JVF Conference 36

Notes on Photography, History and Resistance

The capacity for photographs to fracture how we see, to allow us to see more than one place at a time and more than one time in one place makes photography a productive medium for thinking about transnational histories. My current research traces the formative role the catastrophic events of the Second World War played in shaping ways of thinking about the relation between photography, resistance, and social justice. As historian Timothy Snyder’s recent book makes clear …
Read more

Emergence and Assimilation of Practice in Global Governance:
The Example of Arms Embargo Monitoring by United Nations Panels of Experts

How do practices emerge and stabilize in global governance? Global governance is a vast domain consisting of an intricate web of international governmental and non-governmental organizations, think-tanks, and state agencies, some of which are ­furthermore characterized by internal organizational difficulties and conflicting interests. Despite this apparent disorder, practices emerge and converge across different actors involved in global governance. While one might suspect that self-interested intervention by powerful states drives this convergence, my research points to the importance of social dynamics at the level of practitioners. In this text, I synthesize some of my arguments and results.
Read more

Transparency, Propaganda and Disinformation:
“Managing” Anticorruption Information in China

In corruption studies, transparency is often discussed as a quality of public services or public administration, a quality that helps to reduce corruption. This is not what this article focuses on, however. Instead, the focus of this article is the quality of the access to information related to corruption and anticorruption in China and how that affects our understanding about corruption. In this article, such information includes both factual and propagandistic information, the two of which are very often intermeshed and lumped together for presentation. For this reason, it is even more important for us to be aware of this distinction in the discussion. …
Read more

Electronic Democracy Boom in Ukraine

During the dramatic regime change in Kyiv and hostilities in Crimea and Donbas in early 2014, Ukrainian people have enhanced their skills of mobilization for social action. Later they channeled their efforts towards institutional change, in particular, promoting e-participation. The Revolution of Dignity has triggered participation, openness of authorities, and support by international organizations, which accelerated the advance of digital democracy in Ukraine. …
Read more

Extinction of the Welfare State:
Revisiting The History of Modernization Theory

It is widely believed that modernization theory is an outdated theoretical concept developed by a number of American positivists after the end of World War II. Nowadays many researchers view it as a naïve attempt to reconstruct the post-war global order according to a scientifically proven recipe for promoting and supporting liberal welfare states all over the world. Indeed, after “the end of history” promise in the beginning of the 1990s, it seemed that the need for welfarism had faded away. …
Read more

Clowns, Trouble Makers or Freedom Fighters?
Understanding ‘Opposition’ in Authoritarian States

This is a summary of my presentation at the IWM Visiting Fellows conference in which I strived to problematize ‘opposition’ and its role in authoritarian regimes. My talk highlighted how in the case of Belarus the concept of opposition is misunderstood and misguides the understanding of political processes. Looking at state, public, and oppositional discourses I showed how they are all reinforcing the image of opposition as ‘failed’ which I argued contributes to the consolidation of the Belarusian authoritarian regime.
Read more

Introduction
Political Order in Changing Societies

The IWM Junior Fellows Conference, “Political Order in Changing Societies” took place on the 19th December 2017 at the IWM Library. The theme for this year’s conference sought to link the diverse work of the visiting fellows and to accentuate the common thread that runs through all our projects – that is, a desire to …
Read more