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22.12.2016
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Russia in global dialogue
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Russia, Europe and the world

Focal point Does Europe get Russia right? And does Russia get the world right? In the two decades after the end of the Cold War the intellectual interaction between Russia and Europe has intensified, but paradoxically what we witness is a constant failure to come up with a common conversation.

Europe's current debate on Russia is solely focused on what Russia lacks – democracy, rule of law, modernization – and there is a tendency to try to view Putin's Russia as a paperback edition of the Soviet Union. At the same time, Russian public debate is far from immune to conspiracy theories in trying to explain the changes in the modern world.

There is an urgent need for re-engagement between Russia's debate on the directions of the world and Europe's debate on the choices that Russia faces. With Russia's recent return to power politics, and the fears of a new Cold War this has resurrected in the West, the situation is more acute than ever. The focal point "Russia in global dialogue" is an attempt to answer this need.

 

Ekaterina Schulmann

The future of the state and the state of the future

State Loss of interest in what Russia can offer external markets threatens to turn a rich autocracy into a poor autocracy. In the "brave new world" of post-deficit and post-work, zones of low consumption become zones of violence. [ more ]

13.12.2016

Vladimir Malakhov

"Us" and "Them"

Post-Soviet migration in Russia and (re)making symbolic boundaries

Migration Russia has been described as the second largest country of immigration after the US. Until recently, however, both host society and immigrants were part of the same political and cultural community. This process of "othering" affects different groups in different ways. [ more ]

06.12.2016

Tatiana Zhurzhenko

Capitalism, autocracy and political masculinities in Russia

Masculinity The conflict over YUKOS, between Russia's two most powerful men at the time, became a turning point in post-Soviet Russian history, writes Tatiana Zhurzhenko. The expropriation of YUKOS opened the way to the annexation of Crimea a decade later; meanwhile, a new Russian masculinity was born. [ more ]

18.05.2016

Maria Stepanova

The haunted house

Contemporary Russia between past and past

Revisions Twenty-five years after the USSR's collapse, writes Maria Stepanova, history has turned into a kind of minefield, a realm of constant, traumatic revision. As a result, Russia is living in a schizoid present where the urgent need for a new language is far from being met. [ more ]

18.01.2016

Alexander Mikhailovsky

The pressure valve

Russian nationalism in late Soviet society

Ideology In the 1970s and early 1980s, a movement of Russian nationalists attempted to reshape the USSR in a Russian-patriotic spirit. Alexander Mikhailovsky considers the reception of this movement among intellectual circles at the time and whether its legacy still plays a role in official Russian politics today. [ more ]

09.12.2015
 

Russia after Maidan

Tatiana Zhurzhenko

From borderlands to bloodlands

conflict With Russia's annexation of Crimea and the military conflict in eastern Ukraine, the era of post-Soviet tolerance of blurred identities and multiple loyalties has ended. Borderlands, writes Tatiana Zhurzhenko, have once again turned into bloodlands. [ more ]

19.09.2014

Nikolay Koposov

Back to Yalta?

Stephen Cohen and the Ukrainian crisis

essay International instability seems to increase with every passing day of the Ukrainian crisis, ushering in a new era of international relations. Slamming Russian studies scholar Stephen Cohen for misrepresenting the crisis, Nikolay Koposov urges the West to devise a completely new way of dealing with Russia. [ more ]

05.09.2014

Volodymyr Yermolenko

The silence of the lambs

Why the West should stop being angelic towards Putin

geopolitics For Vladimir Putin, the West's tolerance is weakness and dialogue is failure to impose force. Because KGB-styled Russia believes that either you devour, or you are devoured. Europe's "silence of the lambs", writes Volodymyr Yermolenko, is not a proper response to Russia's war. [ more ]

02.09.2014

Maxim Trudolyubov

The hand that feeds

The first victims of sanctions and counter-sanctions

Sanctions As Russia becomes more and more isolated, the Russian government will need to provide for all those who support it. Maxim Trudolyubov explains why those who can provide for themselves will be the first victims of western sanctions and Russian countermeasures. [ more ]

29.08.2014

Maria Lipman

Commander of a fortress under siege

What Putin's strategy means for Russia

Governance Sanctions on Russia may tip economic stagnation into recession and widen the country's gap with western nations still further. This time Putin seems to be plying an isolationist course without regard for the consequences, writes Maria Lipman. [ more ]

