Authoritarianism and Beyond? Lessons from Postsocialist Societies

(Day One)

Friday 22 March, 2013
9am - 5pm, $0

Columbia University, International Affairs
420 West 118 Street, Room 403

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The 2013 SOYUZ symposium contemplates the characterization of many contemporary postsocialist societies as authoritarian. Highlighting strong presidential authority, lack of democratic succession of rule and insufficient public representation, this analytic posits authoritarianism is the opposite of liberal democracy. The participants of the symposium seek to extend interpretive work on authoritarianism beyond this dualistic framework. Drawing on original field research, these papers offer an insight into the official and popular representations and memories of authoritarian pasts and presents and explore analytical limits and possibilities of the term authoritarianism itself. The 2013 Symposium will feature two keynote speeches from John Borneman, Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University, and Alexander Cooley, Tow Professor of Political Science at Barnard College. The 2013 SOYUZ symposium organizing committee includes Alan Timberlake (Columbia University), Elise Giuliano (Columbia University), Marina Mikhaylova (Temple University), Tsveta Petrova (Columbia University), and Zhanara Nauruzbayeva (Columbia University). SOYUZ, the Research Network for Postsocialist Cultural Studies, is an interdisciplinary forum for exchanging work based on field research in postsocialist countries, ranging from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to Africa, Southeast Asia and South America. The Symposium has met annually since 1991 and offers an opportunity for scholars to interact in a more intimate setting.

 

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