RUCARR seminar with Dr My Lilja

Drug discourses in Russia

My Lilja, PhD, University Lecturer in Criminology, Malmö University

Abstract

Since the beginning of the 21st century, there has been an intensified debate about drugs in Russia, for example in the parliament and in the press, and the drug problem is now regarded as one of the country’s most serious problems and an issue of top priority for the Russian government. This presentation will focus on ongoing and previous research about drug discourses in Russia. Some issues of particular interest were the identification of dominant discourses on drugs, the determination of which understandings of the drug problem were taken for granted and which were not recognised, whether there were any discussion of the consequences of the problem and an analysis of which actors that were represented in the debate.

When: May 19, 15.00–16.30
Where: Zoom, for sign-up, contact rucarr@mau.se

Seminar with Dr. Dato Gogishvili

Lofty Ideals in Aerial Connectivity: Ideology in the Urban Cable Car Network of Tbilisi, Georgia

Seminar with Dr. Dato Gogishvili (Postdoc at Dept. of Urban Studies, Malmö University)
When: May 4, 13.30-15.00
Where: Zoom online platform (link in Zoom: https://mau-se.zoom.us/j/65183900856)

Abstract
This article (in collaboration with Suzanne Harris-Brandts, Department of Urban Studies + Planning, MIT) examines the ten-line cable car network of Tbilisi, Georgia,constructed between 1953 and 1988, then decommissioned in the 1990s and partially reactivated since 2012. During the Soviet era, Tbilisi’s cable cars played an important role in the city’s mass mobility, particularly in areas of steep geography. They also functioned ideologically, supporting Soviet ambitions toward the collective provision of public transportation and accessto recreational spacefor the working proletariat. This article unpacks such ideology, chartingits evolution over the network’s sixty-year timeline. It describes the ideological shifts that took place following the collapse of the Soviet Union and Georgia’s transition to a capitalist economy. Specifically, it explores how Tbilisi’s cable car network is linked to changes in government urban development priorities and desires to create tourism attractions, while also reinforcing select framings of the surrounding landscape. The newly introduced cable car lines of the 21st centurynow reflect contemporary ideological goals that see cable cars as assets for luring global capital and facilitating the commodification of Tbilisi’s historic cityscape. The article thus argues that the city’s cable car network can be understood as embodying changes in government stances toward labor, leisure, and the direction of future development, while further reflecting the mobility politics of the city. The findings are based on personal interviews and historic document analysis, as well as transit ridership and City Hall data that collectively provide an evaluation of Tbilisi’s cable car network as it has transformed since the 1950s.

BIO
David received his doctoral degree in Urban Studies and Regional Science at Gran Sasso Science Institute in 2017 where he studied the state use of mega-events as a tool for urban development and the imposition of legal exceptions onto host cities. Subsequently, he joined the University of Lausanne as a postdoctoral researcher where he studied the impact of megaprojects in the urban development of Kazakhstan. Currently, he is a postdoc at the Department of Urban Studies at Malmö University where he is carrying out a research project scrutinizing the role of legal exceptions in urban planning for the realization of the real estate megaprojects in Georgia and its surrounding governmental discourses. David’s research interests include interrelation of mega-events and legal exceptions, mega-events and urban image construction, mega-event related urban policy mobilities and the use of mega-events as a tool of urban development in Central Asia and the South Caucasus. David is also a principal researcher in the Shota Rustaveli Georgian National Science Foundation-funded project “Examining the Social Impacts of Large, Private Sector Urban Development in Batumi and Tbilisi”.

Seminar with Dr. Stepan Grigoryan on the Velvet Revolution


On January 28, Dr. Stepan Grigoryan – Chairman of the Board of the Yerevan-based Analytical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation (ACGRC) NGO – gave the seminar entitled Velvet Revolution and Political Developments in Armenia.


Dr. Grigoryan holds diplomatic rank of Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Armenia. In the years 1998-2000, he was Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, and in 1995-1998 as a diplomat, he held different positions at the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1990-1995 Stepan Grigoryan was a member of the Armenian Parliament.

The Armenian Velvet Revolution by Stepan Grigoryan. Yerevan: Edit Print, 2018.

When: 3.15-5 pm, January 28
Where: Niagara Building (Nordenskiöldsgatan 1), Seminar room 9th floor (external participants, please, come to the reception in the Niagara lobby at 3 pm)..

RUCARR seminar with Prof. Robert A. Saunders

On December 10, Professor Robert A. Saunders will give the seminar Getting over Borat: Exploring the (After-)Effects of Parody in the Post-Soviet Realm.

Dr. Robert A. Saunders is Professor of History, Politics and Geography Farmingdale State College (SUNY), Dept. of History, Politics, and Geography, NY.

Read more:
Staff page: Farmingdale State College (SUNY)
Personal website: www.boratologist.com

When: December 10, 3.15-4.45 pm
Where: Niagara Building, Block C, Seminar room, 9th floor
(External participants, please wait at the Reception by the C elevators at 3 pm)

RUCARR seminar with Prof. Oliver Reisner

RUCARR seminar on October 10

Prof. Oliver Reisner, Ilia State University, Tbilisi, gave a seminar to staff and students during his visit to RUCARR, Malmö University on October 9-10. The topic of his presentation was Social Cohesion and Political Developments in Contemporary Georgia, which was followed by a lively discussion. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas and research on this timely topic!

GPS seminar with Michel Anderlini – Case study: Georgia

On October 9 Michel Anderlini, PhD Student in Global Politics, presented his thesis work in the first 20% seminar in new the Global Politics PhD programme. The title of the presentation: “Who do I call if I want to speak to Europe?”: Role contestation of the EU Special Representative and Selective Compliance in Georgia. Discussant: Prof. Patrik Hall.

September 10 – RUCARR seminar

Dr. Kamal Makili-Aliyev, Researcher at Faculty of Law, Lund University and the Dept. of Global Political Studies, Malmö University: The evolution of the principle of self-determination: from Åland Islands to Nagorno-Karabakh and Catalonia.

When: September 10, 15.15-17.00.
Where: NIC0826, Niagara building (Nordenskiöldsgatan 1).

The seminar will introduce part of the research efforts of Kamal Makili-Aliyev in comparative international law and conflict resolution. The right of peoples to self-determination and its evolution from the international legal point of view is one of the key topics of his research. The full results of his research will feature in the upcoming monograph titled “Contested Territories and International Law” that is scheduled for the release in late October 2019 by Routledge and will introduce a comprehensive international legal analysis of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and the Åland Islands precedent.