22.08.2014

Vladislav Inozemtsev

How to win Cold War II

Strategy The West must start to put its long-term interests above the instant gratification of London bankers, German gas traders and real estate dealers all over Europe, who are yearning for Russian money. Then the new Cold War can be won, writes Vladislav Inozemtsev. [ more ]

28.03.2014
Olga Sedakova

Russian society in the light of the Maidan

Russian intellectuals Poet and essayist Olga Sedakova takes her fellow Russian writers and intellectuals to task for responding with silence to the light emanating from the Maidan: a light of hope, of solidarity and of rehabilitated humanity. A light that Russia would do well to see itself in. [ more ]

15.03.2014
Kirill Rogov

Monopoly on violence vs. the right to rebel

Crisis of legitimacy A surge of state violence and the subsequent curtailment of citizens' right to protest, combined with an expansion of the authorities' right to use force: Kirill Rogov reveals how the "Putin doctrine" once applied to protests in Russia brought Ukraine to the brink of civil war. [ more ]

03.02.2014

Read also More articles in Ukraine in focus

 

The system

Andreas Umland

Towards a Greater Asia?

The prospects of a Sino-Russian entente

International politics Would it be pure fantasy to suppose that the forging of closer ties between Moscow and Beijing really offers Russia an alternative to growing international isolation? No, says Andreas Umland. There is however plenty of ground for scepticism about the venture's viability. [ more ]

22.06.2015

Timothy Snyder

When Stalin was Hitler's ally

revisions As Russia revives the tradition of wars of aggression on European territory, Vladimir Putin has chosen to rehabilitate the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact as good foreign policy. But why violate now what was for so long a Soviet taboo? Timothy Snyder explains. [Russian version added] [ more ]

08.05.2015

Kirill Rogov

Resource nationalism

Policy Russia's anti-westernism and territorial revanchism have intensified. A case of deferred post-imperial syndrome linked to the collapse of the USSR? Maybe, says Kirill Rogov. But this alone hardly explains why associated policies are now apparently met with such widespread domestic popularity. [ more ]

05.12.2014

Anton Shekhovtsov

Putin's brain?

ideology No wonder Aleksandr Dugin, founder of Neo-Eurasianism, has caught the attention of western analysts of Russian foreign policy. Anton Shekhovtsov confirms that Dugin, among other far-right intellectuals, has made headway in his struggle for cultural hegemony in Russia. [ more ]

12.09.2014

Boris Dubin

Underneath Putin's ratings

Vladimir Putin's rule now hinges on an obsession with ratings and suppressing the opposition, writes Boris Dubin. But, until his recent death, the Russian sociologist still combined keen insights into Russia's rotten political culture with a plea for a new, enlightened historical consciousness. [ more ]

10.09.2014

Peter Pomerantsev

Cracks in the Kremlin matrix

Media Peter Pomerantsev enters the matrix of managed democracy that underpins postmodern dictatorship in Russia. He discovers a society of pure spectacle where, amid fake parties, fake opposition, fake scandals and fake action, political technologists turn (almost) everything into PR. [German and Ukrainian versions added] [ more ]

14.06.2013
Vladislav Inozemtsev

Russia Inc.

The new realities of the Russian state

governance Europe should prepare itself for long-term cooperation with the energy-rich kleptocracy on its eastern borders. Because, given that the personal enrichment of politicians is part of the very foundation of the regime, Russia's ruling political elite is not about to change any time soon. [ more ]

28.06.2013
Nikolay Petrov

Reconfiguring power

The permanent election campaign

crisis Ever since the outburst of protests around the December 2011 elections in Russia, the country has seemed to be on the verge of change. But what kind of change? Whether civic unrest brings about democratization, or induces Putin to tighten his grip on power, remains to be seen. [ more ]

25.06.2013
Stephen Holmes, Ivan Krastev

The sense of an ending

Protest Blatantly rigged elections are the easiest way for the Putin regime to mimic the authoritarian power it does not possess. December's protests destroyed Putin's reputation of being in control; even genuinely competitive elections would be unable to restore his legitimacy. [ more ]

17.02.2012
Ivan Krastev, Gleb Pavlovsky, Tatiana Zhurzhenko

The politics of no alternatives

An interview with Gleb Pavlovsky

Perestroika Gleb Pavlovsky, erstwhile political advisor to Vladimir Putin, whose election campaigns he masterminded in 2000 and 2004, talks to "Transit" about the workings of power in the Soviet Union and in post-Soviet Russia. [ more ]

09.06.2011
Vladislav Inozemtsev

Can Russia be modernized?

