Central and East European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (CEERES) – Master’s Theses

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    “Why the hell do you need pride?”: Contemporary LGBT+ activist identity in Estonia
    (Tartu Ülikool, 2023) Shaw, Rebecca; Pääbo, Heiko, juhendaja; Sadecka, Agnieszka, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituut
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    Gendering Environmental Insecurity: the case of Serbia
    (Tartu Ülikool, 2023) Phillips, Elodie Paris; Réka, Várnagy, juhendaja; Bernard, Sara, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituut
    This research project aims to contribute to the theoretical literature on Critical, Feminist, Environmental, and Human Security Studies by synthesizing the approaches and applying them to the case study of Serbia. This thesis will “broaden” and “deepen” the agenda of Security Studies by considering environmental degradation as a human security threat through the lens of post-structural Feminism. Semi-structured interviews with female environmental activists and document analysis have been used to gather data, on the basis of which key concepts have been developed using Grounded Theory (GT) methodology. These concepts will be used to answer the research question: What processes contribute to women’s environmental insecurity in Serbia? The data revealed the existence of security-enhancing processes and security-degrading factors that interact to create a situation of environmental human insecurity for women living in Serbia. Security-degrading factors existing at the political and societal level currently severely impede the capacity of nascent processes to enhance women’s environmental security. The results of this study will contribute to a scholarly understanding of the gendered dimensions of environmental insecurity, often rendered invisible in Security Studies. It will also supplement existing research on climate change and pollution, typically confined to the Global South, by using a case study from the Western Balkans, a region currently experiencing extreme environmental issues.
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    “An unjust transition is not sustainable”. Climate justice and the effects of hydropower expansion in Georgia under Georgian Dream
    (Tartu Ülikool, 2023) O’Sullivan, Hannah; Mühlfried, Florian, juhendaja; Prina, Federica, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituut
    This research examines the prevalence of climate justice in Georgia’s hydropower sector under the current Georgian Dream government. Georgia is a country highly dependent on its hydropower resources in efforts to increase its energy security, but how this energy policy affects people and planet is not widely examined. A discourse analysis of existing literature was incorporated into data from reports and interviews. This research finds that there has been a significant improvement in the legislation which exists around climate and hydropower issues in Georgia in recent years to facilitate a more just energy system, but the implementation of this legislation is severely lacking. As such, there are limited signs of climate justice in the hydropower sector in Georgia. By applying the three tenets of climate justice; distributive, recognitional, and procedural, this research explores how both people and planet are affected by hydropower expansion, as well as alternative renewable energies which could be included in Georgia’s electricity balance.
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    Reasons for the failure of the opposition coalition in the 2022 Hungarian parliamentary elections: contemporary party politics and pre-electoral coalitions
    (Tartu Ülikool, 2023) Vakhtangadze, Tatia; Dúró, József, juhendaja; Mölder, Martin, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituut
    Almost one and a half years before the Hungarian National Assembly Elections scheduled for April 2022, six opposition parties announced the establishment of the pre-electoral coalition "United for Hungary." Due to promising public opinion polls and the cumulative results of these parties in the 2018 parliamentary elections, which accounted for around 46%, the opposition hoped that the coalition would provide a strong challenge to the long-standing Fidesz government, which had been in power since 2010. However, the opposition's performance significantly worsened (34.4%) compared to the previous elections and fell well below the predictions of opinion polls. This research aims to unravel this puzzle and answer the research question: "Why did the opposition coalition fail to win the 2022 Hungarian Parliamentary Elections?" To answer this question, 14 face-to-face interviews were conducted with the leaders of the coalition parties, the opposition's Prime Minister candidate, local journalists, analysts, and international observers. The research primarily focuses on the perspective of the opposition parties themselves regarding the main factors that contributed to their defeat. The analysis of the interviews revealed several commonly mentioned reasons for the defeat, which have been categorized into three groups: (1) the Opposition's Mistakes or Weaknesses, (2) the Strengths of Fidesz, and (3) Independent Factors. Among all the reasons in these groups, the three most influential factors turned out to be the weaknesses in the opposition's communication and campaign, an ineffective prime ministerial candidate, and the unlimited resources of Fidesz.
