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Aleksanteri Institute Newsletter (FI)

  1. Aleksanteri News 9/2020

    MONTHLY NEWS, EVENTS, AND PUBLICATIONS BY THE ALEKSANTERI INSTITUTE, FINNISH CENTRE FOR RUSSIAN AND EASTERN EUROPEAN STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI. SEPTEMBER 2020
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    academic year started online

    September in Helsinki has been warm and sunny but the campus area is still eerily empty and quiet. Most of the teaching takes place online, and majority of the researchers work from home. Public events are either re-scheduled or converted into live streamings and online seminars.

    In other words, a lot goes on behind the scenes!  This newsletter aims to give you a glimpse of that. To keep in touch more actively, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter and join the conversations there!

    news and comments

    In­vis­ible minor­it­ies in the Geor­gian prison

    The equal treatment of prisoners is a key principle of the Council of Europe and other international organisations dealing with penal institutions across the world. Costanza Curro writes about the situation of different minorities in the context of Georgian prisons in Aleksanteri Insight 3/2020

    Fieldwork on Estonian prisons

    Foundations for forthcoming fieldwork in Estonia was laid in July, as Professor Judith Pallot and Dr. Olga Zeveleva conducted pilot interviews with people who have been to Estonian and Soviet prisons between the 1960s and today. Read more at the Gulag Echoes site.

    latest publications

    ‘Do digital technologies matter? How hyperlocal media is re-configuring the media landscape of a Russian province’ 

    The increase of internet penetration across Russia has reduced entry barriers for individuals and companies who want to report locally, writes Olga Dovbyshin this article published in Journalism. 

    Whose voices and what values? State grants for significant public content in the Russian media model 

    After the collapse of the Soviet Union, public service broadcasting (PSB) was introduced in the majority of post-communist states. How does the mechanism of state grants shape the process of addressing public interest, and what values are constructed? Read the chapterby Olga Dovbysh and Tatiana Belyuga in the recent volume Universalism in Public Service Media, published by Nordicom. 

    COVID-19 has been devastating for Russia’s prisoners 

    Penitentiary systems around the world face many challenges in a pandemic. However, some features of the Russian prison system make its response worse, Olga Zeveleva writes for The Riddle online magazine.

    CHECK THE UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI research portal FOR our PUBLICATIONS

    You'll always find our latest academic outputs in the University of Helsinki's research portal.

    latest and upcoming events online

    Belarusian election 2020: unexpected outcomes. What is happening and what is to come?
    Political developments in Belarus have shaken the world this summer: elections marred with overwhelming fraud and violations lead to unprecedented large-scale political mobilization. Subsequent state-sponsored violence triggered the protests further and resulted in strikes, marches, meetings, and performances. The situation is developing rapidly and the conflict resolution remains uncertain.

    The ElMaRB project at the Aleksanteri Institute hosted an online panel discussion about the current developments with Ryhor Nizhnikau, Vladimir Gel’man, Kristiina Silvan and Katri Pynnöniemi. If you missed the live stream, you can still watch the recording on our YouTube channel!
     
    22.10.
    2020
    Russian Modernization: A New Paradigm, online panel discussion with Markku Kivinen, Brendan Humphreys et al.  More information coming soon.
    17.11.
    2020
    Online book launch: Reforming Child Welfare in the Post-Soviet Space. More information coming soon.
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    Aleksanteri News | September 2020 

    Editor: Niina Into
    aleksanteri@helsinki.fi
    @Aleksanteri_UH
    ...
  2. Aleksanteri News 8/2020

    MONTHLY NEWS, EVENTS, AND PUBLICATIONS BY THE ALEKSANTERI INSTITUTE, FINNISH CENTRE FOR RUSSIAN AND EASTERN EUROPEAN STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI. AUGUST 2020
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    Making sense of the exceptional summer

    The Aleksanteri research community is returning to work after the holiday season. While at the University of Helsinki restricted contact teaching is now considered possible, most of our courses and majority of our research is still conducted remotely, and no public events with live audience are planned for the autumn period. Also most research visits are, unfortunately, rescheduled further.

    Our online activity, on the other hand, is increasing. During the summer, multiple blog postings have been published in the Gulag Echoes blog, and the recording from our June 11th event, COVID-19 in Russian and Eurasian Societies continues to attract viewers on YouTube. On September 1st we will stream a very topical panel discussion on the current developments in Belarus via Tiedekulma Live. Questions and comments are invited both in advance and during the event - see below!

