Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies
Arctic Research Coordination Network: Building a Research Network for Promoting Arctic Urban Sustainability
What is Urban Sustainabiity?
The National Environmental Policy Act defines sustainability as "creating and maintaining conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony for present and future generations." This approach focuses on three key pillars: ecological integrity, economic development, and socialy equity. Our efforts will focus on the way that climate change affects urban development in the Russian Arctic, the way that resource development (as directed by the Russian state) shapes the cities, and how demographic and migration trends influence the social fabric of Russian cities.
For this research project, the unit of analysis is the city. Naturally, sustainability can mean different things at the level of the individual, the country and the planet. Focusing on the individual would be too complicated in this context because of the difficulty in obtaining data, while work at the level of the country or internationally is too broad to understand the actual workings of the human impact on the environment. The city, along with associated oil and gas fields, mines, ports, and other industries, makes the most sense because it is the main site of human-environment interaction in the Arctic. Unfortunately, state of the art works on urban sustainability "sometimes fail to recognize urban areas as systems" (Schaffer & Vollmer, 2010). The problem is that human-environment interactions at the urban level are extremely complex and often researchers and policy-makers do not fully understand them. Given the complex nature of the problems, the set of policy solutions will be constantly evolving over time.
As we take our research further we want to explore the influence of social capital on sustainability in cities. The term "social capital" refers to the stock of trust, mutual understanding, shared values, and socially held knowledge that facilitates the social coordination of economic activity. Recognition of this concept is fairly recent, and has been strengthened by the observation that variations in social capital across communities and societies can help explain some of the differences in their development. Social capital is most often used to refer to characteristics of a society that encourage cooperation among groups of people whose joint, interdependent efforts are needed to achieve common goals such as efficient production. Studies suggest that strong norms of reciprocity lead people to trust and to help one another and that dense networks of civic participation encourage people to engage in mutually beneficial efforts rather than seeking only to gain individual advantage at the possible expense of others. (Goodwin, 2003)
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Professor Robert Orttung quoted in Bloomberg article on 7/24 about recent Russian actions in Crimea.
Professor Harris Mylonas writes article in Foreign Affairs entitled "The Agreement that could Break Europe: Euroskeptics, Eurocritics, and Life after the Bailout."
Professor Harris Mylonas interviewed by TV2 Africa about Greece's recent 'no' vote.
Professor Marlene Laruelle writes an article on Kazakhstan's World Religion Congress for the Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog.
Professor Robert Orttung writes an article on Russia for Freedom House's annual "Nations in Transit" report.
Professor Harris Mylonas publishes a book review of Dan Lainer-Vos's Sinews of the Nation: Constructing Irish and Zionist bonds in the United States (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2013) in Nationalism and Ethnic Politics.
Professor Harris Mylonas participates in H-Diplo and International Security Studies Forum roundtable on Adria Lawrence's "Imperial Rule and the Politics of Nationalism: Anti-Colonial Protest in the French Empire." A PDF can be found here (Professor Mylonas's contribution can be found on pages 8 through 12).
Professor Robert Orttung writes op-ed "Why Autocrats Love FIFA?" for the Moscow Times.
Professor Marlene Laruelle writes paper entitled "The 'Russian World' : Russia's Soft Power and Geopolitical Imagination."
Professor Marlene Laruelle writes article on Russia's interaction with far-right European groups in the most recent Russian Analytical Digest.
Professor Henry Hale co-authors piece on Russians' opinion of Ukraine in the Washington Post's blog The Monkey Cage.
Professor Marlene Laruelle interviewed by Steppe Dipatches on Central Asian states' relations with Russia and China.
Professor Sebastien Peyrouse publishes article on Central Asian states' management of religion on Eurasianet.org.
Professor Marlene Laruelle publishes op-ed entitled "The Power of Soft Power in Kazakhstan" in the Monkey Cage blog of the Washington Post.
Professor Cory Welt is a guest editor (and co-authors the introduction) of a special issue of Problems of Post-Communism on Russian foreign policy.
Alexander Reisenbichler publishes an article on the creation of the Financial Stability Forum in the Review of International Political Economy.
Professor Kimberly Morgan and Alexander Reisenbichler (a former IERES PhD fellow) publish a chapter entitled "The German Labor Market: No Longer the Sick Man of Europe" in an e-book on the German economy. Other contributters include Peter Hall, Philippe Schmitter, and many others.
Professor Marlene Laruelle publishes article on recent presidential elections in Uzbekistan on eucentralasia.eu.
Professor Marlene Laruelle authors article on US sanctions on Alexander Dugin in Foreign Affairs.
Professor Harris Mylonas publishes article on events in Greece in 2013 in the European Journal of Political Research.
Professors Marlene Laruelle draws attention to Kazakhstan's attitude toward the Eurasian Union and Sebastien Peyrouse analyzes Kyrgyzstan's prospects for accession therein in the most recent edition of the Russian Analytical Digest.
Professor Robert Orttung quoted in an article in Vice News about online tactics used by EU, NATO, and Russia.
Professor Marlene Laruelle publishes a paper on the mythmaking of Novorossiya (available on Academia.edu).
Professor Robert Orttung and two undergraduate IERES students - Elizabeth Nelson and Anthony Livshen - write an article in the Washington Post on how Russia Today operates across different language platforms on Youtube to spread Kremlin messages about Ukraine.
Professor Eliot Sorel to lead panel on mental health in Bucharest from June 24 to June 27 as part of an international congress integrating primary care, mental care, and public health.
Professor Robert Orttung, together with students from GWU and the University of Chicago, publish an article on Russian television and the Internet.
Professor Marlene Laruelle publishes article entitled "The Ukrainian Crisis and its Impact on Transforming Russian Nationalism Landscape" in Ukraine and Russia: People, Politics, Propaganda and Perspectives
Professor Cory Welt was quoted by the Voice of America on the implications of Ukraine’s Minsk II cease-fire agreement.