Seminar on Georgia and the Russian invasion of Ukraine with Prof. Alexandre Kukhianidze, Dec. 13

Georgia: history and memory in the conditions of the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Video from the seminar available here: https://youtu.be/I0vvrtdzSg4

 

RUCARR online seminar with visiting researcher Alexandre Kukhianidze, Professor of Political Science, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences,  Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University University (Georgia).

When: December 13, 15.15-17.00 CET (6.15-8.00 pm Tbilisi)
Where: Zoom link https://mau-se.zoom.us/s/62874227691

Abstract

The online seminar discusses how Russia’s attack on Ukraine in the early morning of February 24, 2022, led not only to a rethinking of international security and stability, of Russia’s entire policy towards its immediate neighbors, but also to international assessments of Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008. The war led to a complication in relations between the ruling “Georgian Dream” party and the Ukrainian leadership, influenced the relationship of the Georgian leadership with the political opposition and leading non-governmental organizations, as well as the relationship of the ruling party to the European Union and the United States. Against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, the Georgian political opposition is increasingly accusing the political leadership of Georgia of pro-Russian orientation, rejection of European and Euro-Atlantic integration and insufficient assistance to Ukraine, attacks by individual representatives of the “Georgian Dream” on the ambassadors of the European Union, the United States and the leadership of Ukraine. Meanwhile, the scale of mass rallies held in Georgia in support of Ukraine and aimed at criticizing the Georgian leadership has sharply decreased by the autumn of 2022, which has an impact on the stability of the latter. Based on personal observations and analysis of the entire post-Soviet period in Georgia, the speaker explains the reasons for the behavior of the Georgian leadership and the public against the backdrop of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

 

 

Seminar Nov 29: Attitudes to Putin-Era Patriotism Amongst Russia’s ‘In Between’ Generation

Attitudes to Putin-Era Patriotism Amongst Russia’s ‘In Between’ Generation, Seminar with Dr. Jussi Lassila, Finnish Institute of International Affairs

When? November 29th, 15:15.17:00

Where? On Zoom: https://mau-se.zoom.us/j/65931690478

Putin-era patriotism has become mandatory across different social groups and communities in terms of their relationship to the state. In particular, there has been a growing polarization between the construction of patriotic policies and attitudes towards these policies by their targets. As a rule, actors representing Soviet-era generations are increasingly producing patriotism derived from Soviet ideals for generations who lack personal experience of the Soviet Union as well as the 1990s that followed its collapse. At the same time, loyalty building to the authoritarian state, aimed at by patriotic education, is working rather poorly among the youngest Russians.

But what is known about Russians between these poles, between educators and those being educated? What is their attitude towards patriotism and the patriotic education of the Putin era? Russians born in the early 1980s form an important intermediate cohort between the older Soviet-era and younger ‘internet’ generations who came of age within different frameworks of patriotic socialisation. They started school in the last years of the USSR, finished their main schooling before the Putin-era patriotic education programmes began but whose own children are now undergoing them.

In this respect, this cohort has a personal connection to all three dimensions of the Putin-era patriotic policies: 1) the patriotic education of the Soviet era, 2) the “unpatriotic” 1990s, and 3) the patriotic education of the Putin era by living in the most socio-economically active phase under Putin and being parents to children who are central targets of patriotic education. Attitudes of this cohort provide us preliminary information about prerequisites for internalizing Putin-era patriotism by active adults of the 2010s and early 2020s. For this cohort the effect of the Soviet-era patriotism could be seen in their recognition of the virtues of official patriotism, but this identification was by no means political. This implies that the political banality of patriotism in general, something that anyone can share, underlines the overall limits of using patriotism for political purposes.

The presentation is based on a case study published this year (ʻAttitudes to Putin-Era Patriotism Amongst Russia’s ‘In Between’ Generationʼ, Jussi Lassila & Anna Sanina, Europe-Asia Studies, https://doi.org/10.1080/09668136.2022.2088702), which also provides a background for the current situation influenced by Putinʼs invasion of Ukraine.

