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CREES Noon Lecture. “The First Free Post-Soviet Generation: Youth in Russia, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan.”

Wednesday, November 9, 2011
12:00 AM
1636 International Institute/SSWB, 1080 S. University

Nadia Diuk, vice president, programs for Europe and Eurasia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, National Endowment for Democracy. <br> <br> Sponsors: CREES, Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies. <br> <br>

It is twenty years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and a new generation of young citizens is coming of age in all of the states that became independent in 1991. This talk will be based on a study of youth in three post-Soviet states—Russia, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan—and will focus on politics, identity and change with special attention to the dynamics of youth movements and leadership change. Youth movements have become an integral part of scenarios of protest leading to change in many countries. In Ukraine, youth participation in the Orange Revolution gave it its unique essence and contributed to bringing down an authoritarian government. On the other hand some youth movements, as in Russia, have supported dictatorial governments. In Azerbaijan, a rising younger generation has found its best channel of activity through the Internet. Backing up findings based on research and observation, the presenter has had access to unique polling materials conducted in all three countries among youth in 2003 and 2010, which will enrich the presentation. The talk will draw some conclusions about leadership change in these three post-Soviet states.

Nadia Diuk serves as Vice President, Programs for Europe and Eurasia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean at the National Endowment for Democracy, a private nonprofit organization funded by the U.S. Congress to strengthen democratic institutions around the world through nongovernmental efforts. For over twenty years prior to her appointment as Vice President, she supervised NED programs in what was then known as Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union—a complex region where most democrats could work only underground. She developed programs and strategies for this region through the period of the first free elections of 1989-92, up to the present time of the transitions to independence in the new states of Eurasia as well as assisting those democrats who continue to work in authoritarian countries in that region.

Prior to her appointment at the NED she taught Soviet Politics and Russian History at Oxford University; was a research associate at the Society for Central Asian Studies, United Kingdom; and editor-in-chief of the London-based publication Soviet Nationality Survey. Her publications include two co-authored books, The Hidden Nations: The People Challenge the Soviet Union (New York: William Morrow, 1990) and New Nations Rising: The Fall of the Soviets and the Challenge of Independence (John Wiley & Sons, 1993) and articles in the Washington Post, The Washington Times, Journal of Democracy, Orbis, The World and I, Azerbaijan International, and Russian Journal of Public Opinion. She has appeared on CNN International, National Empowerment TV, and Worldnet TV. Her radio interviews have included National Public Radio, BBC, Voice of America, and Radio Liberty. She has been interviewed by Russian radio and is a frequent commentator on Ukraine’s Channel 5 TV. She has given testimony on Capitol Hill before the House International Relations Committee.

Dr. Diuk is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She gained a Bachelor of Arts (with honors) in History at the University of Sussex (United Kingdom). Her Master of Philosophy in Russian and East European Studies and Doctorate (D. Phil.) in Modern History were gained at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford.