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International Summer School 2021 “Russia and the region through the lens of Post-Soviet and Postcolonial studies”

Processes unfolding in and around Russia resonate internationally. The repetitive concentration of the Russian troops near Ukrainian borders, permanent tensions with neighbours (and not only), prison conditions of Alexei Navalny, and Vladimir Putin’s quest for life-long power remain on the agenda of the international media and expert community. What are the reasons, inner connection, and implications for neighbours of all of these? What place Russia strives to occupy in the international political/civilizational system? We think that deliberations on such themes are so important that no format for that can be superfluous. Hence, we offer one more format.

During the one-week online summer school, well-known scholars from Russia, the Caucasus, Europe, and the United States will lead the discussions on the subject. Those interested will have the opportunity to listen to them and engage in the debate, check and enrich the relevant knowledge and attitudes. And last but not least: the listed or other developments will be assessed through the lens of the post-Soviet and post-Colonial paradigms. Whether the Western and Eastern empires were alike and Russia-neighbors’ relations resemble trauma of the post-colonialism will be among the focuses of the summer school. After completing the seminars, the students will be required to write an essay, reflecting the issues discussed.

Lecturers and Lecture Topics:

Sergei Medvedev - Russian memory wars

Charles Fairbanks - The Bolshevik "Operational Code" as a Means of Understanding Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics

Ivan Kurilla - Political Use of History in Russia and its Neighbors

Akhmet  Yarlykapov - Transnational Islamic Networks: rewiring the post-Soviet space?

Alexander Mikaberidze - Old wine in new barrels: Revisiting the grand strategy of the Russian empire (18-19th centuries)

Tamar Koplatadze - Employing Postcolonial Theory in Russian Studies: Benefits and Pitfalls

Tornike Gordadze - Was Russia a Colonial power in the Caucasus? A comparative approach

Naira Sahakyan, Anush Brutyan - Russian regional policy in the South Caucasus. Reflection and analysis of colonial, post-colonial and neo-colonial aspects

Mikayel Hovhannisyan - The “System of three seas” theory. Opportunities and challenges for regional integration in South Caucasus

Ghia Nodia - Dimensions of Georgia's attitude towards Russia

Lev Gudkov - Strength and weakness of Russian protest

The criteria for enrollment:

Candidates have to have, at least, a bachelor’s diploma in Social or Humanitarian Sciences, demonstrating a strong interest in Russian Studies. He/she has to submit the CV and short (up to 400 words) letter of motivation (English).

We have 30 seats for candidates and expect the applications until June 21st. The application should be emailed to CRS, at

Please indicate “CRS Summer School” in the subject line of the email.

The Zoom interviews will be conducted with the selected candidates


The summer school will take place online, in the beginning of July 2021. Summer school is free of charge. The working language of the summer school is English.

For inquiries, please write us on this email:

The summer school is supported and financed by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation South Caucasus

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