Dueling Humanitarianisms: Russia, Crimea, and Global Norms

Lecture by Betcy Jose and Christoph Stefes at PRIF on the contestation of humanitarian norms

More recently, scholars have paid more attention to how powerful autocratic regimes such as China and Russia have seemingly challenged democracies, emerging as potential contesters of international norms. What might be the outcome of this contestation? This lecture broadly explores this query by investigating Russia's humanitarian justifications for its Crimean incursion. It examines whether Russia's claim of humanitarian intervention is more than a clever attempt to disguise pure power politics. Is Russia contesting dominant understandings of humanitarian interventions in order to reshape our ideas of permissible violations of sovereignty norms to protect vulnerable populations? Using Atlas.ti, we also explore global responses to Russia's humanitarian claims. Our initial findings indicate that the Crimean intervention enabled Russia to contest Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and to champion an alternative version of humanitarian intervention.

Public lecture: "Dueling Humanitarianisms: Russia, Crimea, and Global Norms"

When: Wednesday, March 13 2019, 14h
Where: PRIF, Baseler Straße 27-31, 60329 Frankfurt am Main

The speakers:

  • Betcy Jose is an Associate Professor in the political science department at the University of Colorado Denver and research fellow at the Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders" at Frankfurt University. Relying on her law degree and PhD, she studies human security, global norms, and international humanitarian law. Her current projects explore how civilians protect themselves in war, the emergence of illiberal norms and their suppression using the practice of targeted killings as a case study, and contestation in the norm of humanitarian intervention.
  • Christoph Stefes is Professor for political science at the University of Colorado Denver. His areas of specialty are political development (authoritarianism and democratization) with a regional focus on the former Soviet Union, esp. the South Caucasus and Central Asia. He has done research on corruption and informal institutions. He also teaches courses on European governments and European integration/EU studies. Finally, Dr. Stefes works on the political of renewable energy in Germany and the United States.

The lecture is jointly organized by PRIF and the Cluster of Excellence “The Formation of Normative Orders” at Frankfurt University.