Event: Brown Bag Lunch Seminar with Katy Machoa

Plurinacionalidad: Mujeres Amazónicas de Pastaza y Nankints – Plurinationality: Amazonian Women from Pastaza and Nankints

(the presentation will be in Spanish; written translation in English)

Date: Thursday, August 15th
Time: 12:00-13:00
Venue: Unioninkatu 35, 3rd floor, room 344

ABSTRACT: A través de la experiencia organizativa en el que irrumpen las mujeres amazónicas de Pastaza y Nankints en un escenario adverso en donde el estado moderno/colonia/capitalista se encuentra legitimado expongo tanto las estrategias resistencia como las de dominación que son ejercidos sobre estos procesos organizativos para el debilitamiento del autogobierno y autonomía territorial. En este escenario políticamente desfavorable para la lucha social, las mujeres amazónicas con su pedagogía trazan el camino de la defensa territorial. En este contexto, sostengo que la plurinacionalidad tiene un doble carácter. Por un lado en la Constitución en el que aparece lejana, inalcanzable, inclusive como sin vida, y por el otro es dinámica y vital cuando es tomada, interpretada, codificada, apropiada y reapropiada por las experiencias de la defensa del territorio.

Through the organizational experience in which Amazonian women from Pastaza and Nankints break into an adverse scenario where the modern / colonial / capitalist state is legitimized, I expose resistance and domination strategies that are exercised in organizational processes for self-government and territorial autonomy. In a politically unfavorable scenario of social struggle, Amazonian women use their pedagogy toi trace the path of territorial defense.
In this context, I argue that plurinacionality has a double character. On the one hand, in the Constitution it appears distant, unattainable, and lifeless, and on the other it is dynamic and vital when it is interpreted, codified, specifically and re-appropriated by the experiences of the territorial defense.

BIOGRAPHIA:

Katy Machoa, de la nacionalidad kichwa amazónica de Shamato, como ex-dirigente de la Mujer de la CONAIE (2014-2017), lideró la defensa de los derechos humanos y colectivos a través de la campaña Resistir es mi derecho, por la defensa del territorio a nivel nacional e internacional. Dentro de sus esfuerzos se incluye la defensa del sistema intercultural bilingüe SEIB y el libre acceso a la educación superior para la juventud de los pueblos y nacionalidades del Ecuador. Katy ha terminado su Maestría en estudios Latinoamericanos en la UASB y actualmente colabora en el proyecto de investigación de la Academia de Finlandia Goal 4+: Including Eco-cultural Pluralism in Quality Education in Ecuadorian Amazonia (2018-2022).

Katy Machoa is part of the Kichwa Community of Shamato. As a former leader of the Women of the CONAIE (2014-2017), she led the defense of human and collective rights through the campaign Resistir es mi derecho [Resist is my right], participating in the struggle of indigenous women for the defense of the territory nationally and internationally. She is active for the defense of the intercultural bilingual education system and the free access to higher education for the youth of the peoples and nationalities of Ecuador. Katy holds a Master’s Degree in Latin American Studies at the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, Quito, and currently works in the research project of the Academy of Finland Goal 4+: Including Eco-cultural Pluralism in Quality Education in Ecuadorian Amazonia (2018-2022).

Event: Mining and Indigenous Peoples in the Arctic – Panel Discussion

Date: Tuesday, May 28th
Time: 17:00-19:00
Venue: Think Lounge (upstairs in the Think Corner, Yliopistonkatu 4, 00100 Helsinki

Event description:

The collision between mining and indigenous lifeways is heating up in the Nordic region. Permits are currently pending to expand mineral extraction in Sápmi, the Artic region spanning four national governments (Finland, Norway, Russia and Sweden), which is home to indigenous Sami peoples. Mining has already increased in the Barents region of Sápmi, and likely to soon be in issue also in Finland. How this collision is managed over the next decades may well be decisive for the future of indigenous lifeways in the Artic.

Meanwhile, similar collisions, with similar stakes, are raging also elsewhere in the Arctic (and across the globe). The localized responses of indigenous peoples around the world to the pressures of mining are widely diverse, and take place in hugely complex configurations. This public event will bring together and engage representatives from various stakeholder groups and sectors, including the mining industry, indigenous peoples, government, and civil society organizations – with experiences and examples shared also from other regions in the Arctic (Canada, Sweden, Norway, Greenland). What can we in Finland learn from experiences elsewhere in the Arctic, so as not to repeat the same mistakes? How does Finland’s mining law meet these and other challenges? What would be the impact of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) (between the EU and Canada) on Europe’s only indigenous people, based on experiences elsewhere? Who has the final rights and power to veto or approve a mining claim on Sámi territory?

