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DepositFrom “Brothers to Enemies.” The Future of Ukrainian-Russian Relationship

Post-communist Ukraine is in the midst of implementing reforms which it missed for centuries. It gradually evolves into a unique geopolitical entity which, finally, acquires a fair chance to be consistent and self-sufficient. However, if the West takes a neutral stance today – as it frequently happened in history – a “decentralized” Ukraine will fall again under the centralized Russian assault.

DepositUkrainian policies in the Black Sea littoral: history, current trends and perspectives

The article focuses on the Ukrainian geopolitical presence in the Black Sea littoral tracing its development since the beginning of the twentieth century. An attempt is made to predict the future regional policies of Ukraine taking into account ongoing irreversible processes: the recent Ukrainian democratic revolution, early presidential elections of 2014, growing Russian confrontation with the Western states, ongoing insurgency in the Eastern Ukraine, promising cooperation with Turkey and others. Apart from this, the outlines are drafted for Ukraine to fully benefit from the available political and economic options in the current discourse. Finally, the article includes arguments for the EU, U.S. and NATO to revise their modus operandi in the Black Sea littoral and make a stake on Ukraine as on the champion of the liberal values and democracy.

DepositMaking Russia Forever Great: Imperialist Component in the Kremlin’s Foreign Policy

The article outlines the geopolitical rationale behind contemporary Russian expansionism, as well as presents the asymmetric and “hybrid” mechanisms utilized by the Kremlin to solidify its authority in the post-communist space. To do this, the article refers to the findings of American, British, Polish and Ukrainian intellectuals on the nature of the Russian political identity. The four commonly used theoretical frameworks explaining contemporary Russian expansionism are described and critically assessed (imperial, diversionary, divergent identities and “angry guy”). Apart from this, the Russian and foreign political philosophic thought of the XIX-XXI centuries is referred to. The latter was done to trace the evolution of the Russian Byzantium-type governing tradition and national identity. The article puts forward the hypothesis that Russian expansionism, alongside the Russian sentiment towards an imperialist worldview, are tested by historical patterns of national policy-making which bring the state to its civilizational glory. In this light, it will be futile to expect that Russia can fully democratize, build a Western type of a nation-state and start conducting open policies.

DepositKollision der Kader: Dziga Vertovs Filme, die Visualisierung ihrer Strukturen und die Digital Humanities

This book highlights the quantitative methods of data mining and information visualization and explores their use in relation to the films and writings of the Russian director, Dziga Vertov. The theoretical basis of the work harkens back to the time when a group of Russian artists and scholars, known as the “formalists,” developed new concepts of how art could be studied and measured. This book brings those ideas to the digital age. One of the central questions the book intends to address is, “How can hypothetical notions in film studies be supported or falsified using empirical data and statistical tools?” The first stage involves manual and computer-assisted annotation of the films, leading to the production of empirical data which is then used for statistical analysis but more importantly for the development of visualizations. Studies of this type furthermore shed light on the field of visual presentation of time-based processes; an area which has its origin in the Russian formalist sphere of the 1920s and which has recently gained new relevance due to technological advances and new possibilities for computer-assisted analysis of large and complex data sets. In order to reach a profound understanding of Vertov and his films, the manual or computer-assisted data analysis must be combined with film-historical knowledge and a study of primary sources. In addition, the status of the surviving film materials and the precise analysis of these materials combined with knowledge of historical film technology provide insight into archival policy and political culture in the Soviet Union in the 1920s and 30s.

DepositRussian Geopolitical Advancements in the Black Sea Region: the Annexation of Crimea

The annexation of Crimea is not an ordinary event in contemporary international relations. Since WWII, there has been no precedent in Europe when one state under dubious premises has forcefully annexed a part of another state. This article scrutinizes the Crimean case in the context of the ongoing Ukrainian crisis and uncovers the rationale behind Russia’s aggressive policies in the Black Sea region. To accomplish this task, several steps have been undertaken. Primarily, the recent speeches of Russian officials and Kremlin-originated documents have been analyzed. Secondly, the tactics favored by the Kremlin to achieve its geopolitical goals have been explained and assessed (through applying frameworks of meta-geography and soft power security). Thirdly, the future prospects for Crimea with its gradual transformation in the counter-NATO fortress have been outlined.

DepositMessianic Narrations in Contemporary Russian Statecraft and Foreign Policy

The article aims to uncover the nature and distinctive features of the contemporary messianic narrations in the Russian public discourse, as well as estimate their impact on the actual policy-making. For this reason, the article scrutinizes the political philosophy of Aleksandr Dugin, Nataliia Narochnitskaia, Egor Kholmogorov, and Vadim Tsymburskii. Their major messages are contrasted and compared to a variety of recent developments in Russia’s domestic and foreign policies. The hypothesis is put forward that the messianic narrations are furtive, though unalienable factors which propel and justify Russian domestic and foreign policies. Therefore, it is always worth considering Russian policy-making through the prism of the nation-wide religious self-identification, as well as acknowledging a number of ‘eschatological duties’ which derive from this self-identification. Finally, the article provides an overview to the Western scholarly perspectives on Russian messianism with a specific emphasis on British and US contributors.

DepositIntroduction: The Foundations of Law

This Article introduces the thought of Emory Woodruff professors Harold J Berman focused his intial works on Soviet Russia, but moved on to study law and religion later in his career. His works challenge readers to look beyond current crises to contemplate a new common law and faith on a global scale. Professor Perry also focused on the study of law and religion. His proposal of a universal theory of human rights rests on the proposition that every person has inherent dignity. Professor Fineman has studied the issues of divorce and family law. She claims that the responsibility for dependency should be distributed across societal institutions. Professor Marty works in the field of religious freedom and church-state issues, attempting to understand the soul of the law. He asserts that people of religious conviction must participate within the law.

DepositIs Science Enough?: The Limits of Scientific Agriculture in Nineteenth-Century Russia within a Global Market

The article argues that the spread of scientific information is not always enough to ensure the success of the production of any particular country in a global market. In particular, there were significant barriers to the introduction of improved livestock raising in nineteenth century Russia. Although agricultural societies, which were voluntary associations of Russian nobles, carried out substantive work to disseminate scientific livestock raising in Russia, global success on the wool market was transient. Understanding the interplay between domestic and global markets is key to a deeper understanding of the challenges of Russian agriculture.

DepositPre-Revolutionary Russian Photography at the New York Public Library: An Introduction

This article is an introduction to the New York Public Library’s pre-revolutionary Russian and Eastern European photographic albums. It also provides a checklist of these albums. The checklist is an especially rich source for Russian architecture, art, and science and provides documentation for a variety of places in the center and provinces of the Russian Empire. Some of the most significant albums are those once owned by the Romanovs and by George Kennan the elder, America’s first Russian expert.