25 марта 2016
The End of the Cold War and the World Today. International conference.
The Gorbachev Foundation held The End of the Cold War and the World Today international conference. The conference was organised as part of the ongoing Gorbachev Readings project and attended by researchers, experts, journalists, and undergraduate and post-graduate students of Russian State University for the Humanities and Moscow State University’s Moscow School of Economics.
Speakers at the First Session, “The End of the Cold War: Contemporary Views”, included Vasily Zharkov (Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences) and Mary Elise Sarotte (Harvard University, USA).
In his presentation, “A new world disorder? The end of the Cold War as seen by politicians and experts”, Vasily Zharkov looked at the key approaches used in contemporary political science to analyse the Cold War’s events and consequences. The researcher showed that concepts and interpretations have been changing starting from 1990s, with new concepts often dismissing the previous ones. This evolution was due not just to new evidence and archival materials coming to light, but also because the political optics of both eye-witness participants in the events and researchers themselves have been changing. Among other inputs, the presentation used the materials of the Gorbachev Foundation’s project An Oral History of the Termination of the Cold War.
In her presentation, “1989 and the struggle to create Post-Cold War Europe”, Mary Elise Sarotte presented a concept of how the European order was taking shape over the past 25 years, based on the analysis of vast amounts of data researched in Russian, German and US archives. This concept was detailed and substantiated in Mary Elise Sarotte’s book 1989: The Struggle to Create Post-Cold War Europe, Princeton University Press, 2009.
Speakers at the Second Session, “The World after the Cold War” included Sergey Utkin (Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), the Russian Academy of Sciences) and Sabine Fischer (Stiftung Wissenschaft, Germany).
In his presentation, “Post-Soviet ressentiment and political responsibility”, Sergey Utkin looked at how the emotional experiences of the events that took place in the late 1980s–early 1990s shaped the peculiar outlooks and behaviours of contemporary Russian political elites.
Sabine Fischer’s presentation, “German-Russian relations: from Ostpolitik to sanctions” focused on the evolution of relations between Russia and Germany since 1990s and how they changed over time. The researcher highlighted the impacts that misunderstandings and misinterpretations on both sides have had on the bilateral relations.
Presentations and discussion were continued at the Round Table Challenges for 21st-Century Political Leaders – New Thinking in a New Environment?, which took place as part of the conference.
The discussion focused on the following themes:
1. In what ways does the world today differ from what it was at the end of the Cold War?
2. What is special about the new challenges to the world order that emerged in the 21st century?
3. What a modern-day version of New Thinking for the world could look like?
Speakers at the Round Table discussion included: Vladimir Bezborodov, Tatiana Weiser (Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences), Arkady Dubnov (Daily Journal), Vasily Zharkov (Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, MSU), Igor Zadorin (ADAPT (ZIRCON Research Group)), Olga Zdravomyslova (the Gorbachev Foundation), Viktor Kuvaldin (Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, MSU), Sergey Lukashevsky (Sakharov Centre), Mikhail Nemtsov (Novosibirsk State University of Economics and Management), Olga Pavlenko (Russian State University for the Humanities), Pavel Palazhchenko (the Gorbachev Foundation), Andrei Ryabov (the Gorbachev Foundation), Mary Elise Sarotte (Harvard University, USA), Sergey Utkin (IMEMO RAS), Sabine Fischer (Stiftung Wissenschaft, Germany).
Co-hosting the Round Table were Andrei Ryabov and Olga Zdravomyslova (the Gorbachev Foundation).
The summary of the discussion, presentation texts and the event’s podcast will be made available on the Gorbachev Foundation’s website.
Video recording of the conference: http://www.a-z.ru/gorby/2016_1/t1.htm