With this panel discussion, we hope to evoke the complexity and messiness of real-world processes, whilst finding conflict-free ways forward. The aim of the event is to give space to reflection on the experiences and accomplishments of evolving political strategies from a comparative perspective.

17.00-17.05 – Welcome and Opening Words – Jeremy Gould, Professor Emeritus in Anthropology, University of Helsinki

17.05-17.15 – What does research have to say about the legal rights, processes and impacts of new mining ventures on indigenous territory? A brief overview summarizing findings and discourse in the scientific literature – Mark Nuttall,

Professor and Henry Marshall Tory Chair of Anthropology, University of Alberta, Canada

17.15-18.00 – PANEL DISCUSSION

Moderator: Aili Pyhälä, Adjunct Professor, Lecturer in Development Studies, University of Helsinki

Panelists:

Mark Nuttall – Professor of Anthropology, University of Alberta, Canada

Anne Nuorgam – University of Lapland; Member of Saami Parliament (Finland)

Terho Liikamaa – Director of TUKES Mining Centre

Heta Heiskanen – PhD, Tampere University, ALL-YOUTH STN project

Päivi A. Karvinen –Finnish Ministry of the Environment

18-00-19.00 – Q&A – from the floor

Event: Brown Bag Lunch Seminar with Charles Gore

Brown Bag Seminar on Reading and Writing UNCTAD’s Least Developed Countries Report
Tuesday 11th June
12-13
Unioninkatu 35, 3rd floor, room 344

ABSTRACT: Global reports written in international organizations, such as UNCTAD, UNIDO, UNDESA and ILO, offer a useful and often neglected source of information, research and policy analysis on developing countries and the international system.

Based on my experience as lead author and director of UNCTAD’s Least Developed Countries Report from 2000 to 2012, this seminar will provide an inside look at how these reports are written and also how to read them.

Some of the key findings in the sequence of LDC Reports from 2000 to 2010 will be used as examples. These covered issues such as: capital flows to LDCs; poverty trends in LDCs; PRSPs; the relationship between trade and poverty; the HIPC initiative; STI and knowledge for development; aid effectiveness and the problem of ownership; development governance; progress towards MDGs; and the effectiveness of international support measures for least developed countries.

BIOGRAPHY: Charles Gore is a Visiting Scholar in Development Studies in the University of Helsinki from January to June 2019. He is an Honorary Professor in Economics at the University of Glasgow, a Research Associate in Global Studies at the University of Sussex, a Non-Resident Senior Research Fellow at UNU-WIDER and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (UK). Between 1999 and 2008, he was team leader and principal author of UNCTAD’s Least Developed Countries Report, and from 2008 until 2012 he was Special Coordinator for Cross-Sectoral Issues, directing research on Africa and on least developed countries in UNCTAD.

Originally trained in economic geography, he has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge and a Ph.D., based on two years fieldwork in Ghana, from Pennsylvania State University. He was a Lecturer in Development Studies at the University of Wales from 1976 to 1991, and during that time he wrote Regions in Question (Methuen 1984, re-issued 2011 in Routledge Revivals), and worked as a consultant for UNCTAD on why landlockedness is a development problem and what to do about it. In the 1990s he worked more closely with UN agencies in Geneva, writing chapters for UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Report (1994, 1997, 1998), and managing two multi-country research projects – one (in UNCTAD) on lessons of East Asian development for Africa, and another (in the International Institute for Labour Studies, ILO) on the global applicability of the concept of social exclusion.

His academic publications examine the nature of the explanations, normative judgements and discursive narratives which underpin international development practice. Topics addressed include: how geographic space is linked to development in explanations of regional development; methodological nationalism and the misunderstanding of East Asian development; the nature of the Washington Consensus; Amartya Sen’s concepts of entitlement and capability; and the romantic violence of the MDGs. He is currently working on a history of how the idea of poverty went global in the 1970s, which is part of a broader examination of the concept of global goals.

