International Conference "Eurasia 2.0: Post-Soviet Geopolitics and New Media"

This conference aims to start a research project on the media and geopolitics in post-Soviet space. It inquires into ways in that the media, especially the ‘new media’, based on the ‘Web 2.0’ technologies of the Internet communication, negotiates geopolitical identities and fosters spatial collectivities in Russia and other post-Soviet countries.

Scholars and policy-makers have always been aware of the role of the media in shaping our perception of space, borders, center-periphery relations, and national affinities. The media coverage considerably affects ways in which geopolitical conflicts unfold, and provides great leverage for those in power for the purpose of propaganda, ‘soft-power’ and re-branding of a country.

However, the interaction between the media and geopolitics is much more complex than simply instrumentalization of the media for geopolitical purposes; this interaction is not unidirectional, and it goes on deeper levels of identity-making. The Internet-based communication technologies may be instrumental in hands of the ruling elites, but they have their own dynamic, agency and potential to nurture autonomy, de-centralization, and participation. If the broadcast television is often criticized for transforming society into a loosely connected agglomerate of passive spectators, the web-based social media can mobilize civic activism and create an unprecedented geopolitical environment, in which borders are porous, identities hybrid and multiple, national affinities contested and deterritorialized.

What makes the conference especially innovative is its focus on the mediated geopolitics in the post-Soviet space. Specificity of the post-Soviet ‘case’ consists in persistence of the imperial legacy in organization of space and territory in this region. This imperial ‘debris’ includes an enormous Russian-speaking diaspora which is estimated to be up to 27 million people worldwide, extraordinary cultural heterogeneity, colossal territorial expanses, relative weakness of national identities and nation-state coherence, and abundant supplies of imperial memories and nostalgia.

The conference is held in English. It is open to the public and is free of charge.

To register, please send an e-mail to Jevgenija Gehsbarga jevgenija.gehsbarga@ucrs.uu.se

For further information, please contact Dr Mikhail Suslov mikhail.suslov@ucrs.uu.se

Here you will find conference programme and speakers' bios.

The conference is organized with generous financial support from the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences (Riksbankens Jubileumsfond).