    Our scholars have kept busy giving insights and comments for the Finnish media and organisations. If you are looking for a specialist on issues regarding Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia, please don't hesitate to contact us! 

     

    news and comments

    Belarus 2020 - our scholars are following the situation

    The scholars at the Aleksanteri Institute are following the developments in Belarus closely, and are available to comment for the media. Find the right expert here.

    Muslim prisoners and covid

    Uzbek migrants constitute the largest number of foreign prisoners in Russia. Rustam Urinboyev has conducted fieldwork among them, and writes about how the means to fight corona virus have further limited the possibilities of incarcerated muslims to practice their religion. Read more in the Gulagechoes blog!

    The Veil of Secrecy: How did the Soviet government quell epidemics in prisons?

    Epidemics and emaciation severely afflicted the prisons and camps in Soviet times, but information on them was highly classified and even camouflaged from the eyes of GULAG administration, writes Mikhail Nakonechnyi in this Gulagechoes blog post.

    Lessons of the Recent Past: From Tuberculosis to COVID-19 in Russia’s Prisons

    In her recent blog post, Judith Pallot delves into the recent epidemics in the Russian prison system, particularly the multidrug-resistant tubreculosis, and speculates on the lessons today’s Prison Service might have learned from them. Read more in the Gulagechoes blog.

    Caught in Russia’s Prison-Pandemic Nexus

    As Russian prisons are easing their coronavirus policies after four months of heavy restrictions, more information about the short-term and long-term impact of the virus on custodial institutions will become available for researchers. Olga Zeveleva is following the progress closely in the Gulagechoes blog.

    COVID-19 in Russian and Eurasian Societies

    The recording of the 11.6. panel discussion on the impacts of the global corona pandemic on Russian society is available on our YouTube channel!

    latest publications

    Local Media of Post-Soviet Countries: Evidence from Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine

    A special issue of the journal Demokratizatsiya highlights the importance of research on local media and journalism in an era of misinformation and media fragmentation. The issue is edited by Katja Lehtisaari and Olga Dovbysh. Read more on the publisher's page.

    CHECK THE UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI research portal FOR our PUBLICATIONS

    You'll always find our latest academic outputs in the University of Helsinki's research portal.

    Belarusian election 2020: unexpected outcomes

    Belarusian election 2020: unexpected outcomes. What is happening and what is to come?
    Political developments in Belarus have shaken the world this summer: elections marred with overwhelming fraud and violations lead to unprecedented large-scale political mobilization. Subsequent state-sponsored violence triggered the protests further and resulted in strikes, marches, meetings, and performances. The situation is developing rapidly and the conflict resolution remains uncertain.

    The ElMaRB project at the Aleksanteri Institute will host an online panel discussion about the current developments on Tuesday 1 September at 1 pm to 3 pm.  Invited participants include Ryhor Nizhnikau, Vladimir Gel’man, Kristiina Silvan and Katri Pynnöniemi.

    The event will be streamed via Tiedekulma Live. Please send in your questions and comments either in advance by email to niina.into@helsinki.fi or during the event via Twitter, using hashtag #belaruselections.
    You can easily unsubscribe to Aleksanteri News here.
    If you would rather subscribe to the newsletter in Finnish, please click here!

    Aleksanteri News | August 2020 

    Editor: Niina Into
    aleksanteri@helsinki.fi
    @Aleksanteri_UH
    ...
  3. Aleksanteri News 6-7/2020

    MONTHLY NEWS, EVENTS, AND PUBLICATIONS BY THE ALEKSANTERI INSTITUTE, FINNISH CENTRE FOR RUSSIAN AND EASTERN EUROPEAN STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI. JUNE - JULY 2020
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    Summer comes despite the pandemics

    Schools have ended in Finland and as the whole country is slowly changing into holiday mood, so is the Aleksanteri Institute.

    Before we go, we'd like to invite you to one more online event: COVID-19 in Russian and Eurasian Societies will be streamed live from the University of Helsinki Think Corner on Thursday 11 June at  2 pm. More information about the event is published below, but here's the link to the live stream just it case, too. Below, you will also find the latest blog posts and comments by our scholars on corona and other topics. 

    We are especially happy about the Nordplus funding which allows us to develop our Area Studies teaching under a new network project BAMSE 2020.

    Less happy news include the difficult decision made by the Aleksanteri Conference organising committee to postpone the 20th Annual Aleksanteri Conference, Eurasia and Global Migration, to October 2021 because of the volatile pandemic situation. We wish to guarantee all our colleagues an equal and safe opportunity to participate in the conference in Helsinki in 2021. 