 

Seminar on The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict in the Soviet and Russian Press with Dr. Artyom Tonoyan, November 1

Seminar on The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict in the Soviet and Russian Press with Dr. Artyom Tonoyan, November 1st 

When: November 1st, 15:15-17:00

Where?: Zoom-link: https://mau-se.zoom.us/j/63095278918

Black Garden Aflame: The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict in the Soviet and Russian Press

For a few brief weeks in fall 2020, Western media buzzed with news of the intense war in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh). The conflict had been “frozen” since 1994, so the new outbreak of violence caught many journalists unawares.

By contrast, this conflict has been a mainstay in the Soviet, then Russian press. The sheer volume of published material—including eyewitness accounts, interviews with notable figures, and incisive, well-researched analyses—far exceeds anything produced by Western media.

Moscow’s knowledge of the region is as strong as it is permanent, dictated mainly by geopolitical interests. The collection of articles in the book—carefully translated, edited, and culled from a vast repository of Russian-language press curated by Artyom Tonoyan—presents in book form for the first time in English some of the most important material that has appeared from 1988 to the present.

BIO
A native of Gyumri, Armenia, Dr. Artyom Tonoyan is a sociologist and Visiting Professor of Global Studies at Hamline University, in St. Paul, Minnesota. His research interests include sociology of religion, religion and politics in the South Caucasus, and religion and nationalism in post-Soviet Russia. His articles have appeared in Demokratizatsiva: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization, Society, and Modern Greek Studies Yearbook, among others. He has been a frequent guest on the BBC, Deutsche Welle, France 24, and other outlets. He is currently working on a book charting the social,historical, and religious backgrounds of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. He received his Ph.D. from Baylor University.

 

 

Russia’s War in Ukraine: Women, Security, Resilience: October 18th, 15:15-17:00 (hybrid)

Seminar with Svitlana Babenko, Project researcher at GPS and MIM and Mariia Tyschenko, Honorary Doctor of Malmö University

When: October 18th, 15:15-17:00

Where? Seminar room, 9th floor or on Zoom

Zoom-link: https://mau-se.zoom.us/j/64089273870

Description

Our presentation is based on the analysis of this year’s report on the implementation of UN Resolution 1325 “Women, Peace, Security” in Ukraine, and sociological research on the discussed issues under the full-scale Russian war in Ukraine.

russia’s war in Ukraine has been disproportionately affecting women from the beginning of the war in 2014. According to official statistics, the number of women predominates among internally displaced persons (IDPs), unemployed IDPs, victims of gender-based violence (GBV), and other vulnerable groups. Over 14,5 million people in Ukraine have been forced to leave their homes due to the russian full-scale invasion in 2022, among them, 7,5 million fleeing to Europe, and above 7 million are internally displaced in Ukraine, as well as an uncounted number of people are forcibly displaced to russia from temporary occupied Ukrainian territories. About 70% of the refugees are women. Displaced women and girls in Ukraine are three times more likely to experience GBV than those who are not displaced. Women are also struggling to get paid jobs. In 2019 among IDPs who have been actively seeking employment in Ukraine, 79% are women.

Moreover, due to existing discrimination, double burden, and gender stereotypes; women account for 90% of respondents who are engaged in housework, childcare, and other household activities. Thus, women not only have a greater dependence on social benefits but also fewer opportunities to participate in social and political life. Affected by russia’s war, women need more help and support on an individual level: security and displacement issues, humanitarian problems, psychological support, etc. But also, actions are required to deal with complex collective issues, such as an increase of GBV, sexual trafficking and exploitation, lack of access to life-saving sexual and reproductive healthcare, and fostering of traditional roles, and gender stereotypes.

The presentation is followed up with a roundtable discussion on the following questions:

1. How to localize the goals of UN Resolution 1325 to the regional and community level during the emergency phase of russia’s war in Ukraine?