Event: Brown Bag Lunch Seminar with Tristan Partridge and Nidia Catherine Gonzalez Pineros

Double Brown Bag Seminars on indigenous communities and conservation in Ecuador and Colombia on Wed 22 May at 11:00 until 13:00, Unioninkatu room 344
Tristan Partridge (UAB-ICTA): Indigenous community conservation in highland Ecuador: mobilizing the commons and ‘Buen Vivir’
Nidia Catherine Gonzalez Pineros (Bologna and Santo Tomas): Dialogues between knowledge systems (indigenous territoriality / western territoriality) in rainforest beyond capitalism.

Tristan Partridge

Abstract
In highland Ecuador, efforts to protect landscapes and sustain livelihoods have been strengthened by renewed political organizing. This includes action at the local level (recovering shared resources and managing the commons) and nationally (engaging with constitutional rights to ‘Buen Vivir’ or ‘Harmonious Living’). Based on ethnographic fieldwork with the indigenous community of San Isidro, this paper explores how commons resources have been repurposed to meet contemporary community needs and to facilitate cooperation with neighbouring communities. These actions further facilitated successful protest movements against the local expansion of agro-industrial plantations and in defense of Buen Vivir – with repercussions for how we think about links between the commons, conservation, and political mobilization.

Tristan Partridge is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the ICTA Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) working on environmental justice and indigenous political action. He received a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh and has conducted fieldwork in Ecuador, the UK, India, and the US. Through projects on land and water rights, energy, and community organizing, his research examines the use and extraction of natural resources and the uneven distribution of related socio-ecological impacts. He is an affiliated Research Fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

url: https://ictaweb.uab.cat/personal_detail.php?id=4074
twitter: @TristanPartridg

Nidia Catherine Gonzalez Pineros

Abstract

This presentation focuses on the knowledge of indigenous territoriality in rainforest and its importance for the provision of global goods such as biodiversity, public health and food security. In developing countries national forestry policies and private investment still pursue the maximisation of timber and mineral resources productivity, rather than investing in carbon neutral goods or in cultural ecological heritage. This presentation shows how shifting cultivation in agroforestry represents an empirical use of connectedness, showing how it can lead toward a collaborative perspective of values on human-nature relationship to solve contemporary problems related to forestry management. These practices are common enough to be called principles, evidence of these systems is common in Asia, Africa and South America. The circulation of knowledge across multiple levels of governance require new methodologies and new modes of governing resources.  

Nidia Catherine Gonzalez Pineros is a research fellow in innovation on governance and climate change at the School of Political and Social Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy & Universidad Santo Tomas, Colombia. Her work focuses on global environmental politics, local governance and REDD+, the role of innovation and institutional change in developing countries in the current post-2015 negotiating process, with a regional specialism in Latin America. She holds a PhD from the Johannes Gutenberg of Mainz, Germany (2005) in Philosophy and Political Science, and a BA from National University of Colombia(2000) in Political Science. She joined University of Bologna in 2014 with 8 years’ experience of academic and policy research in South America and Europe. She is fluent in Italian, German and Spanish, and publish her work in these languages. Her research interest lies in understanding how local and global environmental governance can bridge to solve trans-national environmental problems, and how strategic resources in developing countries can be used to explore alternative mechanisms of regulation including intergenerational rights and new environmental policy instruments. Much of her recent work also explores how socio-technological innovation and institutional transformations produce and reproduce power relations, boundaries / synergies in the global South with implications for “new earth system governance”. She is interested in the empirical dimensions of these dynamics, especially inter scalar innovation processes.

 

Upcoming Event: The Arts for Justice: Indigenous Coalition Building and Artistic Activism

The Arts for Justice, 

Indigenous Coalition Building and Artistic Activism

April 15that 9:15–17:00

University of Helsinki, lecture room 5 (Fabianinkatu 33) 

Seminar organized by Indigenous Studies and Environmental Humanities/ University of Helsinki and University of Arts Helsinki

This seminar discusses the contemporary engagements with artistic forms of evidencing, communicating, and resisting, such as visual arts, performance, theatre, writing, film, video, eco-media and social media that address environmental and social justice and Indigenous rights. How are various constituencies showcasing Indigenous ways of knowing and being, as well as calling for actions and approaches that challenge dominant practices, such as extractivism, pipelines, land grabbing, and other threats to Indigenous values and homelands? How might artistic activism contribute to building coalitions across nations and differences? What techniques are used to reach audiences and what possible changes can result? What can be evidenced by the arts? The participants are both artists and researchers, sharing their works and ideas, and then we encourage the participants to take part in the conversation in which we will learn from each other.

