Articles and Commentary

Russia: Decimation of women’s human rights in the context of global misogyny

pussy-riot-make-america-youtube1The move to partially “decriminalise” domestic violence in Russia in January 2017 is the illustrative apex of a longer trajectory of the decimation of women’s rights post- Pussy Riot. I have spent more than a decade researching what rights mean in women’s everyday life in Russia. It is evident that the local neoconservative context in Russia is hardening. We are seeing legislative moves in parallel with neoconservative discourses that actively limit women’s autonomy and freedom by attacking reproductive rights and disregarding gender-based violence. Yet, it is important to consider these moves as situated within a global context of apparent state-sanctioned misogynies, which we see across autocracies and democracies. Is Russia one extreme example of the wider failure to recognise women’s rights and their violations in relation to gendered violence across the globe?

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Why Central European University Matters

CEUOne of Europe’s premier academic institutions is under attack by one of Europe’s least democratic states. Budapest-based Central European University (CEU) is threatened with closure by legislation proposed by the Hungarian government. This is not just a regulatory spat between Hungary’s administration and academia. It is an ideologically motivated show trial. It has been launched by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, the self-professed leader of illiberalism and nativism. It is directed against CEU because the university stands for freedom of thought, liberal values, and internationalism. It is yet another test of the democratic mettle of the West, struggling as it is to fend off closure and autocracy.

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Belarus’ measured repressions

Belarus protestOver the past month and a half, thousands of Belarusians took to the streets protesting against dire economic conditions and demanding resignation of the country’s long-term ruler, Alexander Lukashenka. The Belarusian authorities have employed a set of measures to crack down on protests without jeopardising relations with the EU.

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The Russian awakening?

Alexey NavalnyIt has been a long time since Russia has seen such protests. However, it is not only about the numbers, since over the past three years several thousand (or even several dozen thousand) have come out to demonstrate in Moscow and St Petersburg, including in the anti-war marches in the spring and autumn of 2014 as well as in the memory of Boris Nemtsov after his assassination. This time, the fact that these protests were a coordinated action, which reached the whole country from Vladivostok to Smolensk and from Karelia to the Caucasus, is what is important. What is more, they were watched live on the internet. This is a huge success of the organisers – Alexei Navalny, Leonid Volkov and the rest of the anti-corruption foundation team and the members of Navalny’s campaign committees, which have been created over the past months ahead of next year’s presidential election. They also have created a growing challenge for the Kremlin.

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The young Lithuanians tending their history above the Arctic Circle

PS3A9910This article originally appeared in Deep Baltic and was republished in "Meanwhile in the Baltics...", a collection of articles written by the graduates of 2016 Solidarity Academy - Baltic Sea Youth Dialogue, organised by the European Solidarity Centre in partnership with the Council of the Baltic Sea States.

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  • The Road to Vilnius
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  • EuroMaidan

    New Eastern Europe's Continuing coverage of the Euromaidan Protests in Ukraine

    The Ukrainian government’s decision to put the country’s European integration on hold was met by a spontaneous protest of middle class and students. Three days later the rally organised by political parties attracted the biggest turnout since 2004 Orange revolution events.

     

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