Samuel Greene 19 Oct 2017
(Mobilizing Ideas blog) With all due respect to Marshall McLuhan, he may have got it backwards. In Russia, at least, the message has become the medium. By most measures, there has probably never been a worse time in the quarter century of Russia’s post-Soviet history to be a journalist. If there are fewer murders of journalists than there used to be – five since Vladimir Putin returned to the presidency in 2012, versus 36 between 2000 and 2011...
Şener Aktürk 18 Oct 2017
(Anadolu Agency) The significance of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s unilateral decision to hold a referendum for secession from Iraq cannot be overstated. Both the arguments in favor of and against the Kurdish Regional Government’s referendum have been based on some incomplete and misleading statements and wrong assumptions, which I will critically review and attempt to correct in this brief commentary. I hope that a more accurate picture...
Mariya Omelicheva 16 Oct 2017
(AJPH) Abstract: This study seeks to address both the theoretical and empirical aspects of national holidays' selection. Noting a breadth of historical events that a state may choose to celebrate, this study asks how and why only some events are selected for national remembrance and commemoration. I answer this question by considering the role of national holidays in politics of history and memory and state- and nation-building. Using an...
Mariya Omelicheva 13 Oct 2017
(PONARS Policy Memo) The U.S. government spent $1.9 billion on security assistance to Central Asia between 2001 and 2016. The aid was designed to increase the professionalism of Central Asian ground troops and train and equip security personnel in counterterrorism and counter-narcotics operations. All Central Asian states saw some improvements to their internal security forces as a result. However, two major incremental trends were not...
Sergiy Kudelia 13 Oct 2017
(PONARS Policy Memo) On May 7, 2015, three servicemen of the Ukrainian armed forces went on a mission to find separatist collaborators in Sartana, a small town in the Donetsk region. They forced one randomly detained suspect into the trunk of their car, took him to a clandestine interrogation site in the nearby town of Hnutove, and asked him to list all known separatists. After the suspect repeatedly refused, he was brutally beaten and left...
PONARS Eurasia 12 Oct 2017
(ASEEES) To recognize outstanding scholarship and contribution to the field, the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) annually awards several prizes and awards.  Juliet Johnson's book, Priests of Prosperity: How Central Bankers Transformed the Postcommunist World (Cornell University Press), won the Davis Center Book Prize in Political and Social Studies for outstanding monograph on Russia, Eurasia, or Eastern...
Mariya Omelicheva 11 Oct 2017
(phys.org) Because religion often influences people's opinions on hot-button issues, such as same-sex marriage and abortion, most would expect religious people to be more motivated to engage politically overall. However, a new study led by a University of Kansas researcher has found that religiosity by itself often serves as a deterrent rather than a mobilizing force for nonviolent political engagement. "Since religious beliefs, by themselves...
Pavel Baev 10 Oct 2017
(EDM) The “historic” trip of King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud to Moscow, last week (October 4–7) was an affair long on ceremony, featuring a massive delegation, but rather uncertain regarding the real results. The first ever royal visit (which had been rescheduled several times) was supposed to have great significance for relations between Russia and Saudi Arabia, at least in terms of removing mutual reservations against often incompatible...

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