Preliminary schedule:

9:15 Opening words by the organisers 

9:30–10:30 Keynote by Marja Helander (Sámi visual and video artist)

10:30–10:45 Coffee

10:45–12:15  Panel discussion 1 (facilitator Lea Kantonen): 

Sasha Huber (artist and University of Arts Helsinki), Eeva-Kristiina Harlin (University of Oulu), Pirjo K. Virtanen (University of Helsinki), Cheryl J. Fish (City University of New York) 

12:15–13:30 Lunch

13:30–14:15 Keynote by May-Brit Öhman (University of Uppsala):   

14:15–14:30 Coffee

14:30–16:00 Panel discussion 2 (facilitator Cheryl J. Fish):

Stina Roos (Sámi artist), Klisala Harrison (University of Helsinki), Lea Kantonen (University of Arts Helsinki), Hanna Guttorm (University of Helsinki)

16:00–16:45 Student works’ presentation 

16:45–17:00  End circle 

17:00  Wine reception & Poster Exhibition by the students in the course Biocultural approaches to the environment and conservation (IND-512)

Please Register by April 5https://elomake.helsinki.fi/lomakkeet/97035/lomake.html

Organisers: Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen, Hanna Guttorm–University of Helsinki; Lea Kantonen–University of Arts Helsinki; Cheryl J. Fish-City University of New York

How poverty went global. Development Studies Seminar Tue 5 February.

Visiting scholar Charles Gore

“How Poverty Went Global: Development, Basic Needs, Human Rights and Social Justice in the 1970s”
Tuesday 5th February
10.15-11.45Unioninkatu 35, 3rd floor, room 344ABSTRACT: This presentation, based on on-going work, seeks to reconstruct how the idea of poverty became a global concept in the 1970s. This occurred as modernization theory was challenged and various alternative visions of world order were put forward in a context of deepening global interdependence. The frame shift in the conceptualization of poverty, which was articulated through the notion of basic human needs, preceded – and became intertwined with – the take-off of international human rights practice in 1977. This was a fork in the road which has led to the world we live in today. Reconstructing the history of how poverty went global then enables the imagination and design of alternative just world futures now.BIOGRAPHY: Charles Gore is a Visiting Scholar in Development Studies in the University of Helsinki from January to June 2019. He is an Honorary Professor in Economics at the University of Glasgow, a Research Associate in Global Studies at the University of Sussex, a Non-Resident Senior Research Fellow at UNU-WIDER and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (UK). Between 1999 and 2008, he was team leader and principal author of UNCTAD’s Least Developed Countries Report, and from 2008 until 2012 he was Special Coordinator for Cross-Sectoral Issues, directing research on Africa and on least developed countries in UNCTAD.

Originally trained in economic geography, he has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge and a Ph.D., based on two years fieldwork in Ghana, from Pennsylvania State University. He was a Lecturer in Development Studies at the University of Wales from 1976 to 1991, and during that time he wrote Regions in Question (Methuen 1984, re-issued 2011 in Routledge Revivals), and worked as a consultant for UNCTAD on why landlockedness is a development problem and what to do about it. In the 1990s he worked more closely with UN agencies in Geneva, writing chapters for UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Report (1994, 1997, 1998), and managing two multi-country research projects – one (in UNCTAD) on lessons of East Asian development for Africa, and another (in the International Institute for Labour Studies, ILO) on the global applicability of the concept of social exclusion.

His academic publications examine the nature of the explanations, normative judgements and discursive narratives which underpin international development practice. Topics addressed include: how geographic space is linked to development in explanations of regional development; methodological nationalism and the misunderstanding of East Asian development; the nature of the Washington Consensus; Amartya Sen’s concepts of entitlement and capability; and the romantic violence of the MDGs. He is currently working on a history of how the idea of poverty went global in the 1970s, which is part of a broader examination of the concept of global goals.