    Aleksanteri News will now take a short break and appear again in August. Stay safe and enjoy the beautiful summer!

    news and comments

    COVID-19 in Rus­sian and Euras­ian so­ci­et­ies

    The global corona virus pandemic has hit different societies in different ways, and the ways of fighting the epidemic and its consequences vary, too. Aleksanteri Scholars have analysed the pandemic in the light of their specialist fields, including politics, social sciences, and history. Find their contributions here.

    Aleksan­teri Conference Eurasia and Global Migration post­poned to 2021

    The 20th Annual Aleksanteri conference was planned to be held on 21-23 October 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will take place a year later, on 27-29 October, 2021. Read more.
    Head of the conference organizing committee, Dr. Anna-Liisa Heusala announces the reasons behind postponement of the 20th Aleksanteri Conference. 

    HOW COVID-19 HELPS V. PUTIN TO MAINTAIN POLITICAL POWER

    COVID-19 pandemic helped to justify a number of electoral innovations in Russia. While the innovations, such as extension of the voting period and online voting may seem progressive at first sight, in reality they are likely to lower the costs of rigging elections. The latest post in Politics & Pandemics is written by Margarita Zavadskaya and Elena Gorbacheva.

    PANDEMIC POWER: HUNGARY BEYOND CURE

    Katalin Miklóssy'srecent piece in Politics & Pandemics shows, how the global pandemic is helping Viktor Orban's regime in its quest to gain absolute power. Read the post here.

    BAMSE 2020 will ad­vance meth­od­o­logy in Area Stud­ies

    BAMSE 2020 is a new Nordplus funded network that aims to evaluate and advance the theories and methodology behind area studies. Read more.

    latest publications

    hyperlocal media in russia and the nordic countries

    The article by Jaana HujanenOlga Dovbysh, Carina Tenor, Mikko Grönlund, Katja Lehtisaari, and Carl-Gustav Linden "At the Crossroads of Hobby, Community Work and Media Business: – Nordic and Russian Hyperlocal Practitioners"  sheds light to the different practices of media actors. 

    CHECK THE UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI research portal FOR our PUBLICATIONS

    You'll always find our latest academic outputs in the University of Helsinki's research portal.

    Covid19 in russia and eurasia 

    How does the global pandemic effect the societies in Russia and Central Asia? How have the more or less authoritarian regimes handled the epidemic, what are the effects on economics, labour and individuals in the most vulnerable positions such as migrants and prisoners? A panel discussion in Think Corner will shed light on these questions. We will be streaming the discussion of three Aleksanteri scholars, Dr. Margarita Zavadskaya, Dr. Olga Zeveleva, and Dr. Sherzod Eraliev via Think Corner live on Thursday 11 June at 2 pm, and the recording will be available on our YouTube channellater. The event will be chaired by Dr. Mikhail Nakonechnyi.Due to the exceptional situation, Think Corner will be closed for audience, but online viewers are invited to participate by sending in questions via Twitter. Please use hashtag #coronainrussia!
    You can easily unsubscribe to Aleksanteri News here.
    If you would rather subscribe to the newsletter in Finnish, please click here!

    Aleksanteri News | June - July 2020 

    Editor: Niina Into
    aleksanteri@helsinki.fi
    @Aleksanteri_UH
    ...
  4. Aleksanteri News 5/2020

    MONTHLY NEWS, EVENTS, AND PUBLICATIONS BY THE ALEKSANTERI INSTITUTE, FINNISH CENTRE FOR RUSSIAN AND EASTERN EUROPEAN STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI. MAY 2020
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    working with covid19 and the eurasian societies

    Under the last couple of months, also academic work has been forced to adapt to the uncertainties of the pandemic situation and develop new methods, tools and even viewpoints. The research and teaching staff at the the Aleksanteri Institute have done their best to provide the students with high quality online teaching and tutoring, and to keep in touch with the international academic community despite missing the conferences and research visits. 

    In order to fulfil our duty towards the larger public, we have been actively present in the media and published weekly blog posts on COVID related issues. On June 11 there will also be a live stream discussion about the effects of the pandemic on Russian and Eurasian societies. Scroll down for details and join us online!

