oDR

Which way?

‘NGO’ has become a dirty word in Russia. The organisations most committed to helping Russia develop a meaningful civil society have become pariahs, branded as ‘foreign agents.’ Under the tightened screws, we are asking the question: ‘Do NGOs in Russia have any future?’

Tanya Lokshina
29 July 2013

The ongoing crackdown on fundamental freedoms in Russia poses existential questions for Russian civil society. Since Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin, a stream of repressive laws have been passed, giving the authorities expanded, and often abusive, powers to penalize NGOs involved in advocacy activities.

Are we witnessing the demise of Russian civil society? What would happen if, like in Belarus, NGOs are no longer able to operate openly and freely? What, then, is the future for rights groups and activists, the most vocal and consistent critics of Russia’s domestic human rights violations?

With Russia now experiencing more political turbulence, as guest editors of OD Russia’s series “Under the tightened screw,” we believe it essential to raise these issues. We asked five leaders of prominent Russian NGOs to share their personal stories, experiences and expectations.

Can there be a green populist project on the Left?

Many on the Left want to return to a politics based on class, not populism. They point to Left populist parties not reaching their goals. But Chantal Mouffe argues that as the COVID-19 pandemic has put the need for protection from harm at the top of the agenda, a Left populist strategy is now more relevant than ever.

Is this an opportunity for a realignment around a green democratic transformation?

Join us for a free live discussion on Thursday 22 October, 5pm UK time/12pm EDT.

Hear from:

Paolo Gerbaudo Sociologist and political theorist, director of the Centre for Digital Culture at King’s College London and author of ‘The Mask and the Flag: Populism and Global Protest’ and ‘The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy’, and of the forthcoming ‘The Great Recoil: Politics After Populism and Pandemic’.

Chantal Mouffe Emeritus Professor of Political Theory at the University of Westminster in London. Her most recent books are ‘Agonistics. Thinking the World Politically’, ‘Podemos. In the Name of the People’ and ‘For a Left Populism’.

Spyros A. Sofos Researcher and research coordinator at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University and author of ‘Nation and Identity in Contemporary Europe’, ‘Tormented by History’ and ‘Islam in Europe: Public Spaces and Civic Networks'.

Chair: Walid el Houri Researcher, journalist and filmmaker based between Berlin and Beirut. He is partnerships editor at openDemocracy and lead editor of its North Africa, West Asia project.

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