Introduction

Roman Koropeckyj

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Volume Four, 2011-2012

Sanction Effectiveness: A Case Study of the Former Yugoslavia

Sanctions as an instrument of foreign policy aim at avoiding military engagement. Yet, whether the imposition of economic and political costs results in the foreign policy goals being pursued is an under studied area. Despite its importance, the effect of sanctions beyond the time that they are imposed is not addressed in sanction literature. This study explores the effectiveness and theoretical basis for the use of sanctions by analyzing the case of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY: Serb

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    Sanctions as an instrument of foreign policy aim at avoiding military engagement. Yet, whether the imposition of economic and political costs results in the foreign policy goals being pursued is an under studied area. Despite its importance, the effect of sanctions beyond the time that they are imposed is not addressed in sanction literature. This study explores the effectiveness and theoretical basis for the use of sanctions by analyzing the case of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY: Serbia and Montenegro) and the long-term effects of these sanctions. Although quantitative studies analyzing sanctions’ effectiveness exist, methodological questions have been raised regarding the causal logic and empirical evidence used.

    The current study analyzes the assumptions made in modern literature on sanctions and the validity of many of these findings. In the analysis of the case of the FRY, evidence is drawn from economic data, public opinion surveys, elite struggle, and covert trade and financial assistance to illustrate the unforeseen problems affecting the use of sanctions, providing an important example of the inner workings of the mechanism of sanction effectiveness missing from aggregate research.
     
    This study will argue that economic sanctions are not of significant utility in the foreign policy arena and cannot be used with confidence. Although the economic sanctions in the FRY negatively impacted the economy, they did not decisively contribute to ending the war in Bosnia or removing President Slobodan Milosevic from power. In actuality, shifts in regime policy occurred after the threat or use of NATO force and public approval of the Milosevic regime remained stable regardless of the financial costs incurred. However, the imposition of sanctions established an opportunity structure for financial gain based on sanction evasion, which led to the rapid expansion of the shadow economy and entrenched deep ties between the political and criminal elite. The effects of sanctions on the FRY have long outlasted the sanction episode itself as Serbia and Montenegro continues to struggle with the economic, political, and social effects of sanctions almost two decades after their removal.   

     

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Analyzing Dmitry Medvedev’s Use of the Internet as a Political Medium

Alyssa Marie Haerle, University of California, Los Angeles

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    Since taking office in 2008, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has attempted to modernize his domestic and international image by way of the Internet. Following the example of U.S. President Barack Obama, Medvedev and many other world leaders and politicians have started creating official presences on the Internet, using personal websites and social networking accounts to present an image of themselves that appeals to a wider, younger audience. For Medvedev, this campaign has become the principal way of differentiating himself from Vladimir Putin, and a key means of reaching out to Western politicians, businesses, and investors. Moreover, Medvedev has suggested that the Internet could provide a control on corruption and offer a more direct democracy to Russian citizens. In this article, I will explore the different ways in which Medvedev has used the Internet and social networks, including his official website, his official blog, his Livejournal blog, his Youtube channel, his Twitter miniblog, and the online forums on new Russian laws. I will analyze the extent to which they have contributed to his image in the eyes of Russians and the West while exploring them as viable means for promoting direct democracy and a tool to fight corruption.

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The Portrayal of Women in Russian Cinema Today: Some Preliminary Observations

Fiona Hay, University of California, Los Angeles

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    The socio-economic changes in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 have been radical. As a result of this social upheaval, the traditional roles for women have come under extreme pressure. Cinematic storytelling of the last twenty years has attempted to come to terms with these changing roles. The shift to a market economy was accompanied by "calls for more rigid gender roles and a more determined process of gender socialization… [and] cinema has again reflected these concerns," (Attwood 363-364). Although by law equal in the right to work, women have traditionally not been equal at home. This is a function of Russia's historically patriarchal society, in which women are subjected to the rule of the husband or the eldest male in the family. As we see in <i>Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears</i> (1980), traditional family roles were already under threat in the early 1980s, but the questioning of gender roles became an even more prominent theme in such later films as <i>Little Vera</i> (1988) and <i>Intergirl</i> (1989). After the fall of communism, unemployment disproportionately affected women versus men. The fall led to the entry of large numbers of highly educated women from Russia and Eastern Europe into the sex industry abroad (Hughes 214). Ideas of post-Soviet femininity–including the traditional role of wife and mother, and the prostitute or femme fatale–continued to be explored in Russian cinema after the fall of communism. This paper will examine the portrayal of these two versions of Russian femininity in a cross-section of cinematic works from the 1980s to the 2000s, and will speculate whether there is a possible middle ground in contemporary cinema between the two portrayals.

