Russia of 2019: Politics, Civil Society and Elites


This workshop will give a compact and versatile insight into contemporary Russian society. It will start with an overview of politics, economics and demographics, to then move on to media and civil society. The final part of the workshop will cover Russia’s elites, the impact of economic sanctions and the role of London.
Saturday, 6 April 2019, 11 am to 5 pm, Pushkin House

The first lecture will bring everybody on one level with regards to current politics, economic trends and basic demographics, including health and migration. In the workshop following the lecture we will discuss the major challenges Russia faces in the near future. The lecture after lunch will raise issues around Russia’s civil society and the state of the media, again followed by group discussions. The third and last section will revolve around Russia’s political and economic elites, the impact future sanctions might have on them and the possible scenarios their for their children. In this last part we will also consider the role London and Russians in London with a glance into the future.

Workshop format: The day will be split into three parts, each of which sill start with a 30-minute lecture. The format will be flexible enough to adapt to participants’ specific interests and wishes, such as longer plenum discussions, clarifying questions and the ad-hoc inclusion of additional material.

Who is this workshop is suitable for: This workshop is open to everyone with an interest and desire to learn more. No previous skills, knowledge or experience is required.

Recommended reading or viewing: None. All the materials will be provided on the day.

Refreshments: Tea and biscuits will be provided at the start of the workshop. Participants should make their own lunch arrangements.

Elisabeth is currently a Lecturer in Sociology and Policy at Aston University, Birmingham. Prior to that, she taught at a number of other universities in the UK (University College London, Liverpool University, Brunel University, University of Westminster), primarily in the field of Russian and Soviet politics and history. Her research focuses on elites, philanthropy and social inequality as well as questions around post-Socialist media and self-censorship. She is the author of Rich Russians: From Oligarchs to Bourgeoisie. The lives of wealthy people have long held an allure to many, but the lives of wealthy Russians pose a particular fascination which the book grapples with. Having achieved their riches over the course of a single generation, the top 0.1 percent of Russian society have become known for ostentatious lifestyles and tastes. A book on the media elite in Russia, co-authored with Ilya Yablokov, is in the pipeline.

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Elisabeth Schimpfoessl

About Elisabeth Schimpfössl

My research focuses on elites, philanthropy and social inequality as well as questions around post-Socialist media and self-censorship. I did my PhD at the University of Manchester and taught at Liverpool University, Brunel and UCL before taking up my current post as Lecturer in Sociology and Policy at Aston University, Birmingham, UK. I live in London.