This article contributes to the growing body of research on the increasing role of judicial systems in regulating politics and religion (‘judicialization of politics and religion’) across the globe. By examining how academic expertise is deployed in anti-extremist litigation involving Russia’s minority religions, this article reveals important processes involved in this judicial regulation, in particular when legal and academic institutions lack autonomy and consistency of operation. It focuses on the selection of experts and the validation of their opinion within Russia’s academia and the judiciary, and identifies patterns in the experts’ approach to evidence and how they validate their conclusions in the eyes of the judiciary. Academic expertise provides an aura of legitimacy to judicial decisions in which anti-extremist legislation is used as a means to control unpopular minority religions and to regulate Russia’s religious diversity. As one of the few systematic explorations of this subject and the first focused on Russia, this article reveals important processes that produce religious discrimination and the role that anti-extremist legislation plays in these processes.
This article is an analysis of metadata from 955 closed trials of Soviet people accused of being collaborators during World War II. The trials reveal Soviet officials' understandings of who was capable of collaboration and what kinds of acts were collaboration. At the same time, the aggregate data from trials demonstrates that the accusations were grounded in the realities of the war and were not falsifications like the investigations of the Great Terror in the 1930s.
The article examines the population exchange between Poland and the Soviet Union in 1944–1947, its role in the shaping of modern Ukraine, and its place in the evolution of the Soviet nationality policy. It investigates the factors involved in the decision-making of individuals and state officials and then assesses how people on the ground made sense of the Soviet population politics. While the earlier scholarship saw the transfer as punitive national deportation, the article argues that it was neither punitive nor purely national nor was it a deportation. The article shows that the party-state was ambivalent about the Polish minority and was not committed to total national homogenization of Western Ukraine. Instead, the people themselves were often eager to leave the USSR because of the poor living conditions, fear of Sovietization, and ethnic conflict. Paradoxically, one of the largest Soviet nation-building projects was not the product of coherent nationality policy.
The article examines the population exchange between Poland and Soviet Union in 1944-1946, its role in the shaping of modern Ukraine, and its place in the evolution of the Soviet nationality policy. Based on archival sources this article examines the factors involved in the decision making of individuals and state officials and then assesses how people on the ground made sense of the Soviet population politics. While much of the earlier scholarship saw the transfer as a punitive national deportation, the argument of the article is that most of the time it was neither punitive nor purely national nor deportation. Contrary to the historiographical thesis about the Soviet transition from class to ethnic categories in its rule, the article shows that during the population exchange the Soviet party-state continued to view the society in class terms and frequently prioritized economy over concerns with national homogeneity.
This article examines the role of the monetary world inclusion in the world of children’s games in the late Soviet period by opening a previously unknown page of board games’ social history in the USSR and describes the practices of playing Do It Yourself (DIY) Monopoly by Soviet children in the 1980s. Soviet teenagers used friendly relationships to exchange tacit knowledge about the basic rules of the board business game. They made playing fields and developed the rules of the game, using school knowledge about the principles of the capitalist economy. The article shows the game rules’ evolution of the DIY Soviet Monopoly versions and shows the creativity of the Soviet teenagers in the re-invention of the rules of the board business game. DIY Monopoly versions were a form of adaptation of western goods to socialist conditions, which were common practice in the Soviet Union since its inception.
In the 1960s, food processing and production in the Soviet Union increasingly embraced an ideal inspired by foreign—especially American—innovations. Principles of speed and consistency meant that consumers more often encountered convenience foods, a category including canned vegetables, frozen fruits, and preprepared dishes, as well as popcorn, potato chips, and similar novelties for eating in public places. Detailing attempts to develop output and distribute these foods for consumption in homes and away from them, this article shows that Soviet ideals developed in dialogue those in other industrial societies, entangling the Soviet history with foreign counterparts. Noting that the results substantiate known failures of the state-socialist economy, the article emphasizes how inadequate capital investments limited these policies’ effectiveness. Tapping published sources and documents in the Moscow archives, it underscores how Soviet efforts to produce convenience foods interacted with evolving gender norms, cultural practices related to the home, and popular expectations about consumption.
In the 1920s - 1940s the indigenous peoples of Chukotka, the northeastern extremity of Asia, were subjugated by the Soviet Union. This article takes a transcultural look at this process and seeks to explore what interactions shaped the region in pre- and early Soviet periods and what was exchanged through these interactions at different times. The cultural flows under study include those of material objects, diseases, language, institutions and ideas. A great deal of attention has been paid to the reception of exchange in indigenous communities, which was reconstructed based on memories and literary works of indigenous people of Eskimo, Chukchi and Even origin. The article aims to incorporate the case of Chukotka, which was subject to “socialist colonization”, into international cultural and social discourse and seeks to test transcultural methodology in a non-capitalist context.
