Wednesday 20 October, 16:00 - 17:00, Room 916, Adam Smith Building
Dr Nataliya Kibita, University of Edinburgh
'Soviet Legacy in Ukraine: Strong regionalism and weak presidency'

How did Ukraine transform from what is commonly perceived as a monolithic Soviet republic under conservative authoritarian rule of the First Party secretary of the equally monolithic Communist Party of Ukraine into a post-Soviet state with pluralistic politics, strong regionalism and weak presidency? This lecture shows that weak leadership and strong regionalism were the legacy of Soviet era institutions. Strong regionalism and weak executive were institutionalised in Soviet Ukraine. The political liberalisation of the 1980s merely revealed long-standing political trends. After the fall of the Soviet Union, both the President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk and the Verkhovna Rada operated under conditions of strong institutional inertia.


Wednesday 24 March, 4pm

Carolin Funke, Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (IFHV), Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany.

'Durable Solutions: Challenges with Implementing Global Norms for Internally Displaced Persons in Georgia'

This lecture presents findings from a theoretical and empirical study on the implementation of durable solutions for internally displaced persons (IDPs). It focuses on the Republic of Georgia as an in-depth case study, and thus on a country that receives only scant attention in academic research, global discourse and international policies on forced migration. Building on extensive field research in an international non-governmental organization (NGO), it outlines and explains considerable problems of norm implementation, as well as ongoing hardships that IDPs still experience. Combining approaches from humanitarian studies, International Relations, and organizational sociology, this study explains the simultaneous progress and setbacks in implementing durable solutions for IDPs in Georgia.

Zoom recording:


Wednesday 10 February, 3pm

Felix Herrmann, Research Centre for East European Studies at the University of Bremen, Germany

'Digital Sovereignty in the Soviet Bloc'

On the initiative of the Soviet Union several CMEA states began to cooperate in the development and production of computers in the 1970s. This cooperation evolved into the most important joint industrial project of the Eastern Bloc. The fact that such a project could be implemented in an area highly relevant to Soviet national security was mainly due to the fact that the USSR lagged far behind its US-American competitors. The joining of forces of the socialist brother states was supposed to secure digital sovereignty for the Soviet Union. Through the prism of the Eastern European computer industry, this talk will address questions about the limits of state sovereignty in a world shaped by system competition, increasing global interdependencies and the imminent digital revolution.

Zoom recording:


Wednesday 27 January, 4pm

Professor Tatjana Thelen, Department of Cultural and Social Anthropology, University of Vienna

'The Return of the Caring State? Responsibility, Difference and Critique after Socialism'