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          Network Research and Conferences

          One of our major tasks is to help young Russian academics and junior university faculty to establish bonds among themselves as well as with Moscow-based institutions and experts involved in policy making. The Forum welcomes and promotes any effort at information exchange and serves as a point of reference for those seeking advice or supervision in the writing of dissertations or research papers. The Forum has always been active in recommending doctoral candidates to potential dissertation reviewers. In 2002-2005, Forum staff members acted as official discussants of 8 doctoral (Cand.Sci.) dissertations and reviewed over 10 dissertations.

Network research activities

          The Forum supports collaborative teams working on one to two-years research projects addressing various theoretical and applied issues in international relations. The goal of such projects is to give talented young scholars and analysts an opportunity to present themselves to the broad audience of leading Russian and international experts.

          The Forum provides one-year modest research for support to core members of collaborative teams and advises them on potential editors of their research papers. These papers are then published by the Forum in Moscow and distributed among interested experts and policy makers.

          The first Forums network project on Russia Central Asia: Ethnic Tensions and Security was carried out in 2001 and resulted in a collection of papers published in Barnaul. The collaborative team included scholars and practitioners from Barnaul, Tomsk, Irkutsk, Almaty (Kazakhstan), and Moscow.

          In 2002, a Forum-sponsored collaborative research team headed by Dr. Sergey Golunov (Volgograd State University) and Dr. Leonid Vardomsky (Institute for International Economic and Political Studies, Moscow) accomplished a network research project on Security and Trans-Border Cooperation in Russias New Borderlands. The major achievement of this project is a collective monograph published by the Forum in 2002

          Two new network research projects on Ethno-Political Aspects of Security in the Areas of Latent Conflict and Potential Tension in the Caucasus and Siberia and Empires in the 20th Century History were launched in 2003-2004. Their final results appeared as collective monographs in 2005.

Conferences and Workshops

          Over the last three years, the Forum held a number of major conferences and workshops.

          How We Think and What We Write about America? Moscow, November 23, 2006

          This workshop inaugurated the Forum's Debating America seminar series. It addressed American and Russian mutual perceptions and misperceptions. The workshop gathered over twenty prominent experts on US culture, politics and foreign policy from Moscow, St. Petersburg and Nizhny Novgorod as well as representatives of the MacArthur Foundation's Moscow Office and U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Participants discussed the role of stereotypes and propagandistic motives in the Russian studies of America.

          "Russia in the New Political Environment of Eurasia", Moscow, 26-27 May 2005

          The conference was held to mark the 10th anniversary of Forum's Methodological Institute of International Relations Project. This event gather the brightest of Forum's alumni and prominent Russian experts on international security, conflict studies, U.S. and Russian foreign policy, and European integration. Participants discussed current trends in Russian and U.S. foreign policy, the development of ethno-political conflicts across the post-Soviet space, issues in Russia's regional cooperation with the European Union. Two new Forum's network research projects, directed by leading Moscow-based experts, were launched at the conference by collaborative research groups of Forum's alumni.

          Ethno-Political Aspects of Security in the Areas of Latent Conflict and Potential Tension in the Caucasus and Siberia, Krasnodar, October 2003

          The international workshop was organized by the Forum with financial support from NATO Information Office in Moscow and hosted by Kuban State University in the South Russian city of Krasnodar. It was attended by experts on ethnicity and security from Moscow, Krasnodar, Stavropol, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Barnaul, Novosibirsk, Rostov and London. The workshop addressed ethnic conflict, trade, migration, and diasporas as factors affecting security in the border areas of Russia and countries along its southern flank. It analyzed current Russian and Western policies toward the Caucasus and Central Asia and their implications for regional security. Participants also discussed scenarios of political upheaval in the states of these two regions and the impact of such events as happened in Georgia in November-December 2003 on the emerging security architecture in the Caucasus.
          In Krasnodar, the Forum launched a network research project to be accomplished in 2004 which explored in a comparative case-study manner the ethnic challenges to security and trans border cooperation that have emerged over the last decade in the Caucasus and Siberia.
          A comprehensive report on the Krasnodar workshop appeared in the Winter 2003 (Vol. 1, 3) issue of the International Trends journal.

          Russias Relations with the EU Countries and the United States and the Challenge of Iraq, Kaliningrad, June 2003

          The seminar took place in one the European problem spots Russias Kaliningrad oblast enclave which now finds itself surrounded by EU member countries. The seminar was supported financially by the ISE-Center (Moscow) and logistically by Kaliningrad State University. The main objective of the seminar was to find out whether the differences over Iraq had led to major shifts in the Russian, EU and U.S. strategies toward one another. The seminar also discussed the ways to integrate Kaliningrad region into the economy of an expanding European Union while ensuring that the oblast remains part of the Russian Federation.
          Among seminar participants were leading Moscow-based analysts specializing on the problem of Kaliningrad, representatives of the local authorities NGOs and Kaliningrad State University. The conclusion from the seminar discussion was that the policy on Kaliningrad developed by the Russian Federation was lacking coherence and adequate understanding of the local needs, while the European Union had clearly demonstrated an inflexible stance on Kaliningrad forcing Poland and Lithuania to build additional barriers to Kaliningrads trade with Europe.

          North European Regional Integration: The Challenges and Prospective Agenda, Moscow, May 2003

          The conference was organized by Academic Educational Forum on International Relations and Danish Atlantic Treaty Association with financial support from the NATO Information Office in Moscow. It brought together major experts on international relations, North-European politics and economy, members of parliament, ranking government officials and representatives of non-governmental organizations from Russia, the United States, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania and NATO. The conference made a step forward in reaching a consensus on the current agenda for Northern Europe and ways to overcome such challenges as the status of Kaliningrad oblast as a Russian enclave within the enlarging European Union; the rights of Russian-speaking minorities in Latvia and Estonia; transit of energy resources across the Baltic Sea; Russian concerns over NATO and EU enlargements to the Baltic States, etc.
          The Forum-published journal International Trends provided a detailed report on the conference and an analysis of conference discussion and conclusions.

          Sixth Interregional Curriculum Development Workshop on International Relations and Security, Ufa, October 2002

          The workshop was organized by the Forum in cooperation with OSI-Russia and the School of Law of Bashkir State University. It addressed curriculum development in the field of international relations and security at the newly established regional schools and departments of international relations and political science. The workshop was attended by department heads and leading faculty members from Tomsk, Ufa, Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod, Irkutsk, Kazan, Vladivostok, Voronezh, St. Petersburg and Moscow. New schools and departments of international relations in Russia tend to put the neighboring states and regions Central Asia for Barnaul, Caspian Sea for Volgograd, China, Mongolia, Japan and the Koreas for Irkutsk and Vladivostok at the core of their research and teaching activities. Therefore, the workshop put a special emphasis on working out optimal geographic research and curricula focuses for Russian regional universities.

          Russias Western Siberia Central Asia: New Regional Identity, Economy and Security, Belokurikha (Altai region), May 2002

          The Forum contributed to the international conference on Russias Western Siberia Central Asia: New Regional Identity, Economy and Security organized cooperatively by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (London), Altai State University (Barnaul) and the Forum at the Altai resort town of Belokurikha in May 2002. The Forum brought to speak at Belokurikha a number of prominent experts on Central Asia and Siberia.

 
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Academic Educational Forum on International Relations, 2002-2007
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