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Analysis

Will an independent mayoral candidate bring political change to Georgia?

On October 21st, Georgia will vote in local elections. According to a recent survey, if Tbilisi mayoral race enters a second round, Aleko Elisashvili, a prominent grassroots activist, is likely to emerge as a winner.

October 18, 2017 - David Sichinava

Eastern Partnership: 20 deliverables for 2020

"The upcoming Summit is an opportunity to build on our achievements to-date and to inject new dynamism into our partnership. We need to be ambitious, but also realistic and credible", says Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations.

October 17, 2017 - Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska Johannes Hahn

Protestants in Russia: An active minority

Russian Protestants are considered one of the most religious groups in the country. While they are relatively small in number, they are actively involved in the lives of their communities. What do we know about the often overlooked religious denomination?

October 12, 2017 - Oksana Kuropatkina

Supplying weapons to Ukraine: How to make it right?

The best possible way to provide weapons to Ukraine is by not substituting its NATO membership perspective. If Ukraine is to pay for Javelins with its NATO membership, it would hardly make it a good deal.

October 11, 2017 - Mykola Kapitonenko

A 21st century Homo sovieticus?

Instead of portraying the remnants of the Belarusian Homo sovieticus as a problem, we should see it as a challenge and potential advantage: subservience and passivity as potential openness; collectivism as a chance to build a civil community; adaptability and opportunism as resourcefulness; and the multi-layered identity as an expression of a modern civil nation.

October 4, 2017 - Maxim Rust

A new Georgia?

The more peripheral an Eastern European country is, the more vigorously it waves the European Union flag. Georgia waves it the most vigorously, even though it is located in Asia. Europe could not have been moved to Georgia neither with pleads, nor with threats. Thus, Georgia has decided to settle for an imitation.

October 4, 2017 - Kaja Puto

What is a Russian oligarch?

The use of the term “oligarch” or “oligarchy” in the Russian context speaks to debates about the very nature of the Russian political system. Historians and political scientists have long described Russia as oligarchic.The problem with using the term oligarch, however, is that its usage has changed repeatedly since Soviet times. Today, it seems to be much more about power than anything else.

The term “oligarch” is applied so flagrantly to Russians, it is hard to tell where Russia’s oligarchy begins and ends, who exactly inhabits this coterie and what ring do the oligarchs orbit around Vladimir Putin. Indeed, the meaning of the word oligarch is difficult to separate from Russia. According to the Oxford English Dictionary an “oligarch” means “a very rich business leader with a great deal of political influence”. Though this definition could easily apply to most countries, the OED added a curious addendum: “Especially in Russia.”

October 4, 2017 - Sean Guillory

Conspiracy theories and the fear of others

Anti-West conspiracy theories in Russia which have been instrumentalised since the 19th century became widespread during the Soviet period and are now a common tool for public mobilisation of the Kremlin. The effects of these theories on the nation and its perception of the world will have consequences for the decades to come.

October 4, 2017 - Ilya Yablokov

Has the war really changed Ukrainians?

Three years have passed since the onset of war in Ukraine. As a result some changes have occurred in the Ukrainian mentality but questions still remain: How deep are those changes? And what would it take for a reversal in attitudes towards the West? Results from recent opinion polls may come as a surprise in an attempt to answer these questions.

October 4, 2017 - Andriy Lyubka

Oxford on the Vistula

There seems to be a widely held view that the bout of illiberalism that has spread across Central and Eastern Europe since the economic crash of 2009 came out of nowhere, much like its later cousins Trump and Brexit. And if one were to read nothing but the Anglo-American press coverage of the rise of the current governing Law and Justice (PiS) in Poland, this might appear to be the case. Yet, if one delves into the social fabric of Poland’s post-1989 transition one will see that PiS never wasn't really there, in spirit if not always in office.

October 4, 2017 - Jo Harper

The Reformation’s unexpected legacy in Ukraine

In Ukraine the history of Protestantism spans for centuries, marked by four major waves. The most recent one came after the collapse of the Soviet Union. As with all newcomers, however, Protestants are often faced with biased attitudes from a significant part of society. Despite this, Protestant communities have emerged as significant players in providing charity relief to war victims as well as in the politics of the post-Maidan Ukraine.

October 4, 2017 - Kateryna Pryshchepa

To fight the new Cold War, we must forget the old one

Imagine a four-kilometre-long train shooting through Siberia at a breakneck speed. It is 1951. The heroic engineer Blinov knows no fear; the tireless locomotive pulls four hundred wagons at an incredible 150 km/h. Blinov is the "New Soviet Man," quite used to performing such feats; he joyfully drives more hours, and faster, every single day. The train, built with Soviet steel and sweat, puts the mighty synergy of socialist mechanics and proletarian work ethic on display. A master of his train, Blinov is but a cog in the machine of the Soviet state. He has two goals: first – to build communism and defeat capitalism through peaceful labour; second – to shame America by showing that in the USSR, the daily conquest of the impossible is the new norm.

September 27, 2017 - Patryk Babiracki



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