Posts by Andrey Makarychev

Andrey Makarychev 03-12-2013
Berlin was recently full of posters and billboards announcing a Russian cultural festival, “Wie klingt Russland?” (“How does Russia sound?”), featuring a young lady with her ear to the top half of a Russian matrioshka, the universal signifier of “official” Russian identity. In the meantime, a different Russia was introduced to Germany, less traditional and more sarcastic. The exposition "Verbotene Kunst" (“Forbidden Art”) presented the cartoonist Viktoria...
Andrey Makarychev 03-08-2013
Rallies for democracy in Russia gather only a small percentage of the population. People can lose interest in democracy. They can (sometimes indirectly) support totalitarian practices or live their own private lives. In this rather sad tone, Professor Artemy Magun began a discussion on “Democracy: between the national and the global,” which was held a few days ago at the European University in St. Petersburg. The declining (at)traction of democratic...
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Andrey Makarychev 02-28-2013
It seems that German diplomacy found a new role to play in Eastern Europe – assisting housing and labor market reforms in Belarus. Incomprehensible housing tariffs, legal imperfections, unprotected consumer rights, excessive red-tape regulations – all these mundane issues were discussed at a two-day conference (“European Dialogue on Modernization with Belarusian Society”) convened by the German Foreign Ministry. Evidently, Belarus is a hard case where...
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Andrey Makarychev 02-27-2013
“Europe doesn’t function!" Ulrique Guerot, one of the leading German voices in European affairs, made this emotional statement at a round table discussion (“Building a European Democracy: Mapping the Approaches”) convened by the European Council of Foreign Relations and the Mercator Foundation in Berlin. Other participants were more moderate: for them Europe does function, but it is not popular any longer. Debate on the future of Europe would attract...
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Andrey Makarychev 02-20-2013
Vladimir Putin’s Russia claims to be back to the “premier league” of world politics. However, hidden behind such exclamations of national grandeur is “bare life,” a physical struggle for survival without properly functioning institutions. This metaphor, coined by the political philosopher Giorgio Agamben, nicely catches the gist of Russia’s trouble. Other such allegories were sounded out at the International Winter School "Transformation of Modern...
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Andrey Makarychev 02-12-2013
Ukrainian public opinion is split. Not between pro-Russian and pro-European forces as many believe. The dividing lines are more subtle. They are between those who feel offended (and even betrayed) by the EU’s alleged negligence toward Ukraine and those who, despite everything, keep faith in Europe as the strongest magnet for their country. On top of this, there are different attitudes toward Europeanization: for some Ukrainians, the European orientation...
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Andrey Makarychev 02-04-2013
In spite of geography, Kazakhstan is eager to be the most Western-oriented member of the Eurasian Union. This was the key message that Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Yerlan Idrissov implicitly addressed to the German political audience at the DGAP think tank in Berlin/ Idrissov explained how important the recent chairmanship of the OCSE was for his country’s thinking about security issues. Kazakhstan’s concept of Eurasian security is grounded in two major...
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Andrey Makarychev 02-01-2013
Power is moving away from the West, but international relations (IR) as a discipline still remains very much Western-centric. It seems that Western IR theories are aware of this challenge and eager to prove their relevance for the allegedly forthcoming post-Western world. This was one of the key arguments that Andrew Hurrell, professor at the University of Oxford and a leading author of the “English school” of international relations theory, addressed in...
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Andrey Makarychev 01-30-2013
The EU will most likely keep Ukraine on the Europeanization track, thereby giving it a chance to sign an Association Agreement on November 28 at the Vilnius Summit of the Eastern Partnership (EP). This was the key political message of Swedish diplomat Madeleine Majorenko, who is a unit head of the European Neighborhood Policy within the Commission’s External Relations Directorate. At the “Borders of Integration: European Strategies for Neighboring Regions...
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Andrey Makarychev 01-28-2013
“What else should Vladimir Putin have done to make him a persona non-grata in Europe, along with Alexander Lukashenko?” This pointed question came from the audience in Berlin on January 24 during the presentation of Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s latest book: My Way. A Political Confession. It was expected that the book discussion would gradually turn into an enquiry on the German government’s policy toward the Kremlin.  A question addressed specifically to...
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About the author

Visiting Professor, Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies
University of Tartu, Estonia