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Maybe I’ve missed something, but as best I can tell most Americans – indeed, most in the West in general – aren’t aware of the fact that, two weeks ago, US troops repelled a Russian attack in Syria, killing maybe as many as several hundred people (and losing none of their own).

Here’s the contemporaneous report from CNN. If you read Russian, though, you’ll learn a lot more from Pavel Felgengauer’s article today in Novaya Gazeta.  In a nutshell: On 7 Feb., a unit of pro-Assad troops including some number of Russians – most likely from the ‘Vagner’ private military co (Russia’s version of Blackwater) – moved on an oil facility near Deir ez-Zor, controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces.

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CfP: Comparative #Fascism, @CEUHungary #COMFAS, 27-29 April 2018. @FascismJournal @CEUweekly @FFRBookseries @CEUPolSci @AmadeuAntonio @HolocaustMuseum @JContHist @DefendingHistor @DOEW_at @ER_MV @DerRechteRand @BlickNachRechts

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COMFAS Convention — http://comfas.org/COMFAS-Convention/

Comparative Fascist Studies and the Transnational Turn”, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, 27-29 April 2018

Call for Contributions

The comparative study of fascism underwent significant changes in the last decades, opening up new research opportunities but also posing novel challenges. One of the main research avenues has been the topic of fascist internationalism, focusing on the interactions, entanglements, and cooperation among fascism movements and regimes, at various formal or informal political levels.

In this context, the COMFAS Convention invites comparative or case-study contributions exploring:

  • the common intellectual origins of fascism in various countries, and the transnational elaboration of the fascist ideology at European and global levels in the inter-war, wartime or postwar periods (1918 to present);
  • the global circulation of fascist ideas and their intermediaries; and
  • the creation of fascist transnational discursive practices.

Papers will take into account complex patterns of interactions and mutual or multilateral influences among fascist intellectuals, movements, and regimes at ideological, political and institutional levels. Particular attention will be devoted to:

  • the transfer and adaptation of generic fascist ideological concepts to various local contexts. We welcome papers exploring the themes of totalitarianism, revolution, violence, corporatism, racism, anti-Semitism, etc.
  • attempts at institutionalizing new ties or forms of cooperation among fascists in Europe and beyond it, and also
  • the creation of new transnational spaces of interaction, exchange or confrontation  (e.g. the Spanish Civil War).

Other topics of interest are:

  • the organization and impact of the Nazi New European Order (Neuordnung Europas), mostly in view of the hierarchical and exclusionary practices associated with it;
  • the emulation of forms of political violence and of state-sponsored campaigns of legal discrimination and ‘purification’ through cleansing; and
  • the organization and functioning of the Rome–Berlin–Tokyo Axis and its political, economic, and military impact, at global level.

Scholars interested in attending or contributing to the conference should fill in the on-line REGISTRATION FORM by 20 February 2018. Please specify your academic title and current position, and the title and abstract of your prospective talk. We welcome individual papers as well as panel proposals. The proceedings of the conference will be published in a collective volume.

Conference participation is free for COMFAS members (see our Membership Policy). For non-members, a participation fee of € 75 applies.  A number of travel and accommodation grants are available upon request and on a competitive basis.  For further information, please contact us at comfas@comfas.org

http://comfas.org/COMFAS-Convention/

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Briefly, on #Poroshenko’s 3 main achievements and 3 main failures, as #President of #Ukraine since 2014

Andreas Umland

Poroshenko
My brief answer to a journalist’s question what Poroshenko’s main achievements and failures as President of Ukraine have been so far:
The three biggest achievements of Poroshenko since 2014 have been
(a) the preservation of the Ukrainian state under extremely difficult foreign and domestic conditions,
(b) the conclusion of the signing and full ratification of the Association Agreement with EU, and
(c) the successful completion of the implementation of the Visa Liberalization Action Plan and resulting in the introduction of a visa-free regime for Ukrainians traveling for short-term to the countries of the Schengen Zone.
The three biggest omissions in Poroshenko’s presidency since 2014 have been
(a) his failure to fully reset Ukraine’s political system so as to substantively reduce the influence of private interest on three branches of power (legislature, executive, judiciary),
(b) the rather slow adoption and only partial implementation of anti-corruption legislation, and
(c) Kyiv’s related under-achievements…

