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The International Foundations of Russian Gay Communities and Civil Society

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Civil society, when taken as a whole, is a complex phenomenon that incorporates several movements and can be accompanied with international support. For instance in 1987, 40 NGOs (non-governmental organizations) were registered by the government, and within 25 years, the

Civil society, when taken as a whole, is a complex phenomenon that incorporates several movements and can be accompanied with international support. For instance in 1987, 40 NGOs (non-governmental organizations) were registered by the government, and within 25 years, the number has increased to 300,000 in the present day Russian Federation. These numbers only include registered organizations, and do not count unregistered organizations, as approved under article 3 "Public organizations...can function without state registration and acquiring of the rights of registered legal body," or organizations that have been refused registration, such as the "Marriage Equality Russia" NGO that was denied registration in 2010. Thus the total amount of NGOs is significantly higher than 300,000. Every one of these NGOs "contribute to Russia‘s economic, political and social life in numerous ways and provide opportunities for citizens to help create better communities and elevate their voices" ("USAID in Russia"). With hundreds of thousands of organizations attempting to make a better society, they are creating a Russian civil society, one that could use the experience of countries with already well-established civil societies (Walzer). Walzer, however, notes the importance for civil society of political engagement with the state (317). In this thesis, I argue that the LGBT movement in Russia today has set an important example for other groups in civil society through its willingness to take on the Russian state through demonstrations and to use the state through the EU Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

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2012-12

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The Internet and Ethnic Riots

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In this dissertation i argue that the internet has a positive impact on the likelihood of ethnic riots. To make this argument I put forward three major claims. First, ethnic riots are best understood as performances that aim to clarify

In this dissertation i argue that the internet has a positive impact on the likelihood of ethnic riots. To make this argument I put forward three major claims. First, ethnic riots are best understood as performances that aim to clarify ambiguities in the social order. Second, communication technologies structurally constrain the flow of information passing through them. Third, the internet is unique among modern Information Communication Technologies in its capacity for inducing ethnic riots. I provide two types of empirical evidence to support these claims: a cross-national analysis of internet penetration and a case study of India. The former provides evidence for the central claim, finding that the internet has a positive effect on the likelihood of ethnic conflict after a threshold of internet penetration is met. The latter sketches the limits of the proposed theory, finding that internet penetration decreased the likelihood of ethnic riots in India. I argue this is a result of welfare contextualization of the internet.

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2020