Posts by Andrey Makarychev

Andrey Makarychev 08-06-2012
  Perhaps, the most striking paradox of the London Olympic Games is that in spite of the much-discussed commercialization they leave much space for politics. For Britain, the Games bear political connotations due to subtle allusions of its imperial legacy of which sports and the English language are a core component. “Most countries will play British sports or sports that were derived from British sports,” a journalist from The New York Times opined. The...
Andrey Makarychev 07-19-2012
  Eastern Europe is a very volatile region with interests and identities of key actors far from stationary. Being pro-Russian or pro-European is a matter of interpretation. Is Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovich pro-Russian? Are Romania’s Traian Basescu, Czech Republic’s Vaclav Klaus, and Hungary’s Viktor Orban unequivocally pro-European? These uneasy questions were reconnoitered in an appropriate location, Odessa, Ukraine, during a two-week summer school for...
Andrey Makarychev 07-12-2012
  Guest post by Andrey Devyatkov—European interest in Moldova’s future recently received new momentum due to the forthcoming visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Chisinau. Some analysts assume that Germany is going to enhance its activities in Moldova to support Moldova’s “success story” of reforms and consequently shape its gradual integration into the EU. But most analysts see Germany’s interest as an attempt to find a bilateral (Russian-German)...
Andrey Makarychev 07-11-2012
  Since the days of perestroika, Russia has sought knowledge about federalism based on the experiences of Europe and the United States. But, today, comparisons between Russia and the West may no longer be valid. Many Russian scholars have been looking for reference points outside the realm of the West, as revealed at a recent conference at the Gorbachev Foundation in Moscow (“Toward a New Model of Russian Federalism”). Eminent foreign scholars who...
Andrey Makarychev 06-26-2012
  These days in Germany, news from European football (soccer) arenas is far more in demand than depressing reports about the Euro crisis. Even economic and financial news is sometimes relayed in a language full of sporty metaphors: it is all about “scores,” “defensive” and “offensive” strategies, “gate-keeping,” and so forth. Newspaper cartoons nicely reflect this conflation of Euro-2012 and Eurozone debate: one has the Greeks defending their goal with...
Andrey Makarychev 04-12-2012
  I just finished a series of interviews and focus groups with young Russian professionals about Russia’s current foreign policies. The research was commissioned by the Gorchakov and the “Nasledie Evrazii” Foundations. The respondents were mostly graduates of international relations programs with practical international experiences in business, education, journalism, public service, and academia. The overall conclusion seems to be crystal clear: the...
Andrey Makarychev 03-28-2012
  There are unexpected paradoxes in today’s political debate in Russia. On one hand, mass-scale protests have made clear that there is great demand for acceptance of Western norms of civic freedom, human rights, free elections, transparency, and rule of law. Yet on the other hand, local Russian discourses have become more inward-looking than ever before. Today, Russians are eager to test the state’s “Self.” The country is in search of understanding its...
Andrey Makarychev 03-21-2012
  On March 19, the CDU/CSU fraction of the German Bundestag hosted a day-long discussion, “Russia After the Elections: Modernization or Stagnation?”. It became clear to me that Russia, in spite of the recent social and political changes (since December 2011) still lacks a clear message toward Europe. Equally unfortunate, Europe lacks a thoughtful strategy about how to deal with the Russian leadership, even on issues of common concern. At the conference,...
Andrey Makarychev 03-14-2012
  In Berlin on March 8, 2012, the European Council for Foreign Relations hosted a discussion under a catchy title: "More Europe for Germany?". Participants—Wolfgang Schauble (finance minister), Jurgen Trittin (Green Party parliamentary faction), Armin von Bogdandy (director of the Max Plank Institute for Public International Law), and other panelists—made a strong case for deepening the European integration project as the remedy against the current...
Andrey Makarychev 03-08-2012
  With Vladimir Putin heading back to the Kremlin amid large-scale demands for political change, one key question is: Will Russian foreign policy toward the EU and its immediate neighbors change? Domestically, in only three months, from December 2011 to March 2012, Russian civil society made huge steps in voicing public demands for greater freedom and transparency, seemingly bringing Russia closer to European norms of democracy and human rights. The...

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About the author

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