Seminar May 21, 15:15-17:00: The inefficiency of EU leverage in Serbia during the Russia-Ukraine war

The inefficiency of EU leverage in Serbia during the Russia-Ukraine war, Branislav Radeljić

When: May 21, 15.15-17:00 CET
Where: Zoom link

The war in Ukraine has exposed a rift between Serbia and the Brussels administration. Serbia has been accused of aligning itself with Russia as opposed to the strictly pro-Ukrainian EU. In this talk, Prof. Radeljić will look at the nature of EU–Serbia relations, with a particular focus on (a) the relevance of EU norms and values as policy tools, (b) the foreign policy of Serbia under the Progressivists and the regime of Aleksandar Vučić, and (c) the rising influence of Russia and China in the Western Balkan region, which has been undermining the EU’s push for democratization and Europeanization.

Branislav Radeljić is Professor of International Relations in the Department of Government and Society, United Arab Emirates University. In addition, he serves as Visiting Professor of European Politics at Nebrija University. His scholarly interests focus on European and Middle Eastern political and socioeconomic developments. 



Seminar with Prof Stefan Hedlund, May 28

Ukraine, Russia and the West

When Value Promotion Met Hard Power

Professor Stefan Hedlund, Uppsala University, Institue for Russian and Eurasian Studies

When: May 28, 15.15-16.30
Where: K3 Studio, C Area, 5th floor, Niagara building, Nordenskiöldsgatan 1

Why did Russia’s all-out war against Ukraine come as such a surprise to the West? This is the key question considered in this broad-ranging book. It argues that Russia and the West had been playing different games: while Russia under Putin had become obsessed with using hard power to restore the Cold War security architecture in Europe, the major Western powers had become equally obsessed with value promotion that allegedly would ensure a global triumph for the values of the West, touted as “universal values.” While the Russian play for a sphere of interest was clearly defined and demarcated, the Western play for values was by definition without limits. Hence there could be no common ground and no common understanding. When push came to shove, Russian hard power trumped Western value promotion – and Ukraine was left to pay the price.

RUCARR and MIM seminar with Prof. Aadne Aasland, April 23

The reception of Ukrainian refugees in Norway: Experiences of refugees and frontline workers

When: April 23, 11.00-12.50
Where: Niagara Building, room TBA

Prof. Aadne Aasland’s presentation will address the following:

1. How do Ukrainian refugees experience their settlement and integration in Norway? 

2. What are the frontline workers’ assessments of challenges and opportunities related to the settlement and integration of Ukrainian refugees? 

3. What similarities and disparities are there between the Ukrainian refugees and the frontline workers’ assessments and perspectives, and what are the main challenges and dilemmas? 


Aadne Aasland is a research professor at Oslo Metropolitan University, and conducts research on social welfare, migration and integration, ethnicity, and diversity, with a particular focus on Russia, Ukraine, and the Baltic countries. Currently, he is leading a project on Norwegian cooperation with Russia on health and welfare in the Barents region (RE:Barents) and participating in a project on how Russia promotes its interests in Norway and Western Europe (PRORUSS). Recently, Aadne completed a major project on addressing regional diversity in Ukraine (ARDU). Read more here:



March 26th, 15:15-17:00 double seminar with Oguzhan Mutluer and Nino Javakhishvili & Nino Butsashvili

Double seminar, March 26,  15.15–17.00

Where: Seminar room, 8th floor, C 0826, Niagara buidling (alternatelively, zoom

15:15-16:00: Research on the Films of the Russian-Ukrainian War

Oğuzhan Mutluer holds a Doctoral degree from İhsan Doğramacı Bilkent University, International Relations. Currently, he is a research assistant at Eskişehir Osmangazi University, Turkey. His research interests include films & politics, memory politics, the history of Soviet and post-Soviet Russian cinema, and contemporary Russian politics.


The Russian-Ukrainian War has been one of the critical conflicts in world politics in the last decade and the latest invasion stage has been the most significant military conflict in Europe since the end of the Second World War. While the impact of the conflict on world politics is particular in terms of power politics, perceptions of the war also have a substantial part for both sides. Cultural mediums may affect perceptions to mobilize the masses and make them experience conflict throughout a narrative. The main topic of my research is to analyze the Russian-Ukrainian War-based films to understand the perceptions of each side. For this purpose, I will ask, “How has the crisis been represented in the national cinemas of Ukraine and Russia?” as a question. I claim that the visual discourse on the big screen may help us to understand perceptions and motivations about the war as films can represent, construct and modify reality. In the first step of the research, I will focus on Russian and Ukrainian film politics. Then, I will categorize the films through their genres. In the next stage, I will analyze the films using sociological, political-ideological and historical analysis, semiotics, auteur analysis and genre analysis. The main goal of the research is to find similar or contradicting patterns in both Ukrainian and Russian films depicting the conflict.


