October 2013 Events

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"The Politics of Immigration Control in Russia"

Caress Schenk, Nazarbayev University


When: Thursday, October 3, 12:30pm

Where: Ogg Room, North Hall

Sponsors: The Comparative Politics Colloquium (CPC), The Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia (CREECA)


About the Lecture: This lecture is a chapter of a larger work titled The Politics of Immigration Control in Russia, which assesses the policies that regulate labor migration to Russia. Russia receives the second largest number of immigrants in the world after the United States, and the bulk of these migrants come from former Soviet countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States. In particular, migrants from the Central Asian countries of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan seek the benefits of a comparatively thriving economy in Russia, which offers higher wages and ample job opportunities as a result of a rapidly declining Russian working age population. Despite a visa-free regime among all CIS countries, Russia has become increasingly restrictive in its policies regulating migrants’ access to the labor market.  In particular, Russia instituted a quota in 2007 that regulates how many work permits will be issued in each region per year. This quota has decreased dramatically since its institution and since 2008 has stood well below the actual labor needs of the Russian economy.


The Politics of Immigration Control in Russia argues that decreased quotas and other restrictions on labor migrants are politically motivated on the part of government actors who attempt to balance popular calls for limitations on immigration against economic actors that benefit from an ample supply of inexpensive labor. The government manages the dual demands of society and economy by creating strict quotas that make it difficult for migrants to work legally. Strict quotas that do not meet labor demand act as a populist response to xenophobia, creating the perception that the government is opposed to unlimited immigration. At the same time, an insufficient number of work permits forces the majority of migrant workers into the informal sector where they become a reliable source of the cheapest possible labor.


Because quotas are initially formulated by local interdepartmental committees appointed by governors, regional elites are essential for ensuring the balance between society and economy is maintained. For this reason regional elites are key players in a patronage network that links top federal officials to political and economic elites in Russia’s regions. Regional elites produce loyalty to the regime while maintaining stability and in return benefit from both the popular appeal of strict policies and the informal status of migrants, which not only provides cheap labor for economic actors but also act as a locus for petty bribes and corruption schemes. In order to illustrate how these patronage networks vary across Russia’s regions, the following three case studies are included in the larger project. Moscow is the key migrant-receiving region in Russia and is therefore a natural focus of analysis. Krasnodar and Sverdlovsk are significant migrant destinations and have consistently had the largest quotas outside Moscow and St. Petersburg. These three regions comprise a case set with varying attitudes towards migrants, varying primary sectors of migrant employment and contrasting relationships between regional and federal elites.


Sverdlovsk’s reputation of tolerance is partially a result of long-standing governor Eduard Rossel’s (1995-2009) open orientation toward migration. When Rossel was removed and replaced with Alexander Misharin (2009-2012) there were many and frequent changes in the regional government, which showed the new governor’s lack of ability to arrange a loyal cadre around himself. At the same time Misharin’s leadership allowed an opening for corruption by the new Minister of Economics who single-handedly reduced the quota numbers and used the government migration center to run a corruption scheme involving selling documents to migrants. The Minister was removed from his position as a result of these events because the regional commission in charge of formulating quotas pressed the governor to investigate the fraudulent quota number. In Sverdlovsk, the overlap between migration civil society and actors in the interdepartmental commission is substantial, which, combined with a less reliable patronage network under Misharin, has led to a more accountable migration sphere in Sverdlovsk.

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"Chaos, Violence, Dynasty and Central Asian Society: The Untold Story"

Eric M. McGlinchey, Associate Professor of Government and Politics, George Mason University


When: Thursday, October 3, 4:00pm

Where: The Pyle Center, Room 325

Sponsors: UW Press Mellon, The Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia (CREECA)


About the Lecture: Eric McGlinchey’s Chaos, Violence, Dynasty (CVD, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011) offers an institutions-based hypothesis for diverging patterns of autocratic rule in post-Soviet Central Asia. In this talk McGlinchey reviews CVD’s thesis and then addresses what critics have suggested the book leaves underdeveloped: the role society plays in Central Asia’s protracted political transitions. Drawing on recent field research as well as three society-centered studies he conducted for the United States Agency of International Development in 2013, McGlinchey explores his book’s untold story and asks why state-society relations have proven contentious, even violent, in some Central Asian contexts and not others.