    The exceptional situation at The University of Helsinki will continue throughout summer 2020. Planned public events and contact teaching has been cancelled at least until the end of July. See the Corona virus information updates by the University of Helsinki. Also all planned research visits and student exchanges are cancelled until further notice.
     

    news and comments

    Liv­ing or Leav­ing? Youth and the live­ab­il­ity of single-in­dustry towns in the Rus­sian Arc­tic

    Declining industrial towns can be found all over the world, but there are particularly large numbers of them in the Russian Arctic. What choices do young people face in a remote mining town with jobs quickly disappearing thanks to automatization and sub-contracting? Why do some choose to stay? Read Alla Bolotova's piece in Aleksanteri Insight 2/2020!

    Living in prison: Responses to COVID-19 in Georgia’s penal system and implications for how we think about the ‘inside’ and the ‘outside’

    Costanza Curro'spost in the Gulag Echoes blog series discusses Georgia’s penal system responses to COVID-19. How do the exceptional pandemic-driven measures taken by Georgian Ministry of Justice expose the contradictions of the prison itself? Read more!

    Does trust help fight the COVID-19?

    Eemil Mitikka considers the importance of political and social trust for the fight against the Corona pandemic in the light of global statistics. Read the fifth post of the Politics & Pandemics series.

    Prisons and the cholera epidemic of 1892-1893

    In the first of the two posts that examine how the Russian Imperial penal system contained deadly outbreaks of epidemics, Mikhail Nakonehnyi looks at the measures the tsarist bureaucracy undertook to alleviate the epidemiological crisis in the Imperial prison system. Read the post here.

    Prisons and the typhus/typhoid epidemic of 1908-1910

    In his second post on the Russian Imperial penal system, Mikhail Nakonechnyianalyses the handling of the typhus/typhoid epidemic in the early 1900's overcrowded prisons.  Read the post here.

    open calls 

    A 3-year full time position in an ERC funded research project, Gulag Echoes in the multicultural prison: historical and geographical influences on the identity and politics of ethnic minority prisoners in the communist successor states of Russia Europe, lead by professor Judith Pallot is looking for a doctoral candidate to start working in the research group in autumn 2020. Applications are invited until 31 May. 

    latest publications

    Is there a middle class in Russia?

    The new volume edited by Jouko Nikula and Mikhail Chernysh looks at the different aspects of class in the light of unique survey data from 1998, 2007, and 2015.The articles offer in-depth views into such issues as employment, housing, welfare regime, values and social mobility.
     

    The Palgrave Handbook of Digital Russia Studies

     
    The handbook edited by Mariëlle Wijermars, Daria Gritsenko and Mikhail Kopotev looks at the ways the ‘digital’ is simultaneously changing Russia and the research methods scholars use to study Russia. It provides a critical update on how Russian society, politics, economy, and culture are reconfigured in the context of ubiquitous connectivity and accounts for the political and societal responses to digitalization. Read the Open Access book here!

    Balanced participation of women and men in decision-making in the Russian Federation

    Marianna Muravyeva's and Joanna Hoare's recent report,  “Achieving balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision making in the Russian Federation. European Best Practices” finds that dspite gender-based discrimination being prohobited in Russia, women are still under represented in political as well as legislative and executive branches of power. The report, published by Council of Europe is available online.

    Diversity of the Internet in Russia’s Regions: Towards an Alternative Research Agenda

    It’s too early to say how the novel coronavirus pandemic will hurt the economies of Central Asia and the Caucasus. But hurt them it will. A new World Bank report draws some of the broad contours of the downturn, writes Sherzod Eraliev in the analysis published in Eurasianet.

    CHECK THE UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI research portal FOR our PUBLICATIONS

    You'll always find our latest academic outputs in the University of Helsinki's research portal.

    Covid19 in russia and eurasia 

    How does the global pandemic effect the societies in Russia and Central Asia? How have the more or less authoritarian regimes handled the epidemic, what are the effects on economics, labour and individuals in the most vulnerable positions such as migrants and prisoners? A panel discussion in Think Corner will shed light on these questions. We will be streaming the discussion of three Aleksanteri scholars, Dr. Margarita Zavadskaya, Dr. Olga Zeveleva, and Dr. Sherzod Eraliev via Think Corner live on Thursday 11 June at 2 pm, and the recording will be available on our YouTube channellater. The event will be chaired by Dr. Mikhail Nakonechnyi.Due to the exceptional situation, Think Corner will be closed for audience, but online viewers are invited to participate by sending in questions via Twitter.
    Aleksanteri News 4/2020
    Aleksanteri News 4/2020

    MONTHLY NEWS, EVENTS, AND PUBLICATIONS BY THE ALEKSANTERI INSTITUTE, FINNISH CENTRE FOR RUSSIAN AND EASTERN EUROPEAN STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI. APRIL 2020
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    SPRING EVENTS CANCELLED BUT WORK GOES ON

    The University of Helsinki has declared an exceptional situation due to the corona virus pandemic. Planned public events at the University will be cancelled and no new events will be organised at least until 31 May 2020. Thus, all events at the Aleksanteri Institute are also cancelled. See the Corona virus information updates by the University of Helsinki. Also all planned research visits and student exchanges are cancelled until further notice.