Problems, causes, opportunities

development Plans to modernize Russia's economy are resisted by bureaucracies benefiting from the country's role as natural resource appendage of the developed world. That dependency on energy exports hinders political and economic progress is certain. But is high-tech the solution? [ more ]

21.02.2012
Richard Sakwa

Russia: From stalemate to equilibrium?

Transition The interaction between the legal-rational and neo-patrimonial state provides the key to interpreting developments in post-communist Russia. This precludes assigning Russia to the camp of authoritarian states, but it also means that Russia's democracy is flawed. [ more ]

24.10.2012
 

Society

Ella Paneyakh

Re-atomization

Or, the deliberate devaluation of social capital

Russia Every authoritarian state must choose democratization or collapse at some point. But Ella Paneyakh says that the Russian system is seeking a third way. It has in its sights nothing less than the social fabric: human interrelations, mutual support mechanisms and the capacity for joint action. [ more ]

30.07.2015

Stanislav Zakharkin

What's in store for the Siberian movement?

Social movements Siberian neo-regionalism has recently gained momentum, writes Stanislav Zakharkin; a development fuelled not least by concern about the uneven distribution of revenues from the region's oil and mineral resources. But can this diverse grassroots movement effect real change? [ more ]

11.06.2015

Nikolay Mitrokhin

Charlie Hebdo's Russian afterlife

Analysis Russian responses to the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris reveal the contradictions of political and social trends in today's Russia, writes Nikolay Mitrokhin; with the most dramatic response being the unprecedented political killing of leading opposition politician Boris Nemtsov. [Russian version added] [ more ]

10.04.2015

Dmitry Uzlaner

Fifty shades of Russian fetishism

Control Anyone trespassing on any kind of sacred territory in Russia today must reckon with "millions of believers" taking offence and earnest calls to protect "traditional values". This, writes Dmitry Uzlaner, is the stuff of political fetishism. And the stronger the fetish, the weaker the responsible citizen. [ more ]

28.05.2015

Tatiana Zhurzhenko

Russia's never-ending war against "fascism"

Memory politics in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict

geopolitics Seventy years after the end of World War II, writes Tatiana Zhurzhenko, the fight for hegemony in Europe continues – disguised as a conflict of historical master narratives. The beginning of the current round of memory wars in the post-Soviet space can be dated back to 2005, when the sixtieth anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany turned into a loyalty test for the politicians of neighbouring countries. [ more ]

08.05.2015

Lev Gudkov

The technology of negative mobilization

Russian public opinion and Vladimir Putin's "Ukrainian policy"

politics How can it be that, in contrast to the international community, virtually no one in Russia believed that Russian-backed separatists shot down the Malaysian Airlines plane in July? Beyond press censorship, Lev Gudkov looks to Russians themselves, who increasingly hear only what they want to. [ more ]

01.10.2014

Oleg Riabov, Tatiana Riabova

The decline of Gayropa?

How Russia intends to save the world

discourse The Sochi winter Olympics are over but Russia's anti-gay laws remain. Tatiana Riabova and Oleg Riabov show how discourse in Russia brands "European sexual deviancy" a natural result of western democratic development; and Russia as the last bastion of "normalcy". [Swedish version added] [ more ]

05.02.2014
Sergey Khazov

Rainbow Russia

LGBT rights Though homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993, an increasingly restrictive legal climate and widespread intolerance continue to hamper the lives of gay men and women. Nonetheless, LGBT networks continue to develop support systems of their own. [ more ]

06.09.2013

Read also Excerpts from Khazov's novel on growing up gay in Russia

Maxim Trudolyubov

The Stalinist order, the Putinist order

Private life, political change and property in Russian society

Living The "Stalinist order" continues to lurk in aesthetic forms and written documents; from an architectural perspective, it lives on as long as the buildings survive. And merges with the new order, in which the new "elite" buy up the same buildings and imitative newbuilds for artificially inflated prices. [ more ]

