Interviews

Traveling through the German historical landscape A talk with Mary Fulbrook

In her book on the East German experiment, The People’s State, Fulbrook launched a concept that owes a lot to her life-long preoccupation with Max Weber’s theories of Herrschaft. She calls it “participatory dictatorship”. An unbelievably large proportion of the population — roughly one in six, she calculated — took an active part in activities that had to be carried out to uphold the political system as such.

By Anders Björnsson View Comments

Robert Chandler: “any successful translation of poetry is a small miracle”

With a career spanning more than 20 years, Robert Chandler is one of the best known and most prolific translators of Russian into English. He has translated classic authors such as Pushkin and Leskov, as well as more contemporary writers like Grossman, and his translations of Platonov have won prizes. He recently completed a translation of Velimir Khlebnikov’s poem about the Volga famine.

By Henriette Cederlöf View Comments

“Historiography has been a minefield”

Perspectives on the past are charged, not least in Romania. In this issue, Vladimir Tismaneanu, who until May 2012 chaired the Scientific Council of the Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and the Memory of the Romanian Exile (IICCMER) is interviewed about the links between history and politics in Romania.

By Francesco Zavatti View Comments

The World Seen Through Binoculars

Anna Kharkina visits an exhibition about childhood and sees artifacts from the Romanian countryside. The exhibition opens doors to an individual and a shared past for those with common memories of childhood in a country that no longer exists.

By Anna Kharkina View Comments

Human Rights in Russia Going Beyond the Perils of Activism

Human rights activism in Russia can be a dangerous ordeal for those involved in it. How do these dedicated people nonetheless manage to advance human rights in Russia? Here an interview with three human rights activists.

By Freek van der Vet View Comments

Ilija Batljan. Committed to Baltic Sea issues

Södertörn University, where Baltic Worlds is published, now has a chairman of the governing board, a Swedish former Social Democratic career politician, who grew up the Montenegro of Yugoslavia: Ilija Batljan. Here he is profiled in an interview

By MarieLouise Samuelsson View Comments

Sheila Fitzpatrick A leading lady in Soviet studies

Though once very controversial in the context of the Cold War, Fitzpatrick’s view of totalitarianism in the Soviet Union as something complex, full of contradictions and of different kinds of agency, has now become a commonplace in Russian studies.

By Johan Öberg View Comments

24 hours is a long time in revolutions János Kornai on taking risks and ending up on opposing sides

János Kornai certainly has been taking risks, and he definitely got his chance to develop in a most unusual way. He started out as a very young journalist in communist Hungary, and he eventually became a professor at Harvard.

By Björn Kumm View Comments

1989 as Utopia. elske rosenfeld on politics and longing

Elske Rosenfeld was 15 when the Berlin Wall came down. She realized that this was the end of the critical discourse that the citizens’ movements had brought to life in the GDR. When the 1990 election results were announced in the media, she cried. Today the topic of 1989 is her professional project as an artist.

By Unn Gustafsson View Comments

Alexandr Abromov on the financial markets in Russia. ”Promising but unstable”

Russian financial markets have been a completely new element in the Russian post-Soviet economy. The level of development and the character of the financial market institutions in this country can tell us much about whether Russia will succeed or fail in evolving towards a well-functioning market economy. Professor Alexandr Abramov from the Higher School of Economics in Moscow is one of Russia’s leading experts on Russian financial markets. Ilja Viktorov from CBEES met him in Moscow to pose some questions concerning developments in the field.

By Ilja Viktorov View Comments