2. How to support Ukrainian women under multiple challenges of war and refugeeing?

3. What can the University, RUCARR, Russian Studies and the academic community do for informational support of Ukraine to overcome widespread russian propaganda and myth-makingy?

Looking forward to your participation!

Svitlana Babenko PhD in Sociology, Docent, project researcher at GPS and MIM, Malmö University;  Head of MA Program Gender Studies with double degree with Lund University at Faculty of Sociology, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine 

Mariia Tyschenko PhD in Political Science, Docent, Honorary Doctor of Malmö University, NGO “Poruch”, Ukraine  

Svitlana Babenko | Malmö universitetFörkämpe för mänskliga rättigheter blir hedersdoktor | Malmö universitet

Roundtable on Russia-China relations – Oct 4

Welcome to join us for the Roundtable on Russia-China relations – a joint event organized by RUCARR, Malmö University, Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University and the Swedish Society for the Study of Russia, Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Abstract

Russia’s all-out war against Ukraine and its escalation on February 24, 2022, was seen by many observers as an attack on the security architecture that was established in Europe after the end of the Cold War. During the first weeks and months after the invasion, speculations abounded that China was the only actor that could prompt Putin’s Russia into a de-escalation of the war. China was attributed a key role in the development of the war. If it sided with Russia in supplying arms and helping it to evade the effects of the international sanctions, this could lead to a decisive Russian victory and a change in the global correlation of forces. On the other hand, if it leaned towards the side of Ukraine, the United States and the political West in condemning the war, it would substantially weaken Russia’s hand. More than six months after the Russian invasion, China still seems to maintain a wait-and-see position, and the world is still waiting to see what position it will eventually take regarding the war.

Against this background, this roundtable discusses the history, dynamics and current developments of relations between China and Russia, focusing on both political leaders and ordinary citizens, and from the perspectives of historians, anthropologists, and political scientists.

Participants

Dr. Alexander Dukalskis, School of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin, more info

Professor Bo Petersson, Dept. of Global Political Studies, RUCARR, Malmö University, more info

Dr. Ed Pulford, Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Manchester, more info

Professor Marina Svensson, Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University (moderator), more info

GPS & RUCARR hybrid seminar with visiting scholar Dr Aliaksei Kazharski, September 7

“OK, realist?” A critical scrutiny of rationalization in Western commentary on Russia and Eastern Europe

GPS & RUCARR seminar with Dr Aliaksei Kazharski, Charles University in Prague, Comenius University in Bratislava and visiting researcher at RUCARR/GPS, Faculty of Culture and Society, Malmö University.

When: September 7, 13-15
Where: Seminar room 9th floor, Niagara and Zoom (link https://mau-se.zoom.us/s/63723147663)

Passcode: 094320

   

Abstract

There is an established tradition of realist-inspired commentary and policy advice on Russia in the West, which traditionally argues for recognition of Russia’s “legitimate interests” and “security concerns.” This commentary hinges on (uncritical) assumptions of the inevitability of anarchy and the security dilemma, as well as on a “structural” logic in virtue of conflict inevitably stems from major shifts in the international distribution of power. This form of realist reductionism tends to ignore or downplay domestic political, organizational, emotional, and ideational factors that drive state behavior. In Russia’s case these factors certainly happen to play a central role, as recognition claims and emotional attachment to former imperial territories as well as siege mentality operating as a regime-survival strategy trump the security or economic-oriented (perception of) interests that rational-choice explanatory models assume to be central to state behavior. By framing the issue in terms of rational choice models, realist commentary ex post facto rationalizes and legitimizes Russia’s transgressive behavior for the international audiences. This discursive industry of non-peer reviewed op-eds on Russia and Eastern Europe, which appear in leading Western media outlets, thus calls for academic scrutiny for both methodological and normative reasons.