The outbreak of the Great Patriotic War led to an unprecedented evacuation of the Soviet population to the East as well as a significant growth of social conflicts. Consequently, open manifestations of anti-Semitism increased greatly, which were often connected with defeatism and anti-Soviet moods. This article analyzes the reasons for this phenomenon and is based on the materials of judicial investigative cases of the Chelyabinsk Regional Court. This article focuses on the state struggle against anti-Semitism, which was considered by the judicial authorities as quasi-anti-Soviet activity and aid to the enemy. This perception was determined by the catastrophic situation of the Red Army, Nazi propaganda against “Judeo-Bolshevism,” and the beginning of the Holocaust in the occupied territories. In these conditions of socio-political instability, mass anti-Semitism required severe punishments. This article’s conclusions allow a revision of the policy of the Soviet state toward the “Jewish issue” during the Second World War.
The article tourist travel of Soviet citizens abroad are considered not only as an instrument of ideological and cultural offensive of the socialist system, the way of learning or of receiving pleasure as an important channel of purchasing imported items, and rare for the Soviet people the opportunity to meet with the Western culture of consumption. This allows to reveal the specificity and inner logic of the phenomenon of Soviet consumer culture inherent in her cult imported items are formed contrary to the official dogma of discourse that "Soviet – means better". On the basis of archival documents, materials of the Soviet press and the memoirs of former tourists are shown how the cult of imported goods formed a special, two-level model of the behavior of the Soviet people abroad. If outwardly, they tried to match the Canon "ideological person," but at the same time, almost all citizens of the USSR more or less openly manifest traits of "economic man" seeking by all means to buy as many imported items and financial "justify" an expensive trip. As the growth of outbound tourism in the USSR and the deformation of the system of selection of candidates for departure (lowering strap travel requirements, bureaucratic formalism, the spread of corrupt practices) the ideological component became more openly ignored, and the consumer, the mission has come to the fore. The skills of "economic man", acquired by the Soviet citizens during trips abroad, proved to be very popular in the new socio-economic conditions.
The article deals with the Soviet housing policy in the annexed in September 1939 the former Polish territories – Western Belarus and Western Ukraine. However, the author's attention is more focused on the Western Belarus and, in particular, on Bialystok, which was the largest and most economically developed city in the region. In Bialystok and the Bialystok area there were the largest number of refugees, soviet soldiers, party clerks and technical specialists from the Soviet Union. This situation has provoked here the acute housing problems, which resulted in the theft of property and illegal apartment owners eviction. The Jewish population of Western Belarus was in the epicenter of events, since the Jews were well represented among the refugees, and among the illegally evicted houses owners. The author seeks to analyze the housing policy in Western Belarus prior to the start of the German-Soviet war in 1941, the position of the Jewish population during this period, and the impact of acute "housing problem" on the Sovietization of the entire local population.
“The new history of propaganda” studies the historical experience of using propaganda by different countries, including democratic ones, in the time of wars and other crises. It is evident that particular attention is paid to Nazi Germany and Stalinist USSR, the two excessively ideology-driven and politicized societies where propaganda played the role far beyond the boundaries of simple ideological indoctrination and manipulation of the public opinions and attitudes with the purpose of pushing the people towards a desired model of behavior. In both states propaganda became a fundamental core institution aimed at building and sustaining the social order. At the same time, if we consider the experience of Stalin’s USSR, then the usage of the term “propaganda state” introduced by Peter Kenez requires a significant caveat.
The main objective of this paper is the analysis of the development of Think Tanks and Public Policy Centers in Russia and other post-communist countries. Think Tanks are small practically oriented research teams comprising both academic researchers and experts who are familiar with political practices and capable of implementing proposed solutions to topical problems in social and political life. In the community of Think Tanks, which usually carry out commissions we can distinguish one type, the activities of which are based on a socially signifĳicant idea, i.e. the promotion of development in post-authoritarian and postcommunist states by encouraging truly public and open policy. In early 21st century such organizations were named “Public Policy Centers” (PPC).
Keywords Think Tanks , Public Policy centers , civil society , post-communist development.
“Expertocracy in Russia” by Anatoly Nesterov (State University Higher School of Economics , Moscow): This article considers the meaning of the terms “expertocracy” and “expertocrat,” which in the contemporary Russian Federation are newly constructed words based linguistically, but not conceptually, from the English loan word “expertise.” This article considers the meaning of the terms “expertocracy” and “expertocrat,” which in the contemporary Russian Federation are newly constructed words based linguistically, but not conceptually, from the English loan word “expertise.” A socio-economic analysis of the theory of expertise reveals that the activities of the new expertocrats (many of whom self-identify with this term) do not relate to traditional notions of expertise, particularly within today's Russian state apparatus and the private sector. Instead, this article explores the new social phenomena of “expertocracy” and “expertocrats” as well as the arrival of a newly rebranded buzzword, “narrative,” which has taken on new meaning aside from its historical and cultural interpretation and can now be used to describe the activities of the newly emergent expertocrat class in Russia.