Guest lecture on 11.12.2018

Marcos Pedlowski gives a guest lecture on 11.12.2018:

Tue 11.12.2018: The Brazilian Amazon and the prospects of explosive deforestation after the 2018 presidential elections

The Brazilian Amazon is considered as one of the largest containers of global biodiversity. However, since the early 1960s the region is facing an increased process of perturbation through a combination of outright deforestation for agriculture expansion and different forms of degradation by loggers and miners. After a decade of relatively low rates of deforestation, the Brazilian Amazon is facing an increase in rates of deforestation and forest degradation, mostly because of the expansion of soybeans and sugarcane plantations, cattle raising, mining, logging, and the construction of large hydroelectric plants. The recent election of Mr. Jair Bolsonaro, a vocal opponent of conservation efforts and to the Paris Climate Agreement, will probably increase the pressure on the Brazilian Amazon and the indigenous people living there. Mr. Bolsonaro has already announced that he will dramatically downsize the Ministry of the Environment and place the environmental protection agencies at the Ministry of Agriculture. This move, if confirmed, will increase the prospects of an exponential increase in deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. This outcome would certainly contribute to weaken the efforts to diminish the pace of climate change.

Time and place: 14:00 – 16:00, Metsätalo, lecture hall 2 (B212), Unioninkatu 40

Dr. Marcos Pedlowski holds a BS in Geography from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (1986), and MSC in Geography from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (1990) and a PhD degree in Environmental Design And Planning from Virginia Tech (1997). Since 1998 he has been an associate professor at the Centro de Ciências do Homem in the Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense in Brazil. Dr. Pedlowski’s interests involve a wide array of topics linked to geographical studies and his research projects focus on the following subjects: land reform, land cover and land use changes; policies of environmental conservation, and urban studies. More information: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=YXdaAuYAAAAJ&hl=pt-BR and https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Marcos_Pedlowski. Dr. Pedlowski is a visiting research in Development Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki in December 2018.

Seminar: Lessons from the margin: Indigenous Peace Ecology. Prof. Alberto Gomes, Monday 19.11 at 13:00-15:00

Welcome to the Helsus-Development Studies Seminar:

Lessons from the margin: Indigenous Peace Ecology

– Prof. Alberto Gomes, La Trobe University (AU) and DEEP Network

 

Monday 19th November at 13:00-15:00

Helsus Hub Lounge (Porthania, 2nd floor) or streamed online https://connect.funet.fi/helsus-events/

 

Humanity is confronted with several inter-related crises: ecological, social or humanitarian and growing violence, both direct and structural. Much evidence indicates that solutions implemented to resolve them, from development and modernisation to neoliberalism and sustainable development, have not just failed but paradoxically have exacerbated these crises. Inspired by the life-ways and practices of Indigenous peoples, especially the Orang Asli (Aborigines) in Malaysia, this paper outlines a peace ecology that combines peacebuilding with ecological regenerative strategies. The key contention is that subscribing to an Indigenous peace ecology will foster effective solutions to the triple crisis, entailing a paradigmatic shift from an anthropocentric to an eco-centric perception of nature; from hyper-individualism to a community-focus responsibility; from a competitive outlook to one that is focused on empathy, cooperation, sharing and altruism; and from a growth-fetish to a needs-based regenerative lifestyle.

Alberto Gomes is an Emeritus Professor at La Trobe University, Australia, Affiliated Professor at Universitat Jaume 1, Spain, and Global Director of the Dialogue, Empathic Engagement and Peacebuilding (DEEP) Network (https://globaldeepnetwork.org). Well known for his scholarly work on the Orang Asli (Malaysian Aborigines), he has published numerous articles and several books. His books include Modernity and Identity: Asian Illustrations (edited volume, La Trobe University Press, 1994), Malaysia and the Original People (with R. Dentan, K. Endicott, and M. B. Hooker, Allyn and Bacon, 1997), Looking for Money (COAC and Trans Pacific Press, 2004), Modernity and Malaysia: Settling the Menraq Forest Nomads (Routledge, 2007) and Multiethnic Malaysia (edited with Lim Teck Ghee and Azly Rahman, USCI and SIRD, 2009).

Programme:

13:00 Introduction           Paola Minoia, Senior Lecturer, Development Studies

13:15 Presentation          Alberto Gomes

14:00 Discussants:         Karen Heikkilä, Geography

Timo Kaartinen, Professor, Anthropology

14:20 Q&As

Contact: paola.minoia@helsinki.fi

Symposium on Contemporary Slavery with Kevin Bales on 8 November – CANCELLED

The Discipline of Development Studies of the University of Helsinki cordially invites you to attend a public symposium on contemporary slavery. The symposium begins with a Public Lecture by Professor Kevin Bales on ‘“Unlocking the Science of Slavery”.

