Political Exiles, Transnational Repression and Global Authoritarianism in Eurasia and Beyond

Monday, May 7, 2018
1512 International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St, 15th floor)

Please join us for a workshop bringing together academics, journalists, and human rights activists for three thematic panels. Program forthcoming.

This event is supported by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. It is part of our Russian Studies & Policy event series.

As authoritarian regimes have consolidated their position in Eurasia and the Middle East, many members of the political opposition, independent media and civil society have gone into exile. But as political struggles have moved beyond borders, so too has state repression. Governments have monitored, intimidated, detained, kidnapped and assassinated activists living abroad, as well as placing pressure on them through their relatives remaining in their home country. Many of these practices are enacted through international organizations, most notably Interpol, as well as through regional organizations like the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. While these counter-exile strategies have a history dating back to the practice of ostracism in Athens in the fifth century BC, transnational repression has become more prominent in recent years. 

Discussion questions will include: How has the targeting of exiles in recent years differed from the practices adopted by previous governments? To what extent are these practices limited to authoritarian regimes? What are the similarities between the extraterritorial targeting of exiles in Eurasia and the extraordinary rendition program created by the US government as part of the War on Terror? In what ways can exiles resist being targeted? What measures can be taken to prevent organizations like Interpol against being manipulated by governments to pursue political opponents?

Participants include:

Irina Borogan (Agentura.ru)
Saipira Furstenberg (University of Exeter)
Marlies Glasius (University of Amsterdam)
John Heathershaw (University of Exeter)
Edward Lemon (Columbia University)
Dana Moss (University of Pittsburgh)
Nate Schenkkan (Freedom House)
Rebecca Shaeffer (Fair Trials International)
Andrei Soldatov (Agentura.ru)
Maran Turner (Freedom Now)