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Russian World and biopolitics of the post-Soviet borderlands: the cases of Estonia and Georgia

A presentation about how certain biopolitical discourses and practises expand and spill over national boundaries
When May 29, 2017
from 06:00 PM to 07:30 PM
Where Darwin College Old Library
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The presentation scrutinizes how certain biopolitical discourses and practices expand and spill over national boundaries, and what effects these expansions and extensions have on post-Soviet borderlands. It is the exteriorization of biopolitical agendas as exemplified by the “Russian World” project that enhances the incongruence between different allegiances and loyalties: to Europeanization and Orthodox traditionalism in Georgia, or to national(ist) identity and the veneration of Putin’s conservatism in some EU member states, in Estonia, in particularly. This specific approach can be instrumental in interpreting both national-building and imperial projects as biopolitical phenomena, and explicating core differences between them in biopolitical categories that may remain unnoticed and underconceptualized from other research vistas. My paper is based on field research in Georgia and Estonia in 2015-2017.


Alexandra Yatsyk is Alexander Herzen Junior Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Human Science in Vienna, Austria and Visiting researcher at the Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies of Uppsala University, Sweden. She is also Director of the Centre for Cultural Studies of post-Socialism at Kazan Federal University, Russia.

She is the author and editor of works on post-Soviet nation building, sports and cultural mega-events, biopolitics and art, among those are co-authored books Lotman’s Cultural Semiotics and the Political (Rowman & Littlefield International, 2017), Celebrating borderlands in a Wider Europe: Nations and Identities in Ukraine, Georgia and Estonia (Nomos, 2016), Mega-Events in Post-Soviet Eurasia: Shifting Borderlines of Inclusion and Exclusion (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), New and Old Vocabularies of International Relations After the Ukraine Crisis (Routledge, 2016).

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A World Leader

The Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge is a world-leading centre for teaching and research in Sociology, consistently ranked first in UK league tables by The Guardian, The Times, and the Independent.


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