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Russian Masculinity: How Russian Blockbusters Have Shaped Perceptions of Masculinity in the Past Two Decades

Sydney Heller, University of California, Los Angeles

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    The Russian Federation underwent drastic social changes both under Boris Yeltsin in the late nineties and Vladimir Putin in the new millennium. Three film directors, Aleksei Balabanov, Fyodor Bondarchuk, and Andrei Kravchuk, responded to these changes—the economic decline, the increase in criminal activity, the restoration of stability, and the hope that Putin brought to Russia—in four films: Brother (1997), Brother 2 (2000), 9th Company (2005), and Admiral (2008). Balabanov presents a society permeated by greed and criminality in Brother and Brother 2. The masculine protagonist, Danila, takes both the law and his life into his own hands as a member of an underground criminal organization. However, as the Russian Federation entered the 21st Century, societal changes brought about altered perceptions of masculinity in Bondarchuk’s 9th Company and Kravchuk’s Admiral. National security and social order had been restored under the new president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin. As a result, their protagonists derive their sense of masculinity through means other than those utilized by Danila in Brother and Brother 2. Balabanov’s ideal of Russian masculinity is founded on criminal prowess and vigilantism, while Bondarchuk and Kravchuk portray patriotic, self-sacrificing men as their archetypal masculine image. These four films epitomize the shifts in societal perceptions of masculinity as the Russian Federation transitioned from the 1990s to the 2000s.

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Onward into Space!

Matthew Honea, University of California, Santa Barbara

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    How exactly does one go about developing a science of rockets? Humans have long envisioned space exploration, but technology did not catch up with these dreams until the late 1950s. The Soviet space program was the best in the world during this time. One of its signature achievements was the development of new equations that led to modern rocketry. Imagine trying to create a flying object more powerful than man has ever known and then putting a human being inside it. The Soviets managed to gather enough resources and skilled scientists to build a rocket that weighed five tons and traveled over seven thousand miles in ninety minutes. The idea of space flight was transformed from a theoretical idea into a reality. The program, however, was not without hardships exacerbated by mounting pressure from the United States in the space race. In the following paper, I explore the foundational experiments that culminated in the launching of Yuri Gagarin into space and detail the discovery of a completely new branch of science—rocketry.

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Winnie the Pooh and Vinni-Pukh: An Animated Comparison

Mariya Krivoruchko, University of California, Los Angeles

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    Although the popular story of a plush bear who mumbles nonsense is similar in both the American and Soviet versions of A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh, the aesthetics of the animation – as well as the political and cultural context that conditioned them – are completely different. The Russian Winnie the Pooh, Vinni-pukh (1969), and its two sequels, Vinni-pukh idet v gosti (1971), and Vinni-pukh i den’ zabot (1972), are minimalistic in their lack of color, musical complexity, and general grandeur. Disney’s Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966) and Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968), however, are full of complex orchestration, vivid color, detail, and rapid movement. This paper examines the differences between the two cartoon versions in terms of their broader cultural contexts and examines why the same story could have been portrayed in such wildly different manners.

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Dostoevsky’s Egoism of Tyranny in Petrushevskaia’s “Our Circle”

Coral Marshall, University of California, Los Angeles

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    Liudmila Petrushevskaia is one of Russia’s most widely read postmodern authors. Her works include many intertextual references to Fyodor Dostoevsky’s most influential novels and novellas. Petrushevskaia’s short story “Svoi krug” (“Our Circle”) draws on Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground in its inclusion of a nameless narrator (here a woman) who tyrannizes other characters by enfolding them in her web of self-absorption and spite. The resemblance between the two doesn’t end with their actions, but also extends to their speech; the opening of Petrushevskaia’s story closely resembles the first sentences Notes from the Underground. Both narrators speak from the first person and describe themselves in a decidedly unflattering light. Petrushevskaia also makes use of Dostoevsky’s theory of the egoism of suffering from The Insulted and The Injured. Her narrator too thrives on negative attention from her friends. This paper explores how Petrushevskaia’s narrator functions as a postmodern female version of the tyrannical, victimizing, and egotistical Underground Man.

