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Please join us for a talk with Nikolay Sarkisyan, PhD candidate, Department of Literature, University of Oslo, Norway and Visiting Scholar at the Harriman Institute.

Nikolay Sarkisyan will present the results of his PhD project on the formation, implementation, and decline of the politics of tolerance in Russia in 2000-2010s. In his research, he argues that the politics of tolerance became possible because the Kremlin seeking legitimacy in the eyes of the international community adopted the ideology of tolerance to handle societal diversity.

Sarkisyan examines governmental measures to promote tolerance—from legislation to work routines of the bureaucracy—and concludes that they proceeded in a ritualistic manner. In the course of the 2000s, the idea of tolerance was reduced to being instrumental for nation-building as a part of the strengthening the state. Immediate implementors had little understanding of what they were doing and why. The politics never implied the tolerance towards LGBTQI+ community. It became a target for attacks and a reason to abandon the term tolerance altogether. This talk suggests that the entire enterprise of the politics of tolerance was an ideological imitation that crumbled when confronted with domestic politics objectives and peculiarities of the governance.

Nikolay Sarkisyan is a PhD candidate at the University of Oslo (Norway). His research project focuses upon the Russian governance over societal differences. More specifically, it investigates the elaboration and the implementation of the politics of tolerance. Nikolay holds an MA in sociology from the European University at St. Petersburg (Russia) where he researched into the city’s tolerance policy. Nikolay also worked at several museums which participated in the implementation of the policy in St. Petersburg. That work has extended his expertise on the way tolerance is achieved in Russia.

Event Contact Information:
Carly Jackson
212 854 6217
crj2116@columbia.edu