Circassian Trans-Nationalism in the 21st Century – Discussion with Madina Tlostanova and Lidia Zhigunova

Navigating Between History, Memory, and Politics: Circassian Trans-Nationalism in the 21st Century

A Discussion with Prof. Madina Tlostanova (Linköping University, Sweden) and Dr. Lidia Zhigunova (Tulane University, USA)

Welcome to this hybrid event at Malmö University campus and Zoom! 

When: Wednesday June 15, 10-12 CET
Where:  Zoom link https://mau-se.zoom.us/s/68871079725. (Passcode 105032). Please, note: the seminar will be held only online.

Photos: Lidia Zhigunva (left) and Madina Tlostanova (right)

Abstract

In recent decades, we have witnessed a renewed ethnic mobilization among Circassians in the North Caucasus region in Russia, as well as among Circassians living in diasporic communities throughout the world. There has been an increased interaction between these two communities, especially since the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in 2011 and the attempts of Circassians to save their compatriots by bringing them back and helping them to resettle in their homeland in the Russian North Caucasus. Our discussion will focus on the new forms of Circassian trans-diasporic mobilization and activism that led to the emergence of grassroots activism, the new civil society organizations and a substantially increased number of internet-based initiatives. Navigating between history, memory, and contemporary politics, Circassians have been able to cross many divides that no longer seem to be an issue in a post-Soviet digital world. They have showed a strong sense of common purpose in response to the many challenges faced by this community, whether defending their political and linguistic rights, or pushing Russia to reexamine its imperial legacy in the North Caucasus.

Book presentation with Tinatin Japaridze – Stalin’s Millennials, April 5

Stalin’s Millennials: Nostalgia, Trauma, and Nationalism

Welcome to the book presentation with Tinatin Japaridze on her debut monograph Stalin’s Millennials: Nostalgia, Trauma, and Nationalism
When: April 5, 3.15-5.00 pm CET
Where: Zoom https://mau-se.zoom.us/j/61617665776

Abstract

In her monograph Tinatin Japaridze examines Joseph Stalin’s increasing popularity in the post-Soviet space, and analyzes how his image, and the nostalgia it evokes, is manipulated and exploited for political gain. The author argues that, in addition to the evil dictator and the Georgian comrade, there is a third portrayal of Stalin—the one projected by the generation that saw the tail end of the USSR, the post-Soviet millennials. This book is not a biography of one of the most controversial historical figures of the past century. Rather, through a combination of sociopolitical commentary and autobiographical elements that are uncommon in monographs of this kind, the attempt is to explore how Joseph Stalin’s complex legacies and the conflicting cult of his irreconcilable tripartite of personalities still loom over the region as a whole, including Russia and, perhaps to an even deeper extent, Koba’s native land—now the independent Republic of Georgia, caught between its unreconciled Soviet past and the potential future within the European Union.

Bio

Tinatin Japaridze is currently the Director of Policy and Strategy at The Critical Mass, whose mission is to transcend existing global security assistance silos by supporting a critical mass of professionals with the capabilities and sustainment architecture needed to meet and defeat persistent and emerging threats and vulnerabilities. Prior to this position, Japaridze worked for the City of New York, first as the Field and Digital Community Engagement Specialist at the NYC Census, a Mayoral initiative, and later as the Press Secretary for New York’s COVID-19 Response at NYC Health & Hospitals. Previously, she was the United Nations Bureau Chief for Eastern European media outlets and U.N. Radio host and producer of her own radio show on current affairs and security in the international arena. In 2019, she became a Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs Student Ambassador on Cyber Ethics and Digital Leadership. A graduate of the Harriman Institute at Columbia University, Tinatin was a University Consortium fellow. She worked as a “Go Big” Officer at the European Leadership Network (ELN), crafting a digital campaign to extend the New START between Russia and the US, and in 2021, Japaridze became a member of the ELN’s Younger Generation Leaders Network. In her previous musical career, Tinatin co-wrote and performed an award-winning United Nations anthem based on the UN Charter, “We the Peoples,” and her song, “Is It True?” was the silver-prize winner at the Eurovision Song Contest representing Iceland in 2009

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.