Posts by Andrey Makarychev

Andrey Makarychev 05-25-2013
This looked like an idyll: Armenians and Azeris, Russians and Georgians, add Turks and Armenians, for four days of discussion on such flammable issues as religion, democracy, and nationality in the Southern Caucasus. This group met in Tbilisi for a seminar convened by professors Ansgar Joedicke (University of Freiburg), Evert van der Zweerde (University of Nijmegen), and Alex Agadjanian (Moscow). Both the intensity of communication between experts from...
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Andrey Makarychev 05-09-2013
May 9 is Victory Day for Russia and Europe Day for the EU. These continental celebrations, however, form an indicative illustration of how far away from each other Moscow and Brussels are – not only symbolically, but politically as well. While Russia celebrates its past military strength, Europe valorizes peace and unity. Apparently, this distinction is crucial for understanding identities of the two political communities – one is more exclusive and...
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Andrey Makarychev 04-30-2013
Regretfully, anti-European rhetoric in Russia is on the rise. The Russia Today TV Channel (“RT”) readily covers the most Euro-skeptic parties all across Europe. Pseudo-scholars like Alexander Dugin contemplate Russia's chances to subsume the crisis-ridden Europe. Fiodor Lukianov, a pro-Kremlin journalist and the head of the Council for Foreign and Defense Policy, referring to the reelection of an elderly Italian President, mocks European politics for its...
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Andrey Makarychev 04-08-2013
When Manfred Sapper, editor-in-chief of the German Osteuropa journal, in his public discussion with the Belorusian writer Sviatlana Kurs asked, “What does Germany have to do with the Lukashenko regime?", it looked like a tacit indication of the crisis of Berlin's Ostpolitik. Perhaps, Dr.Sapper's approach is right: since neither Political Science nor International Relations give a more or less clear answer to this question, why don't we start looking for...
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Andrey Makarychev 03-29-2013
Russia does not fit in traditional Western theories of political science and perhaps needs more nuanced explanations reaching beyond habitual dichotomies like “democracy–authoritarianism.” This assertion by Theodor Shanin at the opening of the 20th annual Moscow symposium, “Russia’s Pathways” (“Puti Rossii”), to a large extent framed the two-day discussion on the key issues of Russian politics and society. Indeed, the Russian regime is authoritarian, but...
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Andrey Makarychev 03-22-2013
While en route to an event in Germany, Edward Nalbandyan, foreign affairs minister of Armenia, should have anticipated a tough conversation ahead. That the German community of political experts is rather critical of Armenia was illustrated by DGAP analyst Stefan Meister, who, a few days prior to Nalbandyan’s visit, published a working paper in which he claimed that it is only because of Moscow’s support of Yerevan that Armenian troops maintain control of...
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Andrey Makarychev 03-22-2013
Among all European countries, Germany has the deepest tradition of not only engaging Eastern Europe politically and economically, but also discursively shaping Osteuropa as a region. Russia is a part of this East European imagery, though under different guises. Recently, three different events took place in Berlin that unveiled three faces of today’s Russia and presenting three different messages to Germany’s policymakers. Story 1: Ryzhkov’s...
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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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About the author

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