16:00:-17:00: Contestation but not Euroscepticism: economic and security concerns and the fear of losing national traditions in Georgia


Presenter – Nino Javakhishvili is a full professor of psychology at the School of Arts and Sciences and director of D. Uznadze Institute of Psychology at Ilia State University. She is widely published locally and internationally and her research and teaching focus are intergroup relations, identity formation and gender equality, among others.

Co-author – Nino Butsashvili, PhD in psychology, is a research assistant at D. Uznadze Institute of Psychology at Ilia State University. She is involved in several research projects, including studies which focus on intergroup relations and identity formations.


This paper examines the role of utilitarian, political and cultural/identity-based factors of Euroscepticism on a nationwide representative sample of ethnic Georgians (dataset from the study of “Knowledge of and attitudes toward the EU in Georgia, 2021”). Hierarchical multiple logistic regression showed that for ethnic Georgians, utilitarian factors are the strongest predictors of support for the EU integration, followed by cultural/identity and political variables, supporting the rational choice theory. These predictors are, in turn, anteceded by popular perceptions of the EU in Georgia. Mediation analysis revealed that the perception of the EU as a source of peace and security precedes the hope for an increase in national security with its support (political predictor). Likewise, the perception of the EU as a champion of the economic development antecedes the hope for reduced poverty in Georgia (utilitarian predictor). These consequences, in turn, lead to decision to vote for the EU membership. On the other hand, the perception of the EU as a threat to national traditions does not predict Euroscepticism. We elaborate on this result through an examination of the current political atmosphere of Georgia, where we determine that fears of losing national traditions are outweighed by fears of economic and political insecurity.


RUCARR Thesis Award 2023 to Lara Sánchez Gil

Lara Sanchez Gil received the RUCARR Thesis Award 2023 for her MA thesis Being together through ICTs
Transnational family practices in the context of Ukrainian forced migration.
It was written as an MA thesis in the subject International Migration and Ethnic Relations, at the Department of Global Political Studies, Malmö University. Supervisor: Katarina Mozetič. The prize was awarded by Dean of the Faculty of Culture and Society, Annika Olsson, Our warm congratulations to Lara!


An Honorauble mention was awarded to Johan Richter for his BA Thesis The Russia and China Disinformation Nexus (below). Supervisor: Isobel Squire.

The RUCARR thesis competition for BA and Masters levels at Malmö University is organized by the research platform Russia, Ukraine and the Caucasus Regional Research (RUCARR). The aim of this competition is to promote interest among students in the current development in the region. 

RUCARR Seminar with Prof. Oleg Mazuryk, Dec 13

Prof. Oleg Mazuryk, Social Structures and Social Relations Department at the Faculty of Sociology at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv:

Civic Engagement in the Context of the Russian War in Ukraine: Practice and Research

When: December 13, 15.15
Where: Niagra building, 9th floor, room 1029


Prof. Oleg Mazuryk will be speaking on the topic of ‘Civic Engagement in the Context of the Russian War in Ukraine: Practice and Research,’ focused of his ongoing research on the phenomenon of self-organization and social cohesion within Ukrainian society. His study is done in cooperation with the Ukrainian Evaluation Association. From the full-scale invasion in Feb 2024, there was an epicenter of social activities and hostilities in the Kyiv region, near the now globally renowned town of Bucha. The intention behind this initiative is to document the first-hand experience of Ukrainian resistance to Russian aggression, aiming at making this valuable information accessible for academic and professional scrutiny. The findings of the research into the self-organization and unification of Ukrainians are derived from a comprehensive analysis of 142 in-depth interviews. It is important to note that this is a work in progress, with further insights and data yet to be gathered and analyzed. This presentation will delve into the role that civic engagement played at the onset of the full-scale invasion and how it can contribute to the further development of a sustainable and democratic society in the post-war period.


Prof. Oleg Mazuryk is the Head of Social Structures and Social Relations Department at the Faculty of Sociology at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine. His research interests encompass social audit, social control, social responsibility, monitoring, and evaluation of social programs and projects. He serves as the head of the NGO Social Audit Centre and the chairman of the Ukrainian Evaluation Association. His primary efforts are directed toward the training of young evaluators, the promotion of an evaluation culture, and the development of professional and civic competencies.

RUCARR Seminar with Prof. Vladimir Gel’man, November 28

Prof. Vladimir Gel’man: Why Russia Fails: Origins of the Ukrainian Catastrophe

You are welcome to attend a lecture by Vladimir Gelman, professor at Aleksanteriinstitutet, University of Helsiniki, and new member of RUCARR’s Advisory Board. He will talk about ‘Why Russia Fails: Origins of the Ukrainian Catastrophe’, which also is the subjet of his coming book. The event is a collaboration with Global Europe & International Cooperation (GEIC).