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    Kin state (non) interventions: Hungary and Uzbekistan compared
    (Tartu Ülikool, 2023) Uralova, Niginakhon; Smith, David, juhendaja; Balázs, Dobos, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituut
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    “I’m not afraid to say that I want to achieve something with this:” Contemporary Art as Roma Activism in Budapest
    (Tartu Ülikool, 2023) Trosclair, Bria; Balázs, Zoltán, juhendaja; Pääbo, Heiko, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituut
    Roma experience in Hungary has been studied from a variety of perspectives. Many existing studies focus on marginalization, exclusion, socioeconomic stigma, and segregation to understand Roma as an identity category. A handful of others focus on Romani activism and resistance to the above challenges. Using postcolonial theory as a framework for explaining Romani identities, this dissertation investigates Roma contemporary art production as an activist tool in Budapest. This research took a qualitative approach to gathering and analyzing visual and textual data to uncover relationships between Roma identities, art, and activism. By examining elements in Roma contemporary visual art and interviewing experts in culture/identity, art, and activism, it united two theoretical strands to understand how contemporary art production informs, reflects, or challenges Roma identities. It identified two major approaches to Roma activism, ethnonationalist and civil, and generated an understanding of the ways identities depicted in contemporary visual art support or complicate these approaches. Analysis of the data found that contemporary visual art has been employed to communicate Romani identities in diverse, sometimes conflicting ways. These span a complete eschewal of Roma as a category within art, to a full embrace of Romani self-identity as a motif used to call attention to social issues. Artists’ and activists’ understanding of contemporary art as an activist tool often differ, but both refer to themes of decolonization, resistance, othering, diversity, and intersectionality in their work.
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    Securitisation of migration crises in Hungary - 2015 and 2022 cases comparison
    (Tartu Ülikool, 2023) Hnatchenko, Ruslana; Janik, Szabolcs, juhendaja; Prina, Federica, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituut
    Following the 2015 refugee crisis, the issue of migration became significantly more politically contensious across the European Union; however, the influx of Ukrainian refugees in 2022 posed a new challenge for Europe, specifically for states bordering Ukraine. Hungary has been in a spotlight of scholarly research around migration, with a number of researches highlighting the issues of refugees alienation, political othering and exclusionism. While there is a significant body of literature regarding the political and social context as well as implications of the 2015 migration crisis in Hungary, not much light has been shed on Hungary’s political discourse and its possible change following the new refugee influx of 2022, and specifically the discourse produced by the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. This thesis uses Critical Discourse Analysis to analyse the speeches of Viktor Orban that shaped the 2015–2018 and 2022–2023 migration discourses and employs a securitisation theoretical framework to assess how, if at all, the issue of migration has been securitised in the two cases and what securitisation narratives could dominate the discourses. The results of this research show that the 2015–2018 discourse contain significant securitisation which aligned with fundamentalist framing of Hungary and political goals of Viktor Orban, and suggest that the securitisation of migration was used as one of the tools to rally up the electorate for the 2018 parliamentary elections. However, the 2022–2023 discourse has shown evidence of multiple desecuritisation narratives, specifically concerning Ukrainian refugees, which could be attributed to the absence of need to legitimise new and possibly contentious policies, as Hungarian government followed the EU’s approach towards Ukrainian refugees.
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    Challenging narratives on bride kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan: the case of women’s non-governmental organisations
    (Tartu Ülikool, 2023) Tafforin, Lucie; Ibadildin, Nygmet, juhendaja; Prina, Federica, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituut
    As bride kidnapping has grown associated with Kyrgyzstan, so has the literature on this issue in academia. The rich existing body of work, however, in focusing on political-elite driven reinforcement of tradition in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan’s search for national identity, often overlooks the societal narratives that justify the practice through the promotion of conservative discourses. It also ignores the important and relevant question of how to end bride kidnapping and who could lead this social change. This thesis, therefore, in order to fill these gaps, studies the narratives articulated by local women’s Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) working on the issue of bride kidnapping. It does so through interviews with nine representatives of seven Bishkek based-women’s NGOs. This research aims to reveal whether these local actors challenge dominant narratives on this practice, and if so, how and for what purpose. In finding that women’s NGOs largely comply with theoretical assumptions of counter-narrative theory, this research suggests that they can be considered actors of contestation and change on the issue of bride kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan, as long as the political context allows them to operate on the ground. Overall, this study brings to the fore the up until now invisible social forces that are local women’s NGOs.
