June 18, 2012 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
“Is local media, produced for Russia’s ethnic minorities and often in local languages, stoking ethnic conflict and hastening destabilization of the federation?” asked Kathryn Graber, Title VIII-Supported Research Scholar, Kennan Institute at a 18 June 2012 lecture. Graber studied the local, ethnic media of the people of the Republic of Buryatia, a semi-autonomous region of the Russian Federation that borders Lake Baikal. Rather than create ethnic strife between the Buryats and Russians, Graber found that local, ethnic media has produced a framework of titular nationalities that work together in the Russian Federation, and which supports positive and pacifist relationships that reaffirm the belief that as a national minority, ethnic peoples can belong both to an ethnic state and the larger Russian state.
June 12, 2012 // 3:30pm — 5:30pm
Twenty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, it is clear that democracy has failed to take root in most former Soviet republics. Based on extensive field research in the region, Kennan Institute Title VIII-Supported Research Scholars Jody LaPorte and Danielle Lussier will discuss the varieties of non-democratic regimes that have developed and will offer some explanations for the failure of democracy in Russia, Central Asia, and the Caucasus.
June 11, 2012 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
“Why were Georgian trade networks so successful?” asked Erik R. Scott, Title VIII-Supported Research Scholar, Kennan Institute, at an 11 June 2012 lecture. Georgian businessmen and their trade networks and products occupied a unique position in the informal economy in the Soviet Union and supplied many of the scarce and exotic goods Soviet consumers desired. Georgian trade networks exploited the mobility made possible by the porous internal borders of the Soviet Union. Scott characterized the Soviet Union as an “empire of diaspora” comprised of mobile ethnicities who could move and trade throughout the Union.
June 05, 2012 // 3:30pm — 5:30pm
Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a brutal war two decades ago over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. A ceasefire -- not a peace agreement -- has separated the combatants for years, but is now endangered by frequent violations and by a growing arms race. How dangerous is this situation and what can be done to avoid another open conflict?
June 04, 2012 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
As modern Belarus seems to be caught in limbo between the West (EU\NATO) on one side, and Russia with her post-imperial ambitions on the other, it is still undecided where it really belongs. Some observers claim that the modern Belarusian state is Soviet by its origin and design, but there were also suppressed historical alternatives to it in the recent 20th century Belarusian past. Aliaksandr Paharely, Visiting Scholar, Center for Belarusian Studies, Southwestern College, Kansas, will address the putative evolutionary and revolutionary scenarios of social change and nation and states building that were debated in Poland’s West Belarus during the interwar years.
May 29, 2012 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
Cosponsored by the Russian-American Community Center of Florida, Open Dialogue (Moscow) and the Spiritual Diplomacy Foundation, in this discussion Nikolai Borodin, Director, Museum of the Allies and Lend-Lease in Moscow, will explore the history of the museum and the role of America in the Lend-Lease program during World War II. “The Museum of the Allies and Lend-Lease is a unique, one-of-a-kind museum,” said Borodin. The museum was established inside a former school and has been open for 8 years. Borodin said he wished to honor and show gratitude to the United States and its veterans who rendered aid to the Soviet Union during World War II. “Those years were a very trying time and the aid received from the U.S. was substantial,” he stated. In Russia, the museum is dedicated to the WWII allies but mainly to the American contribution.
May 23, 2012 // 12:30pm — 2:00pm
On May 7, Vladimir Putin began his third term as president of the Russian Federation. With the Russian political season over, and the American political season heating up, what are the implications of political transition for the important issues in the U.S.-Russian bilateral relationship?
May 21, 2012 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
“Ukrainians’ record on women’s inclusion in politics is indefensible,” said Tamara Martsenyuk, Chopivsky Post-Doctoral Fellow, CREEES, Stanford University, and Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, at a 21 May 2012 Kennan Institute event. During the twenty years since Ukrainian independence, women have held less than ten percent of the seats in political office in Ukraine. Yet, women constitute forty five percent of the management force in the civil service sector, albeit mainly at the local level.
May 14, 2012 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
“Were the performing arts in imperial Russia an outlet for opposition politics or ideas? The historiography of the era predicts the answer is yes, but the reality is actually the opposite,” said Paul du Quenoy, Associate Professor, Department of History and Archeology, American University of Beirut, at a 14 May 2012 Kennan Institute lecture. Presenting the research behind his book, Stage Fright: Politics and the Performing Arts in Late Imperial Russia, du Quenoy contended that theatrical artists and artistic institutions of the era avoided politics, or were at least resistant to staging productions critical of the state.
May 09, 2012 // 3:30pm — 5:30pm
Spotlight on Central Eurasia Series // Authors and scholars Alexander Cooley and Alexander Kupatadze discuss their research into the interplay of geopolitics and local networks across Central Asia. Cooley explores the dynamics of the new competition between Russia, China and the United States over the region since 9/11, as well as how small states’ interaction with great powers advances our understanding of how world politics actually works in the contemporary era of diminishing Western influence and rising new regional powers. Author Alexander Kupatadze will discuss the diverging trajectories of organized crime in post-Soviet Eurasia focusing on professional criminals (so-called vory-v-zakone) in Georgia and drug smuggling groups in Kyrgyzstan.
Experts & Staff
- Matthew Rojansky // Director, Kennan Institute
- William E. Pomeranz // Deputy Director, Kennan Institute
- F. Joseph Dresen // Program Associate
- Mary Elizabeth Malinkin // Program Associate
- Mattison Brady // Program Assistant
- Blair A. Ruble // Vice President for Programs; Director, Urban Sustainability Laboratory; and Senior Advisor, Kennan Institute