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Paul Tap

Research Assistant at the Department of International Studies and Contemporary History, Babes-Bolyai University Cluj. His research interests lie in direct democracy, political parties and surveillance.

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Articles by Paul Tap

  1. Rescued from Stalin’s terror The unknown Swedish operation in the 1930s

    The author analyses the operation by Swedish diplomats in the Soviet Union during the peak of the Stalinist Terror. Although Swedish communists living in the USSR have been in the spotlight of some journalists and historians, the extent of the different Swedish groups and the complicated diplomatic actions to help them are nearly unknown. Who could be saved? Who disappeared in the Gulag? The context is the Soviet actions against all foreigners in the Great Terror from 1937, forcing them to either become Soviet citizens or immediately leave the country. Comparisons are made with Finnish people in the Soviet Union, a group much harder hit by the terror than the small groups of Swedes.

  2. Higher education and research in times of war and repression

    The roundtable “Universities at War”, held in Vienna on September 27, 2023, provided a panorama of case studies analyzing how universities have been implicated and affected by wars and conflicts. The speakers reflected on the way academic communities have been affected and the role of European academic institutions as sites, agents, collaborators, resisters, and victims of military conflicts from the Second World War to Russia’s war against Ukraine.

  3. The culture war and the actual war

    At a time where many public debates are informed by the ongoing full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, we thought it would be important to further explore the relation between controversies of gender, sexuality, reproduction – what can be labelled the “culture war” – and the actual military war. Four scholars on feminist and anti-gender politics were invited to discuss this topic from various angles on the roundtable “Exploring the links between the culture war and the actual war” at CBEES Annual Conference 2023 on the war and its effects.

  4. Lake Ladoga. A transnational history

    Lake Ladoga: The Coastal History of the Greatest Lake in Europe. Maria Lähteenmäki and Isaac Land, eds.,(Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, 2023). Studia Fennica Historica vol. 27, 233 pages.

  5. The archaeologist Marija Gimbutas. Grand theories at the outskirts of modernity

    Marija Gimbutas: Transnational Biography, Feminist Reception, and the Controversy of Goddess Archaeology, Rasa Navickaitė (Routledge: London, 2022) 244 pages

  6. Estonia: Marriage Equality made real – despite opposition from the religious elite

    Since January 1, 2024, same-sex marriage is legal in Estonia, making it the first ex-Soviet, second post-socialist (after Slovenia) and 20th overall country in Europe to establish marriage equality. According to the law, marriages are contracted by two adults, including same-sex couples, who also have a right to jointly adopt children. The law is an outcome of two decades of public controversy and political divide.

  7. Maidan, memory, and museum Relations between aesthetics and revolution, 2014–2021

    This paper delves into the ways in which art and cultural expressions have helped to preserve the memory of the Ukrainian Revolution and how the Maidan Museum contributes to this effort. Specifically, the study explores the significance of the Maidan event in Ukraine’s national memory culture and how it is being integrated into the country’s historical narrative as part of the decommunization and decolonization processes. Additionally, the text examines how the politics of memory, as expressed through the museum’s performances and aesthetics, can serve as a tool of collective and national resistance. Ultimately, the article argues that the Maidan event is not fixed but rather dynamic, and Maidan memory plays a critical role in Ukraine’s ongoing transition away from a shared historical past with Russia.

  8. What art knows about democracy The aesthetics of the Revolution in Ukraine 2013–2014

    Based in part on interviews and fieldwork, this article analyzes how artworks produced during the Ukrainian Revolution (2013–2014) present the political emergence of the Ukrainian people as a collective fused by bonds of solidarity. At first characterized by a strong universal thrust, presenting a boundless democratic anticipation, this solidarity was subsequently contained by religious-political traditions and specific forms of self-sacrificing and masculinist nationalism, often projected as a revolutionary utopia in its own right, which has been operationalized in the defense against Russia’s invasion. To substantiate the argument, the text analyzes numerous artworks from the Ukrainian Revolution. These interpretations demonstrate how aesthetic acts contribute to the production of bonds of solidarity that transcend existing modes of political and cultural representation of Ukraine.

  9. Confined within the law Roma in Polish police journals 1920–1939

    This article analyzes the Polish police narrative on Roma during the interwar time, unveiling attitudes and potential practices. According to the police journals and handbooks, Roma were mobile and disposed to theft and deceit. Their traditional crafts were merely a smoke screen for illicit activities. As countermeasures, searches of caravans, meticulous checks of identity documents, indiscriminate fingerprinting of Roma suspects, among several measures, were recommended. This narrative constituted part of a larger police professional discourse and is likely to be an indicator of practices on Roma. Polish police followed the contemporary European expertise on Roma produced by the fields of criminalistics and criminology. As there were no discriminatory laws targeting Roma in Poland, it appears that police used legislation against begging and vagrancy, among other tactics.

  10. The Eastern policy Towards an understanding of the Polish geopolitical code

    The aim of the article is to examine what is called the “Polish Eastern policy”. This concept covers certain conceptual foundations on which subsequent governments in Warsaw have tried to build their relations with their neighbors from the post-Soviet area. The topic has already been widely described and discussed. Due to the limited volume of the article, this issue will be considered mainly in the context of the example of Polish-Ukrainian relations. The starting point will be a description of the circumstances in which Poland was the first country in the world to recognize the independence of Ukraine in 1991. Then, the motives of Polish decision-makers will be characterized. This applies both to 1991 and to the way they behaved during subsequent “Ukrainian crises.” For this purpose, Colin Flint’s concept of “geopolitical code” will be used.

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