On Thursday, 16 February, Dr Maria Mälksoo from the University of Kent Brussels School of International Studies is giving a public lecture at the University of Tartu titled ‘The Problem of Ontological Security: Linking Russia’s Transitional Justice and Foreign Policies’.
What are the implications of Russia’s political handling of its communist past for its international behaviour? The lecture conceptualises the link between a state’s transitional justice and foreign policies. It outlines an analytical framework for studying the proposed nexus systematically, highlighting a state’s search for a continuous and stable ‘self’ in international politics.
Dr Mälksoo argues that ontological security-seeking, or a search for a continuous sense of self, is crucial for understanding the linkages between Russia’s way of handling its communist past and its engagement with the neighbours and world at large in the post-Soviet era. Russia’s idiosyncratic approach to transitional justice is a necessary but insufficient condition for explaining the country’s post-Soviet foreign policy dynamics. The lecture sketches two basic ways of pursuing the politics of truth and justice-seeking in ‘transition states’, distinguishing between reflective and mnemonic security-oriented approaches, with various implications for states’ proneness for either cooperation or conflict.
Dr Maria Mälksoo is Senior Lecturer in International Security at the Brussels School of International Studies, University of Kent at Brussels where she currently convenes the MA programme in International Conflict and Security. She earned her PhD in International Studies from the University of Cambridge with a dissertation on the Polish and Baltic post-Cold War politics of becoming European. In 2010-2016, she worked as Senior Researcher in International Relations at the University of Tartu. She has been a visiting fellow at the Centre for International Studies, London School of Economics and Political Science (2015), Kone Foundation Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (2012), Mobilitas post-doctoral fellow at the Institute of Government and Politics, University of Tartu (2010-2014), and a member of the HERA-funded international collaborative project Memory at War: Cultural Dynamics in Russia, Poland, and Ukraine (2010-2013). She has policy experience from the Estonian Ministry of Defence, International Centre for Defence Studies in Tallinn, and the Office of the President of Estonia. See more at: https://www.kent.ac.uk/brussels/staff/profiles/brussels/malksoo.html
The lecture takes place on 16 February at 16.15 in the UT Social Sciences building, Lossi 36-214, Tartu, Estonia.
The lecture is organized in the framework of the project “Building Research Excellence in Russian and East European Studies at the Universities of Tartu, Uppsala and Kent” (UPTAKE), funded from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
Research Communication Specialist
Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies
University of Tartu