Mikhail Suslov, Vera Skvirskaja (Copenhagen University)
Tomas Sniegon (Lund University)
Bo Petersson (Malmö University)


In order to apply for the conference participation, please send us the following questionnaire:

  1. Name:
  2. University:
  3. Study program:
  4. Email address:
  5. Mobile phone:
  6. I want to: ___ present a paper

___present a poster

  1. Title of your paper/poster:
  2. I need an overnight stay in Copenhagen 22 to 23 November, yes or no:
  3. I am from Copenhagen, and I can offer a possibility to stay overnight in my place for ____(number of) student/s, yes or no:

Please send your questionnaire to Mikhail Suslov (mikhail.suslov@hum.ku.dk ) and Vera Skvirskaja (bdq883@hum.ku.dk) with a cc to the responsible person(s) at your university:

Århus University:  Birgitte Beck Pristed birgitte.pristed@cas.au.dk and  Jeremy Morris jmorris@cas.au.dk

Lund University: Tomas Sniegon tomas.sniegon@eu.lu.se

University of Malmö: Bo Petersson bo.petersson@mau.se

 

Preliminary Program

Thursday, 22 November

Arrival in Copenhagen
11.30-12.00 keynote by Gigi Gigiadze, Georgian ambassador in Denmark
12.00-13.00 lunch
13.00-14.30 4 papers
14.30-14.45 coffee break
14.45-16.15 4 papers
16.15-16.30 coffee break
16.30-18.00 6 posters

Friday, 23 November
09.00-11.00 Excursion in Copenhagen / free time
11.00-12.15 lunch
12.15-14.00 4 papers
14.15-15.00 guest lectures: Jeremy Morris and Maria Guzikova
15.10-17.00 film screening

Departure from Copenhagen