Agents of Change? Russian Political Migrants' Activism and Transnational Socio-Political Remittances

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
JWS - Room J10 (J355) (University of Glasgow)
Joanna Fomina , Institute of Pholosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences
Russia has recently faced a considerable wave of emigration for political reasons, associated with the worsening state of democracy, crack down on the civil society and political opposition, especially after the protests on Bolotnaya square and protests against the Crimea annexation and war with Ukraine. Considerable share of those who left had been involved in some forms of civic and political participation, but could not continue it due to fear of persecution. The paper focuses on the analysis of civic participation and political activism of Russian political refugees in the EU countries, the ensuing transnational political remittances as well as the factors that shape these activities. The study analyses how the activities of political migrants increase the knowledge and understanding about the situation in Russia among the Polish public, shape the public and political debate on the policy towards Russia and Russians. It also examines how Russian refuges’ political activism in the host country contributes to the democratisation process in Russia as well as affects the situation of dissidents remaining in Russia. The analysis is based on a series of in-depth qualitative interviews with representatives of the organisation and members of their networks in selected EU states as well as in Russia, including civil society actors, journalists and policy-makers.
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