About the Speaker: Eric McGlinchey is Associate Professor of Politics and Director of Graduate Studies for George Mason University’s Department of Public and International Affairs. He is the author of Chaos, Violence, Dynasty: Politics and Islam in Central Asia (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011). McGlinchey’s areas of research include comparative politics, Central Asian regime change, political Islam, and social mobilization. His current book project focuses on peaceful and violent social protest in Central Asia. McGlinchey received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2003.


Following the Lecture

CESS 2013 Welcome Reception


Please join us from 5:30-7:30 pm on Thursday, October 3 for an opening reception for the Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS), sponsored by CREECA. The reception will be held on the Rooftop Terrace of the Pyle Center, 702 Langdon Street. In case of inclement weather, the reception will be held indoors, in the AT&T Lounge of the Pyle Center. This is a kick-off event for the 14th annual conference of the Central Eurasian Studies Society, but is open to all CREECA faculty, staff, students, and supporters.

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14th Annual Conference of the Central Eurasian Studies Society


When: October 3-6, 2013
Where: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Pyle Center


For more information, visit the conference website.

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An Evening of Film From Xinjiang

Documentaries by Director Liu Xiangchen


When: Saturday, October 5, 7:00pm

Where: The Pyle Center, Room DE 235

Sponsors: The Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia (CREECA), The Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS)


With an introduction and post-film discussion led by David Dettman, Center for East Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Guven Witteveen, Fulbright Specialist 2012, Xinjiang Normal University


The evening will include the following films:


Beside the River (60 min, 2005, in Uyghur with English subtitles)


A documentary following the challenges of daily life for members of a Uyghur family living in a remote village in the Taklamakan Desert, along the Keriya River in southern Xinjiang, China.


The Feast of Kurban Bayram (48 min, 2012, in Kyrgyz with English subtitles)


The story of hardships of a Kyrgyz family in western Xinjiang who are forced to move when a new highway is constructed and the mining industry rapidly takes over. Their problems are compounded as their traditional pasturelands become slowly flooded with the completion of a hydroelectric project.

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Information Session: Undergraduate Russian Flagship Program


When: Wednesday, October 9, 4:00pm
Where: 1322 Van Hise Hall, 1220 Linden Drive

The UW-Madison Russian Flagship Program is an innovative undergraduate program to offer highly-motivated students in any major the opportunity to reach a professional level of competence (ACTFL Superior/ILR 3) in Russian.  Scholarships are available to support overseas and intensive summer study. For more information:

Students who are interested in applying to the program or would just like to learn about it are invited to attend the information session, or to contact Karen Evans-Romaine, Russian Flagship director ( or Dianna Murphy, Russian Flagship associate director(

Upcoming application deadlines:
November 15, 2013 (Spring 2014 admission) 
March 15, 2014 (Fall 2014 admission)

The UW-Madison Russian Flagship is a collaborative initiative of the UW-Madison Department of Slavic Languages and Literature  and the Language Institute, with the Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia, and the Doctoral Program in Second Language Acquisition. The program is funded by the Language Flagship, a public/private partnership sponsored by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), U.S. Department of Defense. The content of this email does not necessarily reflect the position of policy of the U.S. government.  No official government endorsement should be inferred.  