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    Overcoming the ‘grassroots’ momentum: the rise and the fall of the 2015 solidarity initiatives in Hungary (2015-2023)
    (Tartu Ülikool, 2023) Zlatanova, Denislava; Gallai, Sándor, juhendaja; Smith, David J., juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituut
    This thesis investigates what challenges the solidarity grassroots initiatives (GRIs) formed in Hungary as a response to the 2015 Migration crisis faced after the autumn of 2015 when the migration flow to the country ceased. It examines in detail the evolution of the three largest groups (Migration Aid, Let’s Help Refugees Together, and Migrant Solidarity Szeged) two of which became legally registered as NGOs, as voluntary civil society organisations (CSOs) engaged with migrant work in the predominantly anti-migrant environment in Hungary – a state with comparatively low levels of civic activism as well, a common characteristic of post-communist states. Based on a theoretical framework providing testable explanatory components of GRIs’ prosperity and on empirical work on-site in Hungary, involving in-depth interviews with 13 participants, this research presents an extensive overview of the concrete ‘factors’ that contributed either to the closure or the continuation of the activities of the 3 organisations until the present day. The results unequivocally pinpoint 2 factors that had the greatest effect on GRIs’ ‘survival’, or their ‘failure’ post the 2015 events – namely the size of the volunteer body and the persistence of the leadership. Furthermore, this research provides evidence on two more grounds – firstly, that the legal environment in which civil society organisations in Hungary exist greatly affects their capability to sustain operations, and secondly, that volunteers assisting in humanitarian emergencies may experience a number of mental health issues that severely affect their wellbeing, personal lives, and willingness to continue volunteering.
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    Securitizing Russia in the European Parliament: a case of Poland’s PiS and Hungary’s Fidesz
    (Tartu Ülikool, 2023) Zhussupbayeva, Korlan; Stępka, Maciej, juhendaja; Wierenga, Louis, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituut
    This master's thesis seeks to understand the framing construction of Russia as a security threat(securitization) by Poland's Law and Justice (PiS) and Hungary's Hungarian Civic Alliance (Fidesz) in the European Parliament. By doing so, it contributes to discussions around the securitization of Russia at the European level. Central to this investigation is the War in Ukraine, an event that reshaped the European security landscape (Fiott, 2023). The war's significance is further underlined by its importance in the plenaries of European Parliament, illustrating its importance on the European agenda. Within the European Parliamentary plenaries, debates offer a chance to observe members' positions, providing a platform where security discourses can either amplify or minimize security responses. This study's main framework is "securitization as the work of framing", is pivotal in examining the narratives around what is threatened (referent objects), the nature of the threat, the actors advocating for securitization, who securitizes(subject) and the proposed remedial actions. By integrating securitization theory with a framing approach, this research aims to identify explicit and implicit frames concerning securitization of Russia. The research finds that Poland's PiS and Hungary's Fidesz members of the European Parliament both condemn Russian aggression in Ukraine and address securitization of Russia, but diverge in their approaches: PiS members view Russia as an existential threat, while Fidesz frame Russia as the initiator of the War. Fidesz members emphasize on the implications of the War, consequently employing desecuritization frames. Both parties prioritize human security, but criticize the EU's response, suggesting a strategic use of Russia's securitization in their populist discourses. Despite growing interest in the implications of the War in Ukraine, few studies address securitization of Russia within this context. As the war introduces new security challenges, from energy to human security, this thesis aims to uncover emerging security frames, offering a fresh perspective on the region's evolving dynamics.
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    Painting the dragon: China’s image in Polish media during the Covid-19 pandemic in the first half of 2020
    (Tartu Ülikool, 2023) Zahorodniuk, Dmytro; Kaczmarski, Marcin, juhendaja; Gacek, Łukasz, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituut
    The study aims to analyze China’s image in Polish media during the COVID-19 pandemic in the first half of 2020. To explore the topic, I examine China-related articles from the five most popular Polish online media outlets – GazetaPrawna.pl, Onet.pl, Rp.pl, Wp.pl and Wyborcza.pl. I analyze three main themes crafting the image: the coronavirus pandemic, China’s internal affairs, and foreign policy. The study argues that the image of China is ambiguous, but the media portrays the country relatively negatively. The number of words with negative emotional connotations in China-related articles prevails over positive ones. Polish media criticize China’s response to the pandemic, different aspects of domestic policy, state of human rights, and assertive foreign policy. At the same time, the Chinese people’s resilience during the pandemic and the post-pandemic economic recovery are described positively. The research summarizes that the pandemic worsened the depiction of China in Polish media.