    Research work at the Aleksanteri Institute continues, albeit mostly from home. While field work and research visits are now largely impossible, the international situation has provided many of us with interesting new themes and angles to our research topics, and inspired multiple blog posts and comments, some of which are listed below.  

    While we are waiting for the pandemic to pass, we keep preparing for the two major conferences in October. Please check out the CfPs for the Annual Aleksanteri Conference and Development of Russian Law Conference and send in your proposals. We'd love to hear from you!

    news and comments

    15 new visiting fellows chosen 

    The call for proposals for the Aleksanteri Visiting Fellowships was open from 13 January until 12 February 2020. As many as 185 scholars worldwide submitted an application, and we are happy to be able to invite 15 of them to work with us in the academic year 2020-2021. Read more.

    Coronavirus in Prisons, a Global Perspective: Tracking policy responses, releases, and riots

    In the first post in a series of reports on Coronavirus in prisons, Dr. Olga Zeveleva takes a look at how the coronavirus crisis is playing out in the prison systems of different countries. Read more in Gulag Echoes blog.

    SOCIAL DISTANCING UNDER AUTOCRACY: HOW PANDEMIC CHANGES PROTEST IN RUSSIA?

    Shifting the Blame: Does COVID-19 Undermine Political Support for Putin?

    “Politics & Pandemics” series by the Electoral Malpractice research team continues with a post by the leader of the team, Dr. Margarita Zavadskaya. She analyses the effect of the pandemic and ways it's being handled, on the poopular support for president Putin. Follow tthe blog here. 

    Homeless, stateless, and global emergencies: international refugee law in times of crisis

    Around 20 percent of the global populations have been put under lockdown due to coronavirus, while there are over 70.8 million people forcibly displaced from their homes. Elena Cirkovicwrites about the legal an social situation regarding refugees in Development of Russian Law blog.  

    open calls 

    The 20th Annual Aleksanteri Conference will be held at the University of Helsinki in October 2020 under the theme of Eurasia and Global Migration. We are inviting proposals for panels, roundtables, papers and posters until 15 May, 2020. Please see the Conference site for more details!

    DEVELOPMENT OF RUSSIAN LAW - cfp open until April 15

    The theme of the 2020 DRL conference is Legal Diversity and Regional Encounters: Plural Understandings of Law in Localised Contexts. The conference takes place in Helsinki on 19-20 October. See the Call for Papers at the Development of Russian law site and sen in our proposal by April 15!

    3-year position for a Doctoral candidate

    Gulag Echoes project is looking for a Doctoral Candidate to join the research team in autumn 2020.See the announcement at the University of Helsinki site, and apply by April 30th.

    latest publications

    Special Issue: Post-Socialist Revolutions of Intimacy

    It seems the in the states situated on the territory of the former Soviet Union and in Eastern Europe, each step towards gender equality and inclusive sexual citizenship has been accompanied by counter-actions on different scales. Read more in the special issue of Sexuality and Culture, edited by Dr. Alexander Kondakovet al. 

    Diversity of the Internet in Russia’s Regions: Towards an Alternative Research Agenda

    I their book chapter, Olga Dobvysh and Polina Kolozaridi propose an alternative way of analysing the internet in Russia’s regions, taking into account the diversity of what the internet is in different localities in Russia. See: Internet in Russia, edited by Sergey Davydov.

    Diversity of the Internet in Russia’s Regions: Towards an Alternative Research Agenda

    It’s too early to say how the novel coronavirus pandemic will hurt the economies of Central Asia and the Caucasus. But hurt them it will. A new World Bank report draws some of the broad contours of the downturn, writes Sherzod Eraliev in the analysis published in Eurasianet.

    CHECK THE UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI research portal FOR our PUBLICATIONS

    You'll always find our latest academic outputs in the University of Helsinki's research portal.

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