Soviet Georgians between Tbilisi and Moscow
Tens of millions of Soviet citizens lived among a national group to which they did not belong. Upheaval resulting from war, revolution, aggressive industrialization drives, and forced migrations resulted in significant population mixing. To examine this process, Eric Scott, athour of 'Familiar Strangers: The Georgian Diaspora and the Evolution of the Soviet Empire' offers his case study of the Georgian diaspora, analyzing the political, social, cultural, and economic aspects of its development. This is review article about Eric Scott book.
In March 2011 scholars met in Prague at the conference Interculturalism, Meaning and Identity. This event revitalised this important theme related to Diversity and Recognition. The terms 'interculturalism' and 'integration' are experiencing a renaissance. As the extent of human movement between nations increases attempts are made to balance cultural difference and social cohesion. In some contexts immigration and settlement policies are becoming more draconian in response. Because of this, interculturalism can take on many meanings. However, pivotal to the way interculturalism is understood is identification. As the relationship between nation, ethnicity and language becomes more complex so too do the ways in which people represent them selves. The cultural resources drawn on and the processes used to form identities are examined in this truly international collection. So too are the implications of these developments for how we theorise culture, meaning and identity.
Until a method is found in Russia for generating a non-Soviet (different from the restoration of the pre-Soviet) central system of values, democratic institutions and practices will remain weak. Moreover, the vectors of movement for post-Soviet polities, which twenty years ago were labeled as a “democratic transition” in a burst of overly audacious hope, will remain forking paths.
The author researches the key problems of the formation of the Russian-speaking Diaspora in a separate poly-ethnic region. The major trends of the adaptation of the Russian-speaking Diaspora in Finland have been studied as well.
The article concerns the problem of the Russian absolutist monarchy of the XVIII - the beginning of XX-th centuries in a comparative perspective. The social function of absolutism consisted in national integration, cultural unification and social transformation of traditional society by using of legal and coercive measures. The crucial problem is the changing role of the bureaucracy which could be the main protagonist of reforms or, just the opposite – its main opponent. From this point of view the author summarizes positive and negative aspects of absolutist reforms making outlook on the comparative experience of other absolutist empires of Europe and Asia.
After the end of the Cold War and the establishment of a unipolar international order, many scholars came to the conclusion that “balancing” as an instrument of state policy has disappeared. This research proves the opposite. First, it undertakes theoretical analysis of the “balancing dilemma” and defines the system of independent variables which can guarantee the absence of balancing. Second, the system is tested against empirical observations concentrating upon international developments since the September 2001. Research reveals that the current unipole could satisfy only part of non-balancing conditions, which is why a policy of balancing by a secondary power became observable. Third, the case of balancing (Russian foreign policy during and after the August 2008 Russia-Georgian conflict) is investigated. Fourth, the consequences of balancing are explored.
The recent crisis in Ukraine cast a spotlight on those countries located between Russia and the EU, a region that had long existed beneath the radar of international politics. Indeed, even its name remains indeterminate: the term 'post-Soviet' is too encompassing (it could also designate Estonia or Tajikistan) while the notion of 'Eastern Europe' has long lost any geographical anchor. Instead, this space is often named after regional powers’ attempts to shape it: as the EU’s 'Eastern Neighbourhood' or as Russia’s 'Near Abroad'. The new region-building endeavour pursued by Russia through Eurasian integration frameworks is a crucial development in this regard.
On the 29 of May 2014, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan signed the Treaty establishing the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), which extends the provisions of the existing Eurasian Customs Union (ECU) and comes into being in 2015. This integration regime has been lauded by Russian President Vladimir Putin as a new, better version of the European Union, and castigated by US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton as a new form of the Soviet Union. This report shows that it is neither. The EEU is a modern and far-reaching attempt at economic integration, but one that is weakened by internal and conceptual contradictions. What was designed as a geo-economic framework is increasingly becoming a geopolitical issue. In attempting to counter the influence of the EU’s alternative integration regime (the Eastern Partnership), Russia has shifted its diplomacy from persuasion to coercion, and Moscow is increasingly resorting to using the EEU as a foreign policy tool. The countries of the entredeux – literally, something placed between two things – are being forced to face to a geopolitical choice they had been trying to avoid, or at least to defuse. Divisive domestic politics, separatism, structural dependencies and the economic and political calculations of internal actors are key factors mediating and complicating their choice. This report focuses on these issues that are too often overlooked in the debate on Russia-EU regional competition.
Back in 2008 when the conflict between Russia and Georgia broke out, International Centre on Conflict and Negotiation initiated the most long-standing of dialogue efforts between Russian and Georgian high-profile political experts, named later, as per the site of the meetings, the Istanbul Process. GPPAC, as a global network of civil society organisations, working across conflicts on an international level, and perceived as being able to play an impartial role in facilitating the dialogue processes, supported and partnered this important initiative, offering a framework that provided the needed, politically neutral, environment for the Russian and Georgian sides to engage with each other.