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    National identity in Kazakhstan: an examination of the effects of everyday nationalism, banal nationalism, and regionalism
    (Tartu Ülikool, 2023) Rosen, Eshel; Ibadildin, Nygmet, juhendaja; Kaldur, Kristjan, juhendaja; Reidhead, Jacob, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituut
    This thesis analyzes national identity in Kazakhstan via micro-level analysis employing the concepts of banal nationalism, everyday nationalism, and regionalism. The first section of this thesis introduces the related literature and the conceptual background on which this research is posited. Literature on the causes and effects of nationalism are thoroughly examined to demonstrate a research gap on the effects of nationalism on an individual level. Within this section the concepts of everyday nationalism, banal nationalism, and regionalism are operationalized for analysis. These three concepts are tested on preference towards domestic or international news, belief if country is headed in right direction, and level of favorability towards Russia. At the end of this section three hypotheses are proposed that each of which tests one of the theorized predictive factors. The second section of this thesis discusses the methodology used and descriptions of all variables used. This study examines a single case study using large-n logistic and linear regression analysis. Quantitative analysis was chosen to examine trends across a large sample size that was approximately representative of Kazakhstan’s population. Kazakhstan was chosen as the case of analysis due to its unique linguistic and ethnic background that gives insight into nationalism in states with sizable ethnic minority groups. A single case study was chosen due to the lack of comparable cases to Kazakhstan. This section also includes four univariate graphs to show the overall spread of key variables. The third section discusses the results of the logistic and linear regression analysis. The results tested the significance of the three independent variables on observable behaviors related to national identity. The results found that regional identity variable is the strongest predictive factor of national identity in Kazakhstan. The measures of banal and everyday nationalism were significant in only two of the three tested models. The findings demonstrate the need for examining the effects of nationalism, on both a macro and micro level. They reveal the need for a reconceptualization of traditional approaches to nationalism, especially in very ethnically and linguistically diverse cases.
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    Paving a new way for regional integration in Central Asia? Analysing Kazakhstan-Uzbekistan relations in the areas of political cooperation and bilateral trade
    (Tartu Ülikool, 2023) Ropeter, Kilian; Niyazbekov, Nurseit, juhendaja; Anceschi, Luca, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituut
    This thesis examines the dynamics of Kazakhstan-Uzbekistan relations concerning political cooperation and bilateral trade, as well as their influence on regional integration in Central Asia. By reviewing political and economic factors that have historically hindered progress in achieving regional integration in Central Asia, the thesis analyses recent development in Kazakhstan- Uzbekistan relations, revealing an emerging positive trajectory in regional cooperation. In doing so, the thesis explores cooperation initiatives and agreements within the realms of political, security, and economic cooperation, with a particular focus on the development of Kazakhstan- Uzbekistan bilateral trade. Based on the findings from this analysis, five key implications concerning regional integration in Central Asia are derived by the end of this thesis. The findings demonstrate a notable shift in bilateral relations since President Mirziyoyev’s assumption of office in Uzbekistan in 2016. This shift has manifested in various aspects, including the signing of the Treaty on the Demarcation of the Kazakh-Uzbek State Border and the Treaty on Allied Relations, the establishment of the Consultative Meetings of Central Asian Heads of State, and a substantial increase in Kazakhstan-Uzbekistan bilateral trade. The analysis demonstrates that Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are expanding their cooperation in various dimensions, providing grounds for cautious optimism regarding the future of regional cooperation in Central Asia. Notably, the thesis emphasises the roles played by the new presidents of both states, Mirziyoyev and Tokayev, in promoting a more cooperative approach to foreign policy and regional development across Central Asia. Despite the positive trajectory witnessed in recent years, the analysis highlights persisting challenges in attaining full-fledged integration. These challenges include the dependency of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan on extra-regional countries such as Russia and China. Moreover, Central Asian states display a reluctance towards pursuing integrative steps that involve the creation of binding institutions, preferring loose cooperative frameworks. Overall, the thesis concludes that despite the recent positive developments, regional integration in Central Asia remains at a low to moderate level. Further efforts are needed in order to overcome challenges and propel the region towards robust integration. Central Asian states need to work collectively to achieve more comprehensive integrative steps. While Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan may act as regional leaders in advancing integration efforts, a unified and collaborative approach among all five Central Asian countries is essential to steer the region towards greater cooperation, stability, and prosperity.
