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Center for Slavic, Eurasian & East European Studies

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February 2019

Leonid Volkov, ‘Russian Politics After Putin’

February 28, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
FedEx Global Education Center, Nelson Mandela Auditorium, 301 Pittsboro St.
Chapel Hill, NC 27516 United States

Vladimir Putin won his reelection in March 2018 with a convincing margin, but now his regime is facing probably the most complicated challenges in the last 20 years. Why is that happening? How will Russian political elite resolve the succession issue? And what are the opportunities for the opposition in this changing political environment? Leonid Volkov is a Russian politician and the chief of staff for Alexei Navalny, Russia’s main opposition leader. He is a former deputy of the Yekaterinburg…

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March 2019

Štefan Rehák, ‘Universities as Elevators: Education and Migration of Human Capital in Slovakia’

March 2, 2019 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
FedEx Global Education Center, Room 4003, 301 Pittsboro St.
Chapel Hill, NC 27516 United States
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Since 1990 there has been a sharp rise in the Slovak higher education sector. The number of students has increased fourfold, the number of universities has doubled and new universities have been established in smaller towns. Despite this trend, Slovakia still faces emigration of the university-educated population. This has negative implications for the country’s future economic development. This talk will address the key drivers of today’s “brain drain” in the region, while analyzing the impact of individual characteristics, family background…

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Lisel Hintz, Nora Fisher Onar, Dimitar Bechev and Erdağ Göknar, ‘Turkey in the Balkans: A Rival of the West?’

March 19, 2019 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
FedEx Global Education Center, Room 4003, 301 Pittsboro St.
Chapel Hill, NC 27516 United States
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Since the early 1990s, Turkey has been intimately involved in the politics of the Balkans. From Bosnia to Bulgaria and from Greece to Montenegro, it has seen its economic footprint as well as ties to local Muslim communities grow. Turkey has championed the inclusion of the Balkans into Western institutions, such as NATO, and contributed to regional cooperation and stability. At the same time, skeptics argue that the illiberal regime established by President Tayyip Erdoğan poses a political and ideological…

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Steven Harris, ‘Aeroflot’s Passengers Enter the Soviet Jet Age’

March 21, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
FedEx Global Education Center, Room 4003, 301 Pittsboro St.
Chapel Hill, NC 27516 United States

Like their counterparts in the West, Soviet citizens experienced the jet age in the air and on the ground. They walked through newly built, modernist terminals and boarded Tupolev and Ilyushin jets that dramatically shortened travel times—not a small change in a country with the world’s largest landmass. They complained about Aeroflot’s shortcomings from delayed flights and lost baggage to refund policies and getting bumped. And they consumed a steady stream of news and advertisements, as well as fiction and…

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Jeffrey Hardy, ‘Anti-Religious Improvisation: The Separation of Church and State in Bolshevik Prison Camps’

March 28, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
FedEx Global Education Center, Room 4003, 301 Pittsboro St.
Chapel Hill, NC 27516 United States

The Bolshevik regime that took power in 1917 aimed to construct a Marxist-Leninist version of socialism. The exigencies of civil war, the reality of being an unpopular workers’ party in a largely agrarian country and the uncertainties inherent in putting into praxis an untested ideology resulted in governing policies and practices that were often improvisational and contradictory in nature. This presentation explores the intersection of two such contradictions, concerning religion and imprisonment, by examining how Bolshevik penal authorities approached the…

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April 2019

Petra James, ‘American Networks of the Czechoslovak Dissent in the 1970s and 1980s’

April 11, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
FedEx Global Education Center, Room 4003, 301 Pittsboro St.
Chapel Hill, NC 27516 United States

This presentation will explore the American networks of Eastern European dissidents by highlighting interactions (and competition) with other important activist causes in the 1970s and 1980s, such as human rights activism in general and more specifically the anti-apartheid movement and movement of international solidarity with the victims of Latin America’s military dictatorships. While examining how the “narrative strategies” of American dissident activists and journalists had informed Eastern European dissidents, Petra James will specifically address the coverage of dissident activities in…

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Vítězslav Sommer, Visegrad Talk, ‘Social Sciences and ‘Socialist Life Style’ in Czechoslovakia 1968-1989′

April 23, 2019 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
FedEx Global Education Center, Room 4003, 301 Pittsboro St.
Chapel Hill, NC 27516 United States
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Although Stalinist ideologues and artists highlighted the idea of “new socialist man” in the 1950s and reform communist scholars critically explored the issues of consumerism and leisure under socialism in the 60s, it was a “consolidated” sociology after 1968 that made “socialist life style” a crucial research topic in social sciences and humanities. The research agenda was rigidly ideological, highlighting sharp dichotomies between socialist and capitalist societies while aiming to contribute to welfare and cultural policies of Czechoslovakia after the…

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