Essays

The EU as a Normative Success for National Minorities Before and after the EU enlargement

The main reason why we have not seen more severe conflicts between majorities and minorities in the new EU member states is, in the authors view, the EU’s success as a normative power. The pressure that the EU put on the candidates for membership to adapt to norms on minority protection and to solve their potential border conflicts had a positive effect.

Essay by Barbara Törnquist-Plewa & Magdalena Góra View Comments

Caught in the Vulnerability Trap Female migrant domestic workers in the enlarged EU

The “feminization of migration” in the EU is spurred by a growing demand for labor in the low-paid sectors of the economy, including domestic work, personal services, care for the elderly and children, and the hotel and restaurant industries. One factor that encourages Central and Eastern European women to migrate to the West is the erosion of their own social and economic situation at home, which cements the asymmetry in economic prosperity between “East” and “West” and perpetuates inequalities between the “old” and “new” EU member states.

Essay by Oksana Shmulyar Gréen & Andrea Spehar View Comments

Is Soviet Communism a Trans-European Experience? Politics of memory in the European Parliament, 2004–2009

The post-communist countries did not see the Holocaust narrative and its relation to the history of the EU as part of their own narrative. Since entering the EU, a number of Eastern European countries have challenged the EU’s master narrative and tried to gain acceptance for — and draw attention to — their memory of Soviet Communism.

Essay by Anne Wæhrens View Comments

Communism the shadows of a utopia

Communism has failed, not only on political and economic, but especially on moral grounds, the author claims; "Every communist state was a far cry from the paradise the doctrine proposed.".

Essay by Edward Kanterian View Comments

THE CONCEPT OF MARKET in Russian media, and the question of modernization

By analyzing the usage of the word “market” (rynok) in the Russian press since 1990, the author shows how the keyword takes on new meanings, reflecting and relates to the different social and political roles of the press outlets in an evolving, modernizing environment.

Essay by Katja Lehtisaari View Comments

Carbon and cultural heritage The politics of history and the economics of rent

The author argues that the equation of culture and natural resources has become a fundamental metaphor of the official patriotic discourse of identity in contemporary Russia. This conceptualization of the past frames nation building and state construction, the “nostalgic modernization”.

Essay by Ilya Kalinin View Comments

Civil religion in Russia A choice for Russian modernization?

In an attempt to bring Russian articulations of Russian religiosity into a dialogue with the American sociologist Robert N. Bellah’s theory on secularization the author argues for a Russian model of civil religion.

Essay by Elina Kahla View Comments

Modernizing Russian culture The reopening of the Bolshoi Theater

Focusing on the role of the Soviet legacy the author conducts a detailed analysis of the restoration work, as well as the official discourse surrounding it. The aim is to uncovering the ideological ambiguities of Russia’s most recent top-down modernization, a modernization based on values claimed to be “conservative”.

Essay by Irina Kotkina View Comments

creating the IDEAL CITIZEN A comparison of Swedish and Estonian practical housing policy in the postwar era

Like many other modern states, both the Soviet Union, with its authoritian socialism, and Sweden, with its social democracy, strived to shape their citizens' lives for the better. Both states considered it their duty actively to plan, organize and control housing.

Essay by Jenny Björkman & Johan Eellend View Comments

BLOGGING In russia The blog platform LiveJournal as a professional tool of Russian journalists

The Russian media system today is a hybrid composed of the main public sphere — that is, state-owned mainstream media — and a parallel public sphere or counter-sphere, consisting of mainstream media relatively disloyal to the Kremlin, and social media. The present study is based on an analysis of one hundred journalist’s blogs maintained on the LiveJournal platform in during the 2012 presidential election in Russia.

Essay by Elena Johansson View Comments