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Concepts of New Administrative System for the Congress Kingdom of Poland (1814-1815)
In the history of the development of Polish law and administration, the short period of the constitutional Duchy of Warsaw, and next of the Kingdom of Poland, was a special time. This is because it was the only moment in the 19th century when the Polish elites gained an opportunity to concentrate their efforts on the organization of the modern state machinery. This book presents the process of restructuring the administrative structures following the collapse of the Napoleonic Duchy of Warsaw and before the establishment of the Kingdom of Poland in 1815. The author focuses on the approach of the Polish elites to the nascent modern state, increasing importance of administration within it and to the young Polish bureaucrats.
In Images of China in Polish and Serbian Travel Writings (1720-1949), Tomasz Ewertowski examines how Polish and Serbian travelers described China, surveys various factors which influenced their style of writing, and illustrates the social, political and intellectual context that determined their different representations of the Middle Kingdom. The corpus includes a vast array of texts written by more than 80 authors who traveled to China from the 18th to the mid-20th century, including sources that have not been published. Besides making new facts and sources accessible, the research presented in this book introduces a comparative perspective and provides a thorough literary and cultural analysis of the aforesaid travelogues.
Russian Philosophy in the Twenty-First Century: An Anthology provides the English-speaking world with access to post-Soviet philosophic thought in Russia for the first time. The Anthology presents the fundamental range of contemporary philosophical problems in the works of prominent Russian thinkers. In contrast to the “single-mindedness” of Soviet-era philosophers and the bias toward Orthodox Christianity of émigré philosophers, it offers to its readers the authors’ plurality of different positions in widely diverse texts. Here one finds strictly academic philosophical works and those in an applied, pragmatic format—secular and religious—that are dedicated to complex social and political matters, to pressing cultural topics or insights into international terrorism, as well as to contemporary science and global challenges.
Editor: Alyssa DeBlasio
Contemporary Russian Philosophy explores a variety of perspectives in and on philosophy as it is currently being practiced in Russia. Co-sponsored by the Center for Professional and Applied Ethics at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and by the Russian Philosophical Society, this special series features collaborative works between Russian and Western scholars on topics of philosophical importance. The series also publishes monographs and collections of essays by Russian philosophers, as well as studies by all scholars on topics related to contemporary Russian philosophy. All volumes are published in English.

Abstract

This article discusses the question of why a Western-style democracy has not been formed in Russia. The prerequisite for the formation of a democracy as a political regime is the domination of small and medium-sized private property and a middle class. Since the middle class has been small in Russia throughout most of its history for a number of objective reasons, the country has hardly known full-fledged democracy, and the current political system only imitates it. Russia’s attempts to enter the trajectory of democratic development—both in the early twentieth century, and since the early 1990s–have failed, and the trend of abandoning the basic principles of democracy has prevailed over the past two decades. The blame for this lies not only on the current Russian leadership but to no lesser extent on the political leadership of the West, which for the sake of short-term self-serving interests or political ambitions has contributed much to the formation of the current Russian regime.

In: The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review
Author: Dmitry Halavach

Abstract

The article examines the population exchange between Poland and the Soviet Union in 1944–1947, its role in the shaping of modern Ukraine, and its place in the evolution of the Soviet nationality policy. It investigates the factors involved in the decision-making of individuals and state officials and then assesses how people on the ground made sense of the Soviet population politics. While the earlier scholarship saw the transfer as punitive national deportation, the article argues that it was neither punitive nor purely national nor was it a deportation. The article shows that the party-state was ambivalent about the Polish minority and was not committed to total national homogenization of Western Ukraine. Instead, the people themselves were often eager to leave the USSR because of the poor living conditions, fear of Sovietization, and ethnic conflict. Paradoxically, one of the largest Soviet nation-building projects was not the product of coherent nationality policy.

In: The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review
Author: Irina Dzero

Abstract

Unintelligible sequences of letters or words in today’s Russian culture are omnipresent: in slogans, such as “Hair is the best remedy,” “Stop grandma’s merciless feeding!”; on social media, for example #ifnotputinthencat and “LSDUZ and IFIAU9”; in satirical songs and poems; in films by Zvyagintsev, novels by Sorokin, Tolstaya, and Pelevin, etc. The appeal of gibberish and its repression by the Soviet and post-Soviet officialdom is rooted in the belief that art and word have the power to influence people and events. Avant-garde artists who pioneered this belief in the transformative power of art cheered the Bolshevik’s promise to create a new society, but were soon crushed by the Soviet state as dangerous saboteurs. Today, gibberish is again a strategy of aesthetic defiance. Erudite and inventive, gibberish eludes the grasp of state censorship. It builds communities of resistance, and spoils the authoritative discourse like a fly in the soup.

In: The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review
In: National Tradition or Western Pattern?
In: National Tradition or Western Pattern?
In: National Tradition or Western Pattern?