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Iver B. Neumann

Since the state’s very inception, and particularly since Peter the Great opened a window on Europe, Russia has been obsessed with its relationship to Europe. It would not be an overstatement to hold that Russia defines itself primarily in relation

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Larisa Deriglazova

This article aims to reconsider the fluctuation and composition of feelings of belonging to Europe in Russia during the last twenty-five years. 1 This period is remarkable not only due to Russia’s own development, and search for a new identity out

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Russia’s ‘Other Ummah’

From ‘Ethnic Shi’ism’ to Ideological Movement?

Bruno De Cordier

Since the beginning of the Syrian War, ties between Russia and the Shia sphere are primarily examined in terms of geopolitics, while little attention is being paid to the indigenous as well as immigrant Shia populations in Russia itself. Depending on the motives and circumstances that brought and bring various individuals and groups to more actively-professed Ja’fari Shi’ism, these can become the most active champions of its cause, or of social movements inspired by this persuasion. As such, the Shia element in Russia might become more relevant and present than its low-profile minority state suggests.

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Germany and Russia Since Reunification

Continuity, Change, and the Role of Leaders

Randall Newnham

Continuity and Change in German-Russian Relations A time traveler from 1989 would hardly recognize today’s Russia—or today’s Germany. Thus, it should surprise no one that German-Russian relations have also been transformed in this period. This is

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Native Marriage “Soviet” and “Russian” Style

The Political Economy of Desire and Competing Matrimonial Emotions

Vera Skvirskaja

representatives of the native intelligentsia and ethnographers, who have dealt with the collapse of “traditional” family structures and negative changes in gender relations among indigenous minorities in the Far North of Russia. 2 In a nutshell, their point is

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Elder care in the new Russia

The changing face of compassionate social security

Melissa L. Caldwell

Changing emigration and co-residence patterns in the post-Soviet period have left many elderly Russians living alone or without caretakers in close proximity. In addition, Russia's transition from state socialism to neoliberal capitalism has encouraged private welfare groups, often funded and staffed by foreigners, to assume increased responsibility for providing social security to elderly people. Consequently, notions of compassion are undergoing transformation in Russia, and the types of people who provide care are also changing dramatically as caregivers are more likely to be strangers, and especially foreigners, rather than family members. This article examines social security arrangements among Russia's elderly, with particular emphasis on the emergence of transnational caregiving relationships, and how these caregiving arrangements differ from global care networks reported elsewhere.

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To Russia with love

Hope, confinement, and virtuality among youth on the Georgian Black Sea coast

Martin Demant Frederiksen

Among young unemployed or underemployed men in the port city of Batumi, the regional center of the Autonomous Republic of Ajara in Georgia, the Black Sea is a social and imaginary horizon that signifies both geographical mobility and confinement. Since Georgia gained independence, Batumi went from being a Soviet borderland to being an opening to the West. However, due to visa regulations, “the West”—and the opportunities associated with it—has long been limited to the other Black Sea countries of Turkey and Ukraine. Following the August 2008 war, Russia, although being a much more desirable destination, became out of reach for the majority of these men. Through the notions of social and geographical horizons, this article argues that the young men, despite their sense of confinement, manage to forge alternative connections to Russia via Internet sites, where the online dating of Russian women was used as a means to gain access to Russia via marriage.

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Sergey V. Sokolovskiy

This article is a case study of the emergence and construction of politically salient social classifications that underpin such phenomena as ethnicity and nationalism in contemporary Russia. Official recognition of ethnic group in Russia often entails political visibility and special status with an associated set of legal provisions. In addition to 'titular peoples' of the republics, the Russian legal system has several legal categories based on ethnicity, such as indigenous peoples and national minorities, whose members claim and attain special status and associated rights. In order to ensure these rights, the state administration needs reliable information on the numbers of people in such categories.

The article analyzes ethnic and languages categorization in the population census of 2002, describes the related census technology, comments on legal definitions of indigenous peoples in Russia, and within this framework elaborates on the topic of indigeneity construction. It also provides an interpretation of the numerical threshold employed in federal laws on indigenous peoples.

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Caring for men in contemporary Russia

Gendered constructions of need and hybrid forms of social security

Rebecca Kay

This article explores gendered constructions of care and need and the ways in which these affect men's social security in contemporary Russia. It is suggested that gendered caring practices, besides overburdening women and devaluing their labor, also contribute to a trivialization of men's needs and their marginalization in, and/or exclusion from, complex forms of social security. Social security is understood to encompass both material and emotional support structures and networks, involving both state and nonstate actors. It is argued that hybrid forms of provision are emerging, with new actors challenging and blurring strict categorizations of state/nonstate, formal/informal, and material/ emotional in their contribution to social security. The article draws on a study of the Altai Regional Crisis Center for Men and its attempts to identify men's needs for social support, to provide appropriate forms of care, and to enhance the social security of men in the Altai Region of Western Siberia.

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Dmitry Shlapentokh

Events of the distant past can become the subjects of animated online debates, revealing high levels of ethnic tension between ethnic Russians and minorities. This has been the case with disputes about a recent Russian movie on Genghis Khan, for instance, which is nearing completion in Yakutia. The Internet debate forum has revealed several models of the relationship between ethnic Russians and minorities. First, there is the Eurasian model, which implies a "symbiosis" between these two groups with ethnic Russians playing the lead roles. Second, there is the Asiatic version of Eurasianism, where the Asian minorities play the roles of leaders. Third, there is the concept of Russia for Russians.