Vladimir Gelman’s areas of expertise include Russian and post-Soviet politics and governance. This knowledge is applied in a theoretical and comparative perspective with a special emphasis on political regime dynamics, political institutions, policy-making, electoral and party politics, regional, and local government.

His most recent book isThe Politics of Bad Governance in Contemporary Russia (University of Michigan Press, 2022). Previous works include Authoritarian Russia: Analyzing Post-Soviet Regime Changes (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015) and Authoritarian Modernization in Russia: Ideas, Institutions, and Policies (Routledge, 2017). He also authored scholarly articles in Post-Soviet Affairs, International Political Science Review, East European Politics, and other journals.

When: November 28, 15-17

Where: Niagara, K3 Studio 5th floor, C0541

Please, sign up here by Nov 27

Sign-up for Symposium on November 6-7

Language in Conflict and War – Ukraine, Caucasus, Russia

November 6  (online zoom panels) and November 7  (campus & webinar)

Sign-up link for November 6 and 7

Registration required for zoom and webinar links. [check for program updates]


10.00 Opening of the Symposium

10.15-11.45 Language in conflict and war – focus: Ukraine Abstracts

— Dr. Liudmyla Pidkuimukha (Justus Liebig University Giessen) Weaponizing Language: How Russia Commits Linguicide on the Occupied Territories of Ukraine
Svetlana L’nyavsky (Lund University): I am a Russian Ukrainian, but I will not learn Ukrainian just for you! Language ideological debates, linguistic vigilantism, and Internally Displaced People at the time of war
— Solomija Buk, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, Department of General Linguistics: Ukrainian for Foreigners in Russian-Ukrainian War: Changes and Challenges

13.00-14.40 Central Asia’s Complex Tapestry: Language, Education, Colonial Legacies, and Decolonial Perspectives   Abstracts

— Juldyz Smagulova and Kara Fleming (College of Humanities and Education, at KIMEP University, Almaty, Kazakhstan): Shame and struggles for power: New speakers of Kazakh in Kazakhstan— 
— Edward Lemon (Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University) and Oleg Antonov (visiting researcher at GPS and RUCARR, Malmö University; visiting researcher at Södertörn University): Academic Diplomacy: The Educational Aspects of Russian Soft Power in Tajikistan
— Victoria Clement Central Asian Insights): Avoiding a Reckoning: Memory Days and History in Turkmenistan
— PhD candidate Dina Kucherbayeva and Prof. Juldyz Smagulova: Language Revitalization: Challenges for Kazakh in Higher Education

14.50-16.30. Language in conflict and war – focus: North Caucasus and Turkey  Abstracts

— Emre Pshigusa (U.S. State Department, English Language Fellow): The Circassian language and identity created a feeling of illegality in us” Language Ideologies, Policies, and Circassian Language Rights in Turkey
— Lars Funch Hansen (Circassian Studies) The marginalisation of Circassian language through local history teaching, with cases from Krasnodar Krai including the Black Sea coast
— Valeriya Minakova (Penn State): “It all starts in the family”: Placing discourses on the role of families in Circassian language preservation into a historical-political context

Merab Chukhua (Tbilisi State University and the Circassian Culture Center, Tbilisi): One case of reflecting a historical fact in language

16.40-17.40. Historical perspectives   Abstracts

— Otari Gulbani (Central European University MA): Russian Imperial Orientalism in Svaneti: A Discursive Analysis
— Sam Tarpley (Tulane University, Grad stud): Contemporary Deconstruction: Post-Soviet Monuments and the American South

NOVEMBER 7   (campus and webinar) 

Sign-up link for November 6 and 7

10.15 Welcome  (Niagara, 5th floor, C section (Nordenskiöldsgatan 1)

10.30-11.45. Morning session 

Giorgi Alibegashvili (State Language Department of Georgia) & Maka Tetradze. (State Language Department of Georgia & Tbilisi State University):: Street Georgian – as a Reflection of functioning of the State language in Georgia

Tinatin Bolkvadze (Tbilisi State University & State Language Department): How to assess the functioning of the Russian language in Georgia (online)

13.00-14.15 Afternoon session 1 

Nadiya Kiss (JLU Giessen): Languages at war: Language shift, contested language diversity and ambivalent enmity in Ukraine

Andrey Makarychev (University of Tartu): “Estonian Russophones: A Biopolitical Story”

14.30-15.45. Afternoon session 2

Mariam Manjgaladze (Caucasus University): Issues of the Official Language Ecology in Contemporary Georgia  

Lidia Zhigunova (Tulane University, USA): Russia’s War on Indigenous Languages: The Case of Circassian in the North Caucasus

15.50-16.20. Concluding Roundtable

Moderator: Professor Barbara Thörnquist-Plewa, Central and Eastern European Studies, Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University