13 Jun

‘Homo Militans’: Paramilitary Individuals’ Motivation in Ukraine

A Russian soldier stands atop an armored personnel carrier in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, Crimea, in Ukraine.
The undeclared Russian-Ukrainian war in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions led both pro-Ukrainian militias and rebels from Donetsk and Luhansk to join in the fighting.  Based on field work amongst paramilitaries in Donbas, this presentation will tackle the questions of why people voluntarily chose to participate in the war and how they articulate their own …
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09 Jun

`I Have Been Very Slow in Writing this Letter to You, Mahatma’

On February 24, 1939, Martin Buber wrote a letter to M.K. Gandhi, the Indian nationalist leader. Buber was reacting to comments made by Gandhi about the inability of Jews in offering non-violent resistance to the Nazi regime and characterising it as helpless and weak. Buber’s letter goes on to examine Gandhi’s conception of non-violence, but …
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02 Jun

The Ancient is the Modern

An important Russian justification for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was the idea that Ukraine was a recent, or divided, or artificial state. Yet the very people who make these claims present Russian history in a way that suggest deep anxieties about its continuities. In his lecture Timothy Snyder will consider the possibility that a troubling …
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25 May

Banks, Gold, and Weddings

Development practitioners increasingly adopt interventions based on the findings of behavioral economics, which suggest that poverty is the result of poor’s impaired capacity to make efficient and long-term decisions. The solution to eradicate poverty, therefore, lies in teaching the poor to make better financial decisions. As a critique of this shift in development practice, I …
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23 May

The Politics of Solitude

In this lecture l would like to share my sentiments of solitude in Ukraine and my theoretical explanation of why l still feel lonely both politically and existentially, together with the millions of other Ukrainians in our country. The so-called Maidan Revolution, or the Revolution of Dignity, in Ukraine in 2013–14 was generally described and …
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19 May

Signs of Power: Action, Expression, Institution

Linguistic activity is permeated by power dynamics, and power is often either manifested or executed by means of language. Can a case be made for a stronger analogy, or indeed a direct link? The talk will outline an argument for a structural connection between linguistic self-awareness and the awareness of power, based on the essential …
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18 May

Governance Without Hierarchy

The world is full of areas of limited statehood where central state institutions are too weak to implement and enforce central decisions and/or lack the monopoly over the means of violence. We argue, however, that the absence of hierarchical governance by the state does not equal anarchy and chaos. Areas of limited statehood are neither …
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11 May

Clumsy Democrats

20th-century Europe was marked by two extremes: the descent into war and genocidal dictatorship on the one hand, and the return to peace and democracy on the other.  Throughout much of the 1920s and 1930s democracy, the rule of law, and liberalism seemed outdated to many in Western and Central Europe as well as in …
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10 May

Conversation on the State of Cultural and Intellectual Life in Russia Today

People celebrating Moscow 867th Birthday, Russia
To what extent are Russian culture and intellectual life regulated by the state? In what forms does intellectual life exist, and are these forms conventional? Who are today’s “intellectuals” and what cultural, symbolic and political product do they produce? Where is the line between intellectual work and politics, between politics and culture, and can there …
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04 May

Employees Who Do Not Work

How do we understand the phenomenon of employees who do not work? Whilst there has been an abundance of scholarly attention to the reasons for employees’ commitment to their work, the question of why employees do not work has drawn comparatively less attention. One of the reasons for this relative neglect is the continued prevalence …
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