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Briefly, on #Poroshenko’s 3 main achievements and 3 main failures, as #President of #Ukraine since 2014

Poroshenko
My brief answer to a journalist’s question what Poroshenko’s main achievements and failures as President of Ukraine have been so far:
The three biggest achievements of Poroshenko since 2014 have been
(a) the preservation of the Ukrainian state under extremely difficult foreign and domestic conditions,
(b) the conclusion of the signing and full ratification of the Association Agreement with EU, and
(c) the successful completion of the implementation of the Visa Liberalization Action Plan and resulting in the introduction of a visa-free regime for Ukrainians traveling for short-term to the countries of the Schengen Zone.
The three biggest omissions in Poroshenko’s presidency since 2014 have been
(a) his failure to fully reset Ukraine’s political system so as to substantively reduce the influence of private interest on three branches of power (legislature, executive, judiciary),
(b) the rather slow adoption and only partial implementation of anti-corruption legislation, and
(c) Kyiv’s related under-achievements in improving Ukraine’s image in the West after the Euromaidan.
Most importantly, the transformation of Ukraine’s party and electoral systems is – perhaps, deliberately so – insufficient until now. So far, while many reforms have taken place in a number of policy fields, the patronalistic logic and theatric character of much of official post-Soviet Ukrainian politics, legislation and administration has – until early 2018 – not fundamentally changed, if compared to the time before the Euromaidan.

Ukraine und die Bombe

Osteuropa-Plattform der Grünen

von Philipp Stürzenberger

 Der Bruch des Budapester Memorandums durch Russland ist mehr als eine historische Fußnote. Er zerstörte eine der wenigen Erfolge nukleare Abrüstung und wird gravierende Folgen für die weltweite nukleare Proliferation haben.

Mearsheimer verstehen

Im August 2014 sorgte der amerikanische Politologe und Neo-Realist John Mearsheimer für Aufsehen mit einem Artikel in Foreign Affairs.

Dort machte er den Westen, die USA und die EU, für die Krise in der Ukraine verantwortlich. Gerade bei denjenigen, die die Schuld am liebsten im Westen sehen wollen, löste dieser Artikel eines US-Politologens geradezu Begeisterungsstürme aus.

Bei Menschen die sich ein bisschen mit Theorien der Internationalen Politik auskennen, erntete der Artikel dagegen eher ein Achselzucken aus.

Schließlich ist der Artikel durch und durch von Mearsheimers offensiven neorealistischen Denken geprägt, von Staaten als hohle Machtblöcke, deren Stärke sich hauptsächlich militärisch misst.

Bürgerinnen und Bürger oder politische Systeme dagegen sind irrelevant. So verkommt natürlich die Ukraine…

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What’s peace in the Donbas worth to us? by Andrej Novak

Osteuropa-Plattform der Grünen

Why the international community should propose a UN protectorate

When listening to journalists, analysts and politicians alike, it seems to be a foregone conclusion that the pro-Russian separatist-controlled areas in the Donbas region of Ukraine will remain a “frozen conflict” similar to Transnistria (in Moldova) for the foreseeable future. The international community appears complacent and passive regarding the violent conflict going on in the area and the humanitarian catastrophe there that is about to be exacerbated by winter very soon.

Precious months have already been wasted without any serious multinational initiative for a solution being proposed by world leaders. This passivity exposes the uninspired, lackluster and short-term-oriented attitude of muddling through of Western leaders that often means that that the international community is being outmaneuvered by the Kremlin’s brinkmanship and (more or less) surprise moves. By now it should have become obvious that a more ambitious, innovative and strategic approach…

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Why and How a New Democratization of #Russia Can Happen & Be Supported by the West: #VLAP, #EU #AssociationAgreement & #NATO #MembershipActionPlan after #Putin @RaamOpRusland @HubertSmeets @LauraStarink1

The West should get ready for and promote a different Russian future: Why and How a New Democratization of Russia Can Happen