Kevin Bales is Professor of Contemporary Slavery in the School of Politics & International Relations, Nottingham University, UK, and Co-Founder of the NGO Free the Slaves, the US Sister organization of Anti-Slavery International. Bales’ book Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy published in 1999, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and has now been published in ten other languages. Archbishop Desmond Tutu called it “a well-researched, scholarly and deeply disturbing expose of modern slavery”. In 2008 Kevin Bales was invited to address the Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Paris, and to join in the planning of the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative. In 2006 his work was named one of the top “100 World-Changing Discoveries” by the Association of British Universities. The documentary based on his work, which he co-wrote, Slavery: A Global Investigation, won the Peabody Award for 2000 and two Emmy Awards in 2002. He was awarded the Laura Smith Davenport Human Rights Award in 2005; the Judith Sargeant Murray Award for Human Rights in 2004; and the Human Rights Award of the University of Alberta in 2003, and in 2007 his book, Ending Slavery, won the 2011 $100,000 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Promoting World Order. Bales was awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, by Loyola University Chicago, in 2010, and a Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa University of Nottingham, 2015. More about Professor Bales can be found here: [https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/politics/people/kevin.bales]

The programme begins at 2pm sharp. After a brief introduction, Professor Bales will give a public lecture, followed by a 45-minute panel discussion, with panelists Terhi Tafari, senior adviser, National Assistance System for Victims of Trafficking, Venla Roth, Senior Officer, Office of the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings/ Non-Discrimination Ombudsman, and Anniina Jokinen, an expert on trafficking who worked at the Task force on trafficking in human beings at the Council of the Baltic Sea States and is now with The European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control. University of Helsinki Professor Barry Gills will chair the event and introduce Professor Bales, whose lecture will provide the global context for the subsequent panel discussion centred on the problem of modern slavery in Finland.

This event is particularly timely and important because, contrary to common perceptions, slavery did not end in the 19th century. It is estimated that contemporary slavery harms more than 40 million people around the world and, although widespread, the prevalence of modern slavery in modern Finland is not well understood.

All are cordially invited without any need for registration!

Additional Details:
Date: November 8, 2018
Venue: Tiedekulma/Think Corner, 2nd floor, Yliopistonkatu 4,
Time: 2-4pm
Refreshments: Organic Coffee and Fair Trade Tea will be served from 16:00 to 16:45.

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/187523292162484/

 

Direct all enquiries to Professor Barry Gills (bkeithgills@gmail.com)

Organising Committee:
Barry Gills, Mira Käkӧnen, Franklin Obeng-Odoom, Eija Ranta, and Anna Salmivaara.

Seminar: Naive Monarchism and Rural Resistance in Contemporary Russia, 16 October 2018

Welcome to listen to a lecture by Dr. Natalia Mamonova on 16 October 2018, at 12.15-13.45, Metsätalo (Unioninkatu 40), sali 12

Abstract:

This study applies the concept of “naive monarchism” (i.e., the traditional peasant expressions of reverence for the tsar as their benefactor) to study contemporary rural politics in authoritarian Russia. While Russia is not a monarchy, and its rural dwellers are not traditional illiterate peasants, the veneration of its leader manifests itself in many rural grievances. I analyse three types of rural politics that have traits of naive monarchism: written petitions to the president, rural pickets and delegations to the Kremlin, and geographical renaming in honour of Vladimir Putin. Grievances, voiced in this way, are rarely subjects of repression from above, as they reinforce presidential authority and the existing order. This raises the question of whether rural dwellers faithfully believe in a benevolent president or intentionally exploit their subordinate position and Putin’s image as the present-day tsar. Whether sincere or strategic, these rural politics aim to enforce the existing state commitments. Although they are unable to challenge the status quo, they provide rural dwellers with a means to remedy occasional local injustices.

Natalia Mamonova is a Research fellow at the Russia and Eurasia Programme of The Swedish Institute of International Affairs & Affiliated researcher at the Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies of Uppsala University, Sweden. She will be a visiting researcher in Development Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Helsinki during October 2018.