28.06.2013
Samuel A. Greene

Russia: Society, politics and the search for community

Twenty-twenty What are the factors that could end Russia's democratic inertia? While pressure from below is likely to provoke consolidation of the elites, writes Samuel A. Greene, long-term economic decline might encourage greater European integration and reform of the country's institutions. [ more ]

02.12.2011
Oxana Timofeeva

Trampling cats

Control The recent proliferation of new taboos in Russia seems to know no limit, according to philosopher Oxana Timofeeva. She shows how proposals for new legislation to curb noise pollution may reveal more about the animal inside us all than the authorities could dream. [ more ]

10.05.2013
Marina Akhmedova

Snap goes the crocodile

reportage Marina Akhmedova spent four days in the company of drug users in Yekaterinburg, Russia, and was met with a picture of desperation, punctured by love, humanity and misplaced hope. Shortly after it was published, this harrowing piece of reportage journalism was banned in Russia. [ more ]

10.08.2012
 

The legacy of empire

Alexander Etkind

Colonizing oneself

Imperial puzzles for the twenty-first century

Postcolonial Russia Having been both the subject and the object of colonization, Russia has a special relevance for postcolonial theory. Literary scholar Alexander Etkind unites two very different narratives of imperial Russia under the overarching principle of "internal colonization". [ more ]

25.06.2013
Mikhail Rozhanskiy

The empire's Siberian knots

sustainability Siberia survives as a single name for a territory covering two-thirds of Russia. Yet it comprises well over a dozen regions, republics and territories. Look at how the borders of Siberia were defined, writes Mikhail Rozhanskiy, and you grasp the imperial nature of Russia's social space. [Russian version added] [ more ]

30.04.2015
Fyodor Lukyanov

Under cover

The emergence of Russia's new foreign policy

geopolitics That Russia will never be a superpower as the USSR once was leaves it searching for a new international identity. Fyodor Lukyanov argues that Moscow's policy is a skilful imitation of striving for global status, intended to conceal the narrowing of the sphere of its immediate interests. [ more ]

28.06.2013
Dmitri Furman

Russia's retarded democracy

From empire to nation-state

Legitimacy Russia today, like during the Soviet period, is held together by a repressive vertical power. However this integration remains largely formal. An historical analysis of Russia's retarded democracy suggests that beneath the monolithic surface lies the potential for further national secession. [ more ]

07.12.2011
Anna Ananieva, Klaus Gestwa

The war of 1812

How Russia rescued Europe

European histories As Napolean's army disintegrated upon retreating from Russia, the Russian Empire rose from the ashes of Moscow as the "saviour of Europe". Historians Anna Ananieva and Klaus Gestwa recall how a new European order materialized and became the object of reminiscence. [ more ]

21.02.2013
 


Cooperation

Partner This focal point represents an ongoing cooperation between Eurozine and the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM). It is related to a corresponding fellowship programme at the IWM, directed by Tatiana Zhurzhenko. Further texts have been contributed by journals in the Eurozine network.



 

Focal points     click for more

Debating solidarity in Europe

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/solidarity.html
In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, questions of inequality and solidarity have become intertwined. Over the past year, however, questions of solidarity have also been central in connection to the treatment of refugees and migrants. [more]

Ukraine: Beyond conflict stories

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/ukraine_beyond_conflict4.html
Follow the critical, informed and nuanced voices that counter the dominant discourse of crisis concerning Ukraine. A media exchange project linking Ukrainian independent media with "alternative" media in Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Greece. [more]

Russia in global dialogue

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/eurocrisis.html
In the two decades after the end of the Cold War, intellectual interaction between Russia and Europe has intensified. It has not, however, prompted a common conversation. The focal point "Russia in global dialogue" seeks to fuel debate on democracy, society and the legacy of empire. [more]

Ukraine in European dialogue

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/ukrainedialogue.html
Post-revolutionary Ukrainian society displays a unique mix of hope, enthusiasm, social creativity, collective trauma of war, radicalism and disillusionment. Two years after the country's uprising, the focal point "Ukraine in European dialogue" takes stock. [more]

Culture and the commons

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/culturecommons.html
Across Europe, citizens are engaging in new forms of cultural cooperation while developing alternative and participatory democratic practices. The commons is where cultural and social activists meet a broader public to create new ways of living together. [more]

2016 Jean Améry Prize collection

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/jeanameryprize2016.html
To coincide with the awarding of the 2016 Jean Améry Prize for European essay writing, Eurozine publishes essays by authors nominated for the prize, including by a representative selection of Eurozine partner journals. [more]