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    “Acts of translation”: travelling postmemory of the holocaust in Ukraine
    (Tartu Ülikool, 2023) Perkis, Amy; Kowalski, Krzysztof, juhendaja; Pääbo, Heiko, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituut
    This dissertation utilises the concepts of travelling memory and postmemory to analyse three 21st century narratives of the Holocaust in Ukraine by members of the Ukrainian Jewish diaspora: Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel Everything is Illuminated (2002), Katja Petrowskaja’s literary memoir Vielleicht Esther: Geschichten (Maybe Esther: Histories) and Dash Art’s performance piece Songs for Babyn Yar (2020-2022). Literature and fictional media have been seen as important containers of historical memory by scholars such as Marianne Hirsch, whose concept of ‘postmemory’ emphasises the role of imaginative investment in processing the traumatic memories of previous generations. This dissertation links postmemory with Astrid Erll’s ‘travelling memory’, unpacking how the chosen works use physical and metaphorical travel to process family histories of the Holocaust in Ukraine. Across three vectors of analysis, Travels through Space, Travels through Time and Travels across Traumatic Borders, I examine the complex process of accessing cross-border and multi-lingual histories, showing how travel forms part of a wider process of ‘working through’ and opens up possibilities for imaginative time travel or the creative remixing of difficult histories. With the ‘Holocaust by Bullets’ still relatively marginalised within both Ukrainian memory and global Holocaust narratives, I also argue that these creative works provide models for subverting paradigms of competitive memory and incorporating the Holocaust in Ukraine within European and trans-Atlantic Holocaust narratives.
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    Russian Twitter diplomacy in Indonesia and Malaysia before and after the 2022 invasion of Ukraine
    (Tartu Ülikool, 2023) Palupi, Talitha Dian; Ibadildin, Nygmet, juhendaja; Dharmaputra, Radityo, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituut
    The digital transformation has redefined the diplomacy landscape, with pivotal events reshaping our perception of the Internet's role in international affairs. The rise of social media platforms has allowed governments to establish direct communication channels with foreign audiences, facilitating real-time interactions and the swift dissemination of information online. Diplomats no longer stand as the sole architects of state narratives. Instead, other social media users shape a state's perceptions and images. This paradigm shift underscores the profound transformation of diplomacy, leading to a substantial overhaul of the public diplomacy agenda. The efficacy of digital public diplomacy hinges on diplomatic actors' adept navigation of this altered landscape. This study analyses tailored communication of digital public diplomacy using Russian digital public diplomacy via Twitter in Indonesia and Malaysia as case studies. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 serves as the backdrop for scrutinising Russian endeavours in digital public diplomacy in times of crisis. This study argues that institutional and audience factors play a significant role in shaping digital public diplomacy conduct. The study underscores the importance of tailored communication in achieving effective digital public diplomacy.
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    Climate change politics in Putin’s Russia: a civil society perspective
    (Tartu Ülikool, 2023) Mohr, Rachel; Cheskin, Ammon, juhendaja; Darchiashvili, David, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituut
    The Russian Federation is one of the world’s largest exporters of hydrocarbon energy, and its economy is heavily dependent on fossil fuels. However, in the late 2010s the Putin regime began signaling concern about climate change and joined the Paris Agreement. At the same time, the authoritarian Putin regime has taken great lengths to prevent challenges to its supremacy that could arise from civil society, even on tame topics like the environment. Given these contradictory factors, the relationship between the state and environmental activists is in question. This study explores how environmental activists relate to their authoritarian government and its climate change response in hydrocarbon-dependent Russia. This question is contextualized in a novel theoretical framework of authoritarianism, hydrocarbon superpower culture, climate virtue signaling, and uncivil society that explains Russian climate change politics and how they may affect climate activists. The empirical study is a survey of 12 Russian environmental activists sharing their experiences with and views on the regime and its climate change response. The findings indicate an “uncivil” society split between repressed and co-opted groups, with dissenting activists condemning the regime’s duplicitous climate change rhetoric and the greed that keeps the hydrocarbon system in place. While many environmental activists disapprove of the regime and its environmental policies, activism in Russia is crippled and politicians prioritize the war. These findings shed light on the centrality of authoritarianism to civic life in Putin’s Russia at a time of war and climate crisis.
