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Author: Adam Reichardt

Talk Eastern Europe episode 11: Armenia – Talking ‘bout a revolution

In this episode hosts Adam Reichardt and Maciek Makulski sit down with Richard Giragosian, director of the Regional Studies Center in Yerevan to talk about recent developments in Armenia.

April 18, 2019 - Adam Reichardt Maciej Makulski

Talk Eastern Europe episode 10: The comedian wins the first round in Ukraine

Our tenth episode of Talk Eastern Europe is dedicated to the results of the first round of the presidential election in Ukraine which took place on March 31st 2019 and saw comedian and showman Volodymyr Zelenskiy come in first place with over 30% of the vote; incumbent president Petro Poroshenko in second place with 15.95%; and Yulia Tymoshenko in third place with 13.4%.

April 11, 2019 - Adam Reichardt Maciej Makulski

In Between Europe #20: Presidential election in Slovakia

This podcasts looks at how progressive newcomer Zuzana Čaputová secured a surprise victory in Slovakia’s presidential elections this past weekend.

April 3, 2019 - Adam Reichardt

Talk Eastern Europe Episode 9: What’s up in the Western Balkans?

This episode takes a closer look at the current developments in the Western Balkans, including the North Macedonian name agreement, the Kosovo-Serbia border swap negotiations and recent protests in Serbia and Montenegro.

April 1, 2019 - Adam Reichardt Maciej Makulski

The emergence of new countries in Eastern Europe after the First World War: Lessons for all of Europe

A new report and exhibition from a project led by WiseEuropa revisits the developments in Eastern Europe in 1918 and their relevance for Europe today.

March 20, 2019 - New Eastern Europe

Talk Eastern Europe Episode 8: The fight against disinformation

This episode of Talk Eastern Europe features a conversation on fighting disinformation with Jakub Kalenský, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center. Prior to joining the Atlantic Council, Kalenský worked for the European Union’s East StratCom Task Force as the team lead for countering disinformation.

March 14, 2019 - Adam Reichardt Maciej Makulski

Talk Eastern Europe – Episode 7: Moldova after elections

In this episode, Maciek Makulski sits down with Oktawian Milewski – a Moldovan political analyst based in Warsaw.

March 8, 2019 - Adam Reichardt Maciej Makulski

Issue 2/2019: Postmodern Geopolitics

The consequences of the emerging multipolar world.

March 5, 2019 - New Eastern Europe

The limits of geopolitical thinking

A conversation with Andrew Wilson, professor of Ukrainian Studies at University College London and senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. Interviewer: Adam Reichardt

ADAM REICHARDT: On many occasions you have brought attention to the “multi-unipolar world” doctrine formulated by the late Russian thinker, Vadim Tsymbursky, which – as you argue – is a key to Russian geopolitics and which stands in opposition to the more classic US-led unipolar world that emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In Tsymbursky’s view, the multi-unipolarity assumes the existence of regional hegemons who control their neighbourhoods. Tsymbursky died precisely a decade ago and much has happened since. Many events may even indicate that, from the Russian perspective, this doctrine or ideal-type geopolitical system is still alive and well. Do you agree with this statement?

ANDREW WILSON: It is always interesting to talk about Tsymbursky. In his time he was a more fashionable Russian intellectual than Aleksandr Dugin (though we often hear more about Dugin). Using the framework of a geopolitical system implies that the active agent here is geopolitics. Certainly Russia thinks in that way. Russia loves the word geopolitics. The European Union, on the other hand, does not think in a geopolitical way. Nor have we jumped from a unipolar order to a new world order – over whatever chasm lies in between.

March 5, 2019 - Adam Reichardt Andrew Wilson

The failure of Pax Americana

The collapse of the international order we are now witnessing is also seen in the failure of Pax Americana in the post-Soviet space. Since the end of the Cold War, the West has targeted this region with hyper-fast change and the peaceful transition from totalitarianism to democracy. Today, we know that it has had a limited impact.

In 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed, the world was faced with a colossal challenge. It was clear that the obsolete Soviet system had to be replaced with a new model, preferably one that based on the free market and liberal democracy. The transition started in Central Europe in 1989 but did not spread to the whole post-Soviet space. On the ruins of the former Soviet empire, many states did not succumb to the democratisation processes which, in time, created an opportunity for the ancient empires (Russia, China and Turkey) to develop an alternative plan and fill the void that was caused by the limited effectiveness of the West’s engagement. For the leaders of these powers (Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in particular) the post-Soviet states offered new lucrative opportunities.

March 5, 2019 - Paweł Kowal

A battleground of identity

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the post-Soviet space has become a battleground for world and regional powers competing over economic, political and security dominance. This rivalry has been accompanied by a competition between different identity narratives, which are instrumentally used to attract, or intimidate, the societies in the post-Soviet states. The most illustrative region in this regard is Central Asia.

The collapse of the Soviet Union brought new opportunities to its former republics, now states, to integrate or ally with organisations and powers from outside the region. It also allowed them to build new co-operative projects with other post-Soviet states. Such co-operation, though, was not limited to economic, political and security relations. The most fundamental questions the newly independent states had to address, at that time, were those regarding their own cultural and national identity. Therefore, the public debate focused heavily on issues like religion, language, alphabet, historical heritage and state tradition. These topics generated serious emotions, including among ordinary people.

March 5, 2019 - Adam Balcer

Georgia between Russia and a rising China

China’s economic and military rise is arguably one of the central themes of 21st century geopolitics. As Chinese investment and interest in Georgia increases, Tbilisi must consider the geopolitical potential that a closer relationship with China might bring to a country long marginalised and weakened by Russia.

Like many other rising powers throughout history, China bears strategic imperatives that clash with those of the United States. Beijing needs to secure its procurement of oil and gas resources and to diversify transportation routes, as it currently relies on the piracy-ridden Malacca Strait. In an age of American naval dominance, the Chinese imperative is to redirect its sectors of economic dependence – as well as its supply routes – elsewhere.

March 5, 2019 - Emil Avdaliani

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