December 01, 2011 // 3:30pm — 5:30pm
During the 1920s and 1930s thousands of European and American writers, professionals, scientists, and artists came to record their impressions of the "Soviet experiment." The interwar pilgrimage of these Western intellectuals and fellow-travelers remains one of the most notorious episodes in the political and intellectual history of the twentieth century. This talk presents findings from Michael David-Fox’s latest book, based on extensive research in formerly secret Soviet archives.
November 28, 2011 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
This illustrated talk will explore why Tolstoy continues to be such a politically explosive figure in Russia today. As well as providing an overview of the writer’s often fraught relationship with the Tsarist regime, it will show how the Soviet government systematically sought to suppress his religious and philosophical legacy after 1917, and how the Kennan Institute played a crucial role in preserving it.
November 21, 2011 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
Historian William Benton Whisenhunt will discuss the story and events behind the recently reissued memoir Marooned in Moscow, first published just months after Marguerite Harrison’s release from a Bolshevik prison in 1921. The book provides a fascinating account of Harrison’s entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and her increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. Whisenhunt will explain who Harrison was, how she got into this kind of work, and give examples of her extraordinary work at this critical time in Russian history.
November 17, 2011 // 3:30pm — 5:30pm
November 17, 2011 // 8:30am — 10:30am
Spotlight on Central Eurasia Series // The speaker will discuss his book, a compelling study of the divergent political courses taken by Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan in the wake of Soviet rule. McGlinchey examines economics, religion, political legacies, foreign investment, and the ethnicity of these countries to evaluate the relative success of political structures in each nation.
November 16, 2011 // 10:00am — 4:00pm
The fall of the Soviet Union ushered in an era of dramatic change that saw a world power transform into a diverse region composed of 15 independent states. After 20 years of transition, how have the states of the former Soviet Union redefined their political, foreign policy, and social agendas?
November 15, 2011 // 3:30pm — 5:30pm
The speaker will compare inter-war Germany and post-communist Russia, and compare both nations’ very different political paths. Like in Weimar Germany, in today’s Russia, fascist actors are present, and nationalism is widespread in the population. The post-Soviet Russian situation is, however, distinct from the inter-war German one in that the party system is heavily manipulated and the third sector remains underdeveloped. Fascists have thus neither had a chance to use elections nor did they have the opportunity to penetrate civil society in order to build up political support. The continuing presence of a resolutely authoritarian, yet non-fascist "national leader" (Vladimir Putin) is a hindrance for the country to become a liberal democracy, but makes it, for the time being, also improbable that the Russian regime will transgress towards fascism.
November 14, 2011 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
Irina Papkova will present the major findings of her recent book, "The Orthodox Church and Russian Politics," which was jointly published by Oxford University Press and the Woodrow Wilson Center press in April 2011. The book examines church-state relations in post-Soviet Russia, and questions popular assumptions about the close nature of the relationship between the Orthodox church and the Putin regime in particular.
November 07, 2011 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
October 31, 2011 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
Greene will examine the strength of Ukraine’s society and state after twenty years of independence, in light of a modern understanding of state power and societal resilience. He will also discuss how internal and external actions could help improve the mobilization of strategic resources – improving national security and societal development.
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