The politics of privacy

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/privacy.html
The Snowden leaks and the ensuing NSA scandal made the whole world debate privacy and data protection. Now the discussion has entered a new phase - and it's all about policy. A focal point on the politics of privacy: claiming a European value. [more]

Beyond Fortress Europe

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/lawborder.html
The fate of migrants attempting to enter Fortress Europe has triggered a new European debate on laws, borders and human rights. A focal point featuring reportage alongside articles on policy and memory. With contributions by Fabrizio Gatti, Seyla Benhabib and Alessandro Leogrande. [more]

Vacancies at Eurozine     click for more

Eurozine is seeking an Online Editor and Social Media Manager for its office in Vienna.

Preferred starting date: February 2017.
Applications deadline: 31 January 2017.

Conferences     click for more

Eurozine emerged from an informal network dating back to 1983. Since then, European cultural magazines have met annually in European cities to exchange ideas and experiences. Around 100 journals from almost every European country are now regularly involved in these meetings.
Mobilizing for the Commons
The 27th European Meeting of Cultural Journals
Gdańsk, 4-6 November 2016

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/gdansk2016_official.html
The Eurozine conference 2016 in Gdańsk framed the general topic of solidarity with a focus on mobilizing for the commons. The event took place in the European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk and thus linked contemporary debate to the history of a broad, non-violent, anti-communist social movement which has started in the city's shipyard in 1980. [more]

Support Eurozine     click for more

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Eurozine BLOG

On the Eurozine BLOG, editors and Eurozine contributors comment on current affairs and events. What's behind the headlines in the world of European intellectual journals?
Eurozine
In memoriam: Ales Debeljak (1961-2016)

http://www.eurozine.com/blog/in-memoriam-ales-debeljak-1961-2016/
On 28 January 2016, Ales Debeljak died in a car crash in Slovenia. He will be much missed as an agile and compelling essayist, a formidable public speaker and a charming personality. [more]

Time to Talk     click for more

Time to Talk, a network of European Houses of Debate, has partnered up with Eurozine to launch an online platform. Here you can watch video highlights from all TTT events, anytime, anywhere.
Neda Deneva, Constantina Kouneva, Irina Nedeva and Yavor Siderov
Does migration intensify distrust in institutions?

http://www.eurozine.com/timetotalk/does-migration-intensify-distrust-in-institutions/
How do migration and institutional mistrust relate to one another? As a new wave of populism feeds on and promotes fears of migration, aggrandising itself through the distrust it sows, The Red House hosts a timely debate with a view to untangling the key issues. [more]

Editor's choice     click for more

Jürgen Habermas, Michaël Foessel
Critique and communication: Philosophy's missions

http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2015-10-16-habermas-en.html
Decades after first encountering Anglo-Saxon perspectives on democracy in occupied postwar Germany, Jürgen Habermas still stands by his commitment to a critical social theory that advances the cause of human emancipation. This follows a lifetime of philosophical dialogue. [more]

Literature     click for more

Karl Ove Knausgård
Out to where storytelling does not reach

http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2014-04-03-knausgard-en.html
To write is to write one's way through the preconceived and into the world on the other side, to see the world as children can, as fantastic or terrifying, but always rich and wide-open. Karl Ove Knausgård on creating literature. [more]

Jonathan Bousfield
Growing up in Kundera's Central Europe

http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2013-08-16-kuisz-en.html
Jonathan Bousfield talks to three award-winning novelists who spent their formative years in a Central Europe that Milan Kundera once described as the kidnapped West. It transpires that small nations may still be the bearers of important truths. [more]

Literary perspectives
The re-transnationalization of literary criticism

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Eurozine's series of essays aims to provide an overview of diverse literary landscapes in Europe. Covered so far: Croatia, Sweden, Austria, Estonia, Ukraine, Northern Ireland, Slovenia, the Netherlands and Hungary. [more]

Debate series     click for more

Europe talks to Europe

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Nationalism in Belgium might be different from nationalism in Ukraine, but if we want to understand the current European crisis and how to overcome it we need to take both into account. The debate series "Europe talks to Europe" is an attempt to turn European intellectual debate into a two-way street. [more]

Multimedia     click for more

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Multimedia section including videos of past Eurozine conferences in Vilnius (2009) and Sibiu (2007). [more]


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