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  • Author: Hedvig Lohm
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Javakheti is situated in the South-East of Georgia, and is densely inhabited by Georgia's second largest national minority, Armenians. In most respects, Javakheti has been more dependent on Russia (in socio-economic terms) and Armenia (in cultural terms) than on its proper state, Georgia, since Georgia gained independence in 1991. Throughout the 1990s the region was often described as a 'potential hot-spot', yet another possible breakaway region in the Caucasus. This working paper will look into whether the situation has started to change in terms of whether Javakheti is now closer to becoming an integrated part of Georgia, given that territorial unity has been one of the main priorities of the Georgian government since the 'Rose Revolution' of 2003. The aim of this paper is thus to create a better understanding of the challenges that Javakheti faces, in order to facilitate an informed debate on the current situation and the future development of the region.
  • Topic: Government, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Caucasus, Armenia, Georgia
  • Author: Sinikukka Saari
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The European intergovernmental organisations such as the Council of Europe, OSCE and the EU have taken up the task to promote actively human rights in Russia. The organisations differ in methods, instrument s and over-all strategies but the goal of socialising Russia to common European human rights norms is the same for all these organisations. Socialisation means a process through which norms are transmitted from one party to another and they become firmly established domestic practices.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Steve Pifer
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: What a difference a year makes. The 2004 Ukrainian presidential election entailed massive fraud, sent hundreds of thousands of protesters into the streets, and sparked a revolution. The March 26 parliamentary elections, by contrast, were strikingly calm and ordinary. The Orange Revolution's main hero, President Viktor Yushchenko, saw his party, Our Ukraine, come in a disappointing third. He nevertheless remains in the driver's seat in deciding who will make up the ruling coalition in the next Rada (parliament).
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Asia
  • Author: Myriam Désert
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: What are the roots of the informal sector and what effects does it have? Is it a blessing or a curse? Changes in post-Soviet Russia contribute new food for thought to a debate that had previously been nourished primarily by considerations on the situation in developing countries. In Russia can be observed processes of formalization – and “deformalization” – of the rules governing not only the practices of economic actors, but also in the rarified distribution of public services publics. The analysis of actual informal practices feeds thinking about the relations between economic and political changes: what impact do they have in setting up a market economy and the rule of law, and in the reconfiguration of both the economic and social arena? An investigation into the way Russian academic circles and social actors view the informal sector sheds light on the various behavioral determinant: reaction to the economic context, cultural roots, social beliefs, and so on. The case of Russia illustrates how the informal sector is not only a mode of action that circumvents legal guidelines, but also a mode of sociability that rejects anonymous social relations. It helps examine ways to reinject the social aspect into economics.
  • Topic: Government, Political Economy, Privatization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Hyun H. Son, Nanak Kakwani
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper suggests how the targeting efficiency of government programmes may be better assessed. Using the 'pro-poor policy' (PPP) index developed by authors, the study investigates the pro-poorness of not only government programmes geared to the poorest segment of the population, but also basic service delivery in education, health and infrastructure. This paper also shows that the targeting efficiency for a particular socioeconomic group should be judged on the basis of a 'total-group PPP index', to capture the impact of operating a programme within the group. Using micro-unit data from household surveys, the paper presents a comparative analysis for Thailand, Russia, Vietnam and 15 African countries.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Government, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, Vietnam, Thailand
  • Author: Floriana Fossato
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: On 27 November 2006 in the Moscow Kremlin Russian President Vladimir Putin celebrated the 75th anniversary of Russian television with eight hundred journalists and top television managers. A very important occasion indeed. The Russian president sent messages of congratulations to a huge amount of organizations, but welcomed in person to the Kremlin only selected representatives of the most important ones, these days mainly the various branches of military and security organs. Television would seem an anomaly here, but it is not, since Russian officials and political advisers like to conceptualize television – so often used as a tool of manipulation- as “the Kremlin's nuclear weapon.”
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Matthew J. Spence
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: MIXED RESULTS FROM THE PROLIFERATION OF WESTERN RULE OF LAW assistance over the past twenty years has taught us much about what efforts do not work. Criminal justice reform in Russia offers a different type of lesson; it is a rare success story of rule of law promotion. In the 1990s, the U.S. government sought to promote the rule of law in many parts of the former Soviet Union and beyond, but few of these efforts outside Russia produced concrete results. Instead, lawlessness became a primary symptom of the apparent failure of many attempted rule of law reforms in the former Soviet Union.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: François Dauceé
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Collective mobilizations in post-Soviet Russia constitute an enigma for Western political sociology due to their numerical weakness and their incapacity to strengthen democratic practices in the country. This perplexity can be explained by the unsuitability of the research tools used for their study. Academic research on social mobilization has long been based primarily on postulates concerning the modernization of social movements in a economically and politically liberal context. Western and Russian leaders involved in the transition process demonstrated a will to foster the constitution of organizations independent from the State and the creation of a civil society as an opposition force. In the early 90s, the practices of voluntary organizations in Russia became closer to Western ones. Notions such as "associative entrepreneurship", "professionalization" or "frustration" were shared by Russian movements. However, later evolutions showed the unsuitability of these concepts to understanding the full complexity of these movements. That is why this issue of "Research in question" aims to suggest new theoretical perspectives for studying associations in Russia. These are at the crossroads of various grammars, where civic and liberal principles are combined with domestic and patriotic preoccupations. This complexity, which resists a purely liberal vision of social organizations, draws convergent criticisms against their action. In order to investigate this complexity of practices as well as criticisms, the tools produced by a pragmatic and multiculturalist sociology are useful to show the diversity of social and political bonds that link militants in contemporary Russia.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: John B. Dunlop
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: According to official Russian statistics, in the period between 1-3 September 2004, 330 individuals perished in a terrorist incident at School Number 1 in the town of Beslan in the southern Russian Republic of North Ossetia. Of those who died, 317 were hostages—186 of them children. Ten were soldiers from the Russian FSB's spetsnaz (special forces). Two were personnel from the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations. One was a resident of Beslan killed while helping to evacuate the hostages during the storming of the building. Seven hundred and twenty-eight persons were said to have been wounded. A majority of the hostages who died—more than 160—perished under the school's collapsed roof. The Mothers of Beslan committee, comprised of mothers of pupils who perished in the building, provided even higher figures. “218 of those killed were found with burns,” they claim.
  • Topic: Government, Human Welfare, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Denika Blacklock
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The Meskhetian Turks are one of the last of the national groups of the Soviet Union deported by Stalin in 1943–44, who have not yet been able to return to their native region (in southwest Georgia). Currently numbering some 370–400,000 people, the Meskhetian Turks, following pogroms and multiple displacements, find themselves scattered across vast territories of Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and, most recently, the United States. In some of these countries, the Meskhetian Turks are exposed to ethnic persecution and discrimination, while Georgia, so far, has effectively blocked resettlement to their native region. International actors seeking to address these problems encounter severe difficulties in finding solutions, inter alia, due to a lack of consistent knowledge on the Meskhetian Turks' own perceptions of their displacement and their visions for future settlement.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Turkey, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Soviet Union, Azerbaijan, Georgia