Thursday, July 7th, 2011 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon
3744, Jean-Brillant street
Virginie Lasnier is presently completing her second PhD year in political science at McGill University, where she focuses on the former Soviet Union and the European Union. She previously completed a master’s degree in political science at the University of Quebec in Montreal. Her essay was on the Russian regime and civil society under the presidency of Vladimir Putin and, more specifically, on the political activism of post-Soviet youth. Two ethnographic studies were conducted in the Russian Federation for the writing of her essay. She also finished a certificate in Russian Studies, offered jointly by the Laval University and the Russian state University for the Humanities (RGGU), which allowed her to spend more than a year in Russia for improving her knowledge of the Russian language and culture. During her stay in Russia, Virginie Lasnier worked at the Canadian Embassy in Russia (Moscow) and participated in the simulation of the G8 Summit in St. Petersburg. She is now associated with the European Union Center for Excellence and will begin an internship at the European Economic and Social Committee in September 2011.
This lecture will address the current status of human rights in the Russian Federation by focusing on the country’s international commitments. It will begin by offering an overview of the evolution of the Russian conception of human rights via an assessment of the legacy of the Soviet period and a distinction between official discourse and empirical practice. It will then proceed to an analysis of a number of specific issues, such as the Chechen wars, Russian membership in the Council of Europe, and the state of the civil and political rights – particularly since the presidency of Vladimir Putin. Finally, the Universal Periodic Review of Russia, which took place in February 2009, will be discussed in order to provide a better understanding of the gap between the international agreements taken by the country and their concrete implementation. Issues such as the efficacy and impacts of international mechanisms on states’ behaviour will serve as the theoretical underpinning of this presentation and will be further discussed with the students.
Thomas, D. C. (2005). Human Rights Ideas, the Demise of Communism, and the End of the Cold War. Journal of Cold War Studies, 7(2), 110-141 [Access reserved for participants only]
Saari, S. (2010). Promoting Democracy and Human Rights in Russia. London; New York: Routledge. (pp. 1-13 & 113-122) [Access reserved for participants only]
Fawn, R. (2009). ’Bashing about Rights’? Russia and the ’New’ EU States on Human Rights and Democracy Promotion. Europe-Asia Studies, 61(10), 1777 - 1803 [Access reserved for participants only]
Weiler, J. D. (2004). Human Rights in Russia : A Darker Side of Reform. Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner Publishers. (pp. 1-22) [Access reserved for participants only]
Nougayrède, N. (2009). La démocratie dévoyée. In Amnesty International (Ed.), Droits humains en Russie. Résister pour l’état de droit (pp. 6-24). Paris: Autrement
Breillacq, A. (2004). La Tchétchénie, zone de non droit : Étude des facteurs responsables de la non application de la Convention Européenne des Droits de l’Homme. Paris: Harmattan
Gerber, T., & Mendelson, S. (2002). Russian Public Opinion on Human Rights and the War in Chechnya. Post-Soviet Affairs, 18(4), 271-305
Dean, R. N. (1980). Beyond Helsinki: The Soviet View of Human Rights in International Law. Virginia Journal of International Law, 21, 55-95
On UPR: Universal Periodic Review - Russian Federation
On the Russian regime under Putin: Petrone, L. (2011). Institutionalizing Pluralism in Russia: A New Authoritarianism? Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, 27(2), 166 - 194; Daucé, F. (2007). Russie: la société civile en perdition politique. Revue internationale et stratégique, 4(68), 93-99; Mandel, D. (27 mai 2005). Le régime Poutine: une "démocratie dirigée". Alternatives.