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Great Britain-Russia Society: Forthcoming talks – November and December 2020

24th October 2020

Great Britain-Russia Society: Forthcoming talks – November and December 2020

1.    1.  Petr Safronov: Education after the Soviet Collapse: Is It Really Post-Ideological? – 7.00 pm, Thursday, 12 November

In the Soviet Union Communism was not simply a political and economic platform, it was an all-encompassing set of normative and ideological values. Education played a crucial role in the Soviet system by embedding these values in the young. The discrediting of Communism, the Soviet collapse and the transition to the market left an ideological void in education policy, one that the Kremlin has attempted to fill over the last decades. In this lecture, Petr Safronov will analyse the impact of the transition to capitalism on the educational system as a whole and show how ‘ideological’ education has changed in post-Soviet Russia.

Petr Safronov is one of Russia’s foremost experts on the history and practice of educational policy. He studied philosophy at the Moscow State University, where he later lectured before rising to become Dean of the Philosophy and Social Department at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. From 2014 to 2018 he headed the Masters programme on Evidence-Based Educational Policy at Moscow’s prestigious Higher School of Economics. In addition to educating a new generation of scholars, Safronov was responsible for initiating dialogue with the various stakeholders in Russian education and formulating new policy solutions to the country’s educational challenges.

2.    2.  Maxim Samorukov: Russia in the Balkans: A Paper Tiger? – 6.00 pm, Thursday, 26 November

Today, as in the past, international observers view the Balkans as the target of Russian influence efforts. In his talk, Maxim Samorukov, an expert on Russia’s role in Central and Eastern Europe, explores Russia’s aims in this region, the instruments used to expand its influence there and the prospects of its efforts, especially in the areas of energy, domestic politics and conflict resolution. Bridging the past and the present, he considers how history — from the distant past to more recently the post-Cold War competition for influence in the region between Russia and the West — shapes Moscow’s ambivalent relations with Balkan capitals.

Maxim Samorukov is a fellow at the Carnegie Moscow Centre and deputy editor of its website, Carnegie.ru. A graduate of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), Samorukov previously worked at Slon.ru, the independent news website, serving as correspondent, editor and columnist. His articles on Russia’s relations with Central and Eastern Europe have appeared in Axios, Balkan Insight and The Moscow Times, among other news outlets.

3.    TBC [Anton Gorlenko and Anastasiia Gerasimova, two young architects in Moscow, to deliver a joint presentation on different aspects of architecture in Moscow [precise subjects will hopefully be finalised within the next few days] – [7.00 pm?] Wednesday, 9th December.]

The speakers in all three cases will be joining us from Moscow

GBRS Zoom talks all cost £5 per household booking.  You may book online at www.gbrussia.org or send me a cheque in the usual way.  All those who have booked will receive an email from our Hon Secretary, Henry Pares, with a link to the event, the evening before the talk, inviting them to take part by clicking on the link. If you don’t receive the link, please let me know and I will forward it on to you.

The speaker will address the Society for around 45 minutes, and this will be followed by a half-hour question and answer session. When participants join, we request that they mute their microphones for the whole talk. During the question and answer session, anyone wishing to ask a question, should click on the ‘Raise hand’ icon that will be visible on the screen and wait to be invited by the chairman to speak. They would at that point, unmute their microphone.

Best wishes


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