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A Mere Exposure: Life, Freedom, and Morality in Lev Tolstoy’s The Cossacks and Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground

Karen McIlhargey, University of California, Los Angeles

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     “A Mere Exposure: Life, Freedom, and Morality in Lev Tolstoy’s The Cossacks and Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground

    Two prominent Russian authors emerged during the nineteenth century, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Lev Tolstoy, both of whom confronted the major moral issues of their time and called for social change within the imperial system. Dostoevsky focuses on the tumultuous inner life of a failed Petersburg bureaucrat in his novella The Underground Man. His self-absorbed, even solipsistic narrator claims that separation from the outside world has allowed him to define himself as an individual apart from the influence of others. In The Cossacks, Tolstoy juxtaposes imperial Russia and the exotic culture of the Caucasus. He inquires into the meaning of life by confronting the issue of morality and the lack thereof in Russian society. This paper explores how each author advocated change in their society by exposing the emptiness of the life of the Russian bourgeoisie. The paper highlights the different answers that each author offers to the problem of imperial Russia’s frivolity: separation and internal quest.

     

     

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Perusing the Mazurka in Society, Literature, and Music

Allen Wang, University of California, San Diego

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     Those who have seen Tchaikovsky’s most famous ballet, Swan Lake, have seen and heard the performance of the mazurka. The mazurka is an attractive Polish dance that had a wide impact on society, literature, and music in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This paper is divided into two parts. The first part will introduce the term “mazurka” and trace the origins of the dance. It will cover details such as who performed it, where it came from, the different forms that it took, and ultimately how the mazurka became a part of nineteenth century Russian society. It will also compare and contrast the numerous differences between the Russian and Polish incarnations of the dance. The second part of the paper will discuss representations of the mazurka in nineteenth century Russian literature. It will explore the mazurka’s symbolic significance in works by Katerina Pavlova, Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Turgenev. To conclude, the paper will discuss the mazurka from a musical perspective and provide a glimpse of the modern form of the dance.

     

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Slavic Paganism

Irina Yakubin and Mariya Gershkovich, University of California, Los Angeles

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                    Religion has played a major part in Slavic history and its effects, both positive and negative, are still felt today. When Prince Vladimir chose to accept Byzantine Christianity, many of his subjects were not eager to accept a new religion. In fact, records show that many people remained pagan as late as the twelfth century. This article goes back to the nascent Kievan Rus to explore the transition from the Slavic pagan religion to Christianity and explores the various ways that Christianity was adapted to local pagan beliefs.

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The Internet in Belarus: Hopes and Realities

Anthony Vasquez, Stanford University

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    The U.S. Department of State has labeled Belarus Europe’s last outpost of tyranny. In the years since its independence from the Soviet Union, its political organization has been characterized by authoritarian rule and repression of opposition groups. This paper examines how the increased use of the Internet and other communications technologies, which in theory would facilitate political organization for dissident groups, has impacted recent developments in Belarusian politics. Political organization in cyberspace is not a panacea to the repression of dissidents. Challenges present themselves as the government exerts control over the means of electronic communication and prosecutes reporters who cover topics unfriendly to the ruling regime. Furthermore, opposition groups have disparate goals, and at this point the regime has support from large swathes of the population.

     

    Authoritarian regimes may see online organization as a challenge to their rule, but use of the Internet may also offer an opportunity to consolidate control. This paper looks into the role of the Internet in Belarus in connection with the prospects for a transition to democracy. Any significant change will start at the grassroots level and will be contingent on a variety of domestic and foreign factors. Online organization may play a role, but real democratization will be the product of the people’s desire for a freer society. Until leaders in a government are convinced that this change is good for the nation as a whole, democratization will be slow.

     

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Russian Immigrants in the United States of America

Anna Zvansky, University of California, Los Angeles

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    America has always been a country comprised of immigrants, many of Russian descent. The first Russians to arrive in America stepped ashore in Alaska in 1741. Most were fur-traders and religious crusaders who hailed from Siberia. In June of 1799, Emperor Paul I founded the Russian American Trading Company to enhance trading relations and facilitate the growth and expansion of the Russian colonies in America. The company played a major role in establishing Fort Ross, the western tip of the early Russian colonies. The fort did not prove profitable, however, and was soon sold to Mexico. Shortly after, Alaska was sold to America for a mere 7.2 million dollars. A Russian presence in the United States continued as waves of immigrants left their native lands in the twentieth century due to religious and political persecution as well as economic troubles. This overview of Russian immigration to America between the years of 1741 and 2000 will detail the many reasons immigrants chose to leave Russia behind and make the lengthy journey to America to start new lives. It will attempt to show what life was like for them and how they made lasting contributions to American culture.

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