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    Remembering life in the Soviet thaw on Russian television: the case of ‘mysterious passion’ television series
    (Tartu Ülikool, 2023) Agharabi, Maryam; Dadabayeva, Gulnara, juhendaja; Pavlova, Elena, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituut
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    Using Art to Negotiate Georgian Sexual Nationalism: An Example of the Film “And Then We Danced” (2019)
    (Tartu Ülikool, 2023) Martignolles, Tanguy; Gavashelishvili, Elene, juhendaja; Kilp, Alar, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituut
    This thesis studies the role of art in negotiating Georgian sexual nationalism. Although Georgian nationalism has been studied from linguistic, religious, ethnic and civic perspectives, no study has explicitly focused on its sexual component. Under the aegis of queer theory, this thesis returns to this dimension through an artistic medium: the first Georgian LGBT dance film, “And Then We Danced” (2019), directed by Levan Akin. The paper examines how art is mobilised to negotiate sexual nationalism in Georgia. This study is based on semi-structured interviews conducted with two actors of the film and a sample mix of queer and heterosexual Georgian spectators. Secondary sources concerning Levan Akin were additionally used. This analysis shows that artistic mediums are important tools that can be - and are - mobilised in negotiating Georgian sexual nationalism. It exposes a crystallisation of two different sets of signifiers of Georgia understood as an “imagined sexual community” around Georgian dances: civic and inclusive or traditional and exclusive of queer Georgians. This debate also has geopolitical ramifications regarding Georgia's place between the European Union and Russia. It also shows an inclusion will of varying effects that can be both thanked and criticised by parts of the Georgian LGBT community. This thesis allows a precise questioning of the potential for inclusiveness of queer people as members of the Georgian nation. This dissertation, therefore, contributes to queer, gender, nationalism, and cultural literature in Georgia.
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    Javakheti Armenians: an intersection of securitization and informality
    (Tartu Ülikool, 2023) Majer, Petr; Nodia, Ghia, juhendaja; Prina, Federica, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituut
    This thesis aims to uncover elements of the relaonship between Javakhe Armenians and the Georgian state related to the issue of security. Essenal context for this relaonship and the concept applied come from Armenians and Georgians being two ethnic groups with an extensive history if interacon between each other and modern Georgia’s ethnic heterogeneity and history of ethnic conflict since independence from the Soviet Union. The research explores whether and how securi zaon characterizes the relaonship between minority and state, as well as between minority and majority. The concept of securi zaon employed by the study is what Thierry Balzacq labels sociological securi zaon, that is a securi zaon which does not rely on speech acts, se ng it apart from the models of securi zaon originally put forth by the Copenhagen School authors. To collect empirical evidence, in-depth semistructured interviews with experts on minority and security policy in Georgia as well as one Armenian media representave were conducted alongside desk research. The interview data yield insights into security pracces employed by the state in Javakhe, percepons held by security actors in Georgia, as well as wider Georgian society, and brings to light an interplay between informality and securi zaon which has likely shaped the governance of the region for decades.
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    A powder keg once more?: Contemporary separatist movements in Bosnia & Herzegovina and how it may reshape the Western Balkans
    (Tartu Ülikool, 2023) MacBride, Cameron Baillie; Repovac-Nikšić, Valida, juhendaja; Kursani, Shpend, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituut
    The aim of this thesis project was to analyse views held by political representatives from select nations on contemporary issues affecting Bosnia and Herzegovina. Therefore, the key focus of this thesis was on the pressing issue of the potential secession of the Republika Srpska entity from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Other factors such as political representation, foreign interference, and the standing of Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the international community, were brought in and analysed to examine how these issues may be affecting the potential for Republika Srpska secession. As part of this, qualitative data was gathered through an interview process, within which 9 interviews took place between March-May 2023 across Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia. The final analysis of gathered responses highlighted clear disagreement along ethnic lines on not only the potential, but feasibility of an eventual secession attempt being attempted by the current Republika Srpska administration. Furthermore, disagreement was found between different ethnic groups on the role of foreign actors and the international community within Bosnia and Herzegovina. More specifically, different groups viewed international actors, namely Russia and Turkey, in various ways, with some seeing them as their people’s closest ally, and some, their greatest hindrance to development. However, most interviewees from all backgrounds agreed on the need for stronger integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina into the international community, namely implementing political reforms in order to eventually attain membership of the European Union.