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A month of ideas.
Giancarlo Bosetti Editor-in-chief
Association for dialogue and intercultural understanding
Friday, 17 June 2016

State and Political Discourse in Russia

After a first meeting in Berlin in 2015, and a second meeting in Washington on March 31st April 1st 2016 in collaboration with GWU and Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice, Reset-DoC is organizing a conference on “State and Political Discourse in Russia” to be held in Venice (June 17th – 18th, 2016).

Venice, June 17th-18th, 2016

State and Political Discourse
in Russia

Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice - Italy


June 17th, 2016

10.00 – 10.30 am
Welcoming address
Giancarlo Corò | Ca' Foscari University, Venice
Pasquale Gagliardi | Secretary General, Fondazione Giorgio Cini

10.30 am – 1.00 pm
Session 1.  The State's Political Discourse

The first session will explore the possible existence of a multiplicity of political discourses associated with the contemporary Russian state and its various organs. It will discuss the plurality and fluidity allowed within the state political language, the relationship between the Party, the presidential administration, the bureaucracies, media structures, and the different places of ideological production and the role played by scholars and other intellectuals.

Chair: Giancarlo Corò | Università Ca’ Foscari, Venice

Alexey Barabashev | National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow
The Discourse of Russian Bureaucracy and Its Influence on Political Discourse

Anton Barbashin | Managing Editor of The Intersection Project
Post-Crimean Political Discourse and Russian Foreign Policy Narratives

Olga Malinova | National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow
Political Experts (“Politilogists”) and the State's Political Discourse(s): Practices of Political Communication in Russia (2008-2015)

Discussant: Mark Kramer | Cold War Studies and Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University


2.00-4.30 pm
Session 2. Concepts and Ideological References

The second session will discuss the main ideological constructs promoted by the current Russian state, their relation to similar notions existing in the West in terms of mutual influences, adaptations, imitation or rejection and the possible existence of “sacred” topics closed for discussion, besides the purity of the victory in WWII and the Orthodox Legacy.

Chair: Daniela Rizzi| Università Ca’ Foscari, Venice

Maria Engström | Dalarna University, Sweden
Russia as Katechon: Neo-Conservatism and Foreign Policy

Marlene Laruelle | Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, George Washington University
‘Nationalism’,‘Conservatism’? Competition and Overlaps in the Kremlin’s Narrative

Andrei Melville | National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow
New Conservatism as National Idea for Russia?

Nikolay Mitrokhin
| Center for East-European Studies, University of Bremen
Holy or Sacred? How Soviet Militarists, Russian Nationalists and Orthodox Believers Create a New Civil Religion for Russia

Stephen Hanson | Wendy and Emery Reves Center for International Studies, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg


June 18th, 2016

9.00-11.15 am
Session 3. The Demise of Liberalism: Testing the Waters on the Subject

The session will focus on Russian notions of Liberalism and its demise and will explore the possible existence of a multiplicity of ‘liberalisms’ in contemporary Russia, the influence of the Soviet experience, perestroika and the early 1990s on Russian notions of liberalism, the impact of Western liberal domestic and foreign policies on Russia’s liberal ideas and expectations and vice versa as well as the role of the remaining institutions and actors promoting political, economic, and constitutional liberalism.

Chair: Andrea Graziosi | ANVUR, University of Naples Federico II

Nadezda Azhgikhina
| Executive Secretary of Russian Union of Journalists and Vice president of European Federation of Journalists
When Dreams Come True. Press Freedom and Media Development as Mirror of Russia Transformation in 1986-2016

Nina Khrushcheva | Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy, The New School, New York
Cultural Contradictions of Post-Communism

Andrey Kortunov | Director of the Russian Council of International Relations
A Phantom Quest: Looking for Alternatives to the Liberal World Order

Kirill Rogov | Liberal Mission Foundation, Russia
“Liberalisms” in Post-Communist Russia (the Evidence from Polls Data)

Vladislav Zubok | The London School of Economics
«Unsuccess» of Russian Liberalism: Beyond Path Dependency?


11.30 am-1.30 pm
Session 4. Roundtable: Politics and Culture. The Future of Democracy in Russia

Chair: Giancarlo Bosetti | Director, Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations

Giuliano Amato | Judge of the Italian Constitutional Court and Former Prime Minister of Italy
Nina Khrushcheva | Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy, The New School, New York
Marlene Laruelle | Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, George Washington University
Andrei Melville | National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow
Adam Michnik | Director, Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland
Sergio Romano | Former Italian Ambassador in Moscow (tbc)
Roberto Toscano | Former Italian Ambassador in Teheran and New Delhi

Please note that this program might be subject to minor changes

Organized by Reset-DoC in cooperation with Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice and top American, European and Russian universities and the participation of renowned international scholars, this conference will shed light on several pressing questions about Putin and ‘his’ Russia. What political culture do ‘Tsar’ Putin and his men feed upon and what are the features of their political discourse? Which are the new and old ideological constellations that provide the backdrop for Putin’s words and political choices? What are the cultural and ideological references in Russian conservatism that support Putin and shape his political language? What in today’s Russia are the origins and the fate of liberalism initially oppressed by the Soviet Union, then misinterpreted during the years of openness and that has now apparently vanished? If anything remains of it, who are its representatives?
With Putin and perhaps beyond him, post-Soviet Russia’s state organisation appears to be a complex, multi-layered apparatus that is able to shape new discourses and ideologies, interact with old ones, create a narrative and an image of Russia in the world and focus the world’s attention and concern on itself. With the world’s greatest experts on contemporary Russia debating these issues, this year’s event will provide an important opportunity to cast light on these questions.

International Partners of the Project:

Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES), George Washington University; the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University; the Cold War Studies Program, Harvard University; the London School of Economics; the Wendy and Emery Reves Center for International Studies, College of William and Mary; National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow; Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice

Project Director:
Giancarlo Bosetti (Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations)

Scientific Coordinator:
Andrea Graziosi (Anvur, Italy)

Scientific Committee:
Alexey BARABASHEV (Higher School of Economics, Moscow); Giancarlo BOSETTI (Reset-DoC), Andrea GRAZIOSI (ANVUR, University of Naples Federico II), Stephen E. HANSON (Reves Center), Mark KRAMER (Cold War Studies and Davis Center), Marlene LARUELLE (European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, George Washington University); Andrei MELVILLE (Higher School of Economics, Moscow), Alexandra VACROUX (Davis Center), Vladislav M. ZUBOK (The London School of Economics and Political Science).

For information:
chiara.galbersanini @ resetdoc.org

This event was made possible with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation


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