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"Everyday Law in Russia"

Kathryn Hendley, William Voss-Bascom Professor of Law and Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison


When: Thursday, October 10, 4:00pm

Where: 206 Ingraham Hall

Sponsors: The Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia (CREECA), The Institute for Legal Studies (ILS), The Global Legal Studies Center (GLS)


About the Lecture: Much of what we think we know about Russian law centers on high-profile cases brought against political dissidents. Politics invariably trumps law in these cases. But these cases of "telephone law" are the exception, not the rule. Few ordinary Russians find themselves caught up in disputes that have political resonance. Hendley's work focuses on how law is experienced in everyday life in Russia. Over the past few years, she has conducted field research at the newly-created justice-of-the-peace courts (mirovye sudy). These courts now constitute the portal of entry to the judicial system for most cases. The ever-increasing number of cases has created challenges for judges. She looks at the operation of these courts from the point of view of both judges and litigants. Using survey data, she analyzes disputants' level of satisfaction with their experiences in the JP courts.


About the Speaker: Kathryn Hendley is the William Voss-Bascom Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research explores how Russians think about law and how law works on a day-to-day basis for Russian firms and individuals. She has been a visiting fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center, the Kennan Institute, the Kellogg Institute at Notre Dame, and the Law and Public Affairs Program at Princeton University. Her research has been funded by SSRC, NCEEER, NSF, IREX, the MacArthur Foundation and Fulbright. She has published a number of articles that investigate how inchoate disagreements evolve into full-fledged disputes or are ignored or resolved amicably. Her work has been published in a wide range of social science journals, including Law & Social Inquiry, Law & Society Review, Post-Soviet Affairs, the American Journal of Comparative Law, and Europe-Asia Studies.

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"Russian Citizenship: From Empire to Soviet Union"

Eric Lohr, American University


When: Thursday, October 17, 4:00pm

Where: 206 Ingraham Hall

Sponsors: The Alice D. Mortenson-Michael B. Petrovich Chair in Russian History, The Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia (CREECA)


About the Speaker: Eric Lohr published his most recent book, Russian Citizenship: From Empire to Soviet Union, with Harvard University Press in September 2012. He received his M.A. in Russian Studies and Ph.D. in History from Harvard University, then taught there as an assistant professor of History (2000-2003). He is also the author of Nationalizing the Russian Empire: The Campaign Against Enemy Aliens during World War I (Harvard University Press, 2003). He is currently writing Russia’s Great War, 1914-1918 for Bloomsbury Publishers. Lohr has been active in discussions of U.S.-Russian relations, including service on the Russia/Europe advisory group for the Hillary Clinton campaign for president in 2007-2008.




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American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL) Wisconsin Conference


When: October 18-19, 2013
Where: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Pyle Center 232


Keynote Lecture: "Study of the Object: Between Kazimir Malevich and Zbigniew Herbert"

Michał Paweł Markowski, Stefan and Lucy Hejna Family Chair in Polish Language and Literature, University of Illinois at Chicago

When: Friday, October 18, 4:00pm

Where: Pyle Center, Room 232


For more information, visit the conference website.

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Gen. Wlodzimierz B Krzyzanowski and Contributions of Poles during the U.S. Civil War

James S. Pula, Professor of History, Purdue University North Central


When: Saturday, October 19, 2:00pm

Where: Middleton Cross Plains Performing Arts Center, 2100 Bristol St, Middleton, WI

Sponsors: The Polish Heritage Club of Wisconsin, Inc-Madison Group


About the Speaker: Dr. Pula is Professor of History at Purdue University North Central, and Editor of Polish American Studies, the Polish American History Association's journal. His books include these available from our South Central Library System: "The Sigel Regiment: A History Of The 26th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, 1862-1865" and "Polish Americans: an ethnic community." His book "For Liberty and Justice A Biography of Brigadier General Wlodzimierz B. Krzyzanowski" is available from the Polish American Journal and The book's Gettysburg chapter includes many stories and photos from members of Wisconsin's Iron Brigade. We're pleased to have this presentation during the many 150 Civil War Anniversaries.

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"Practical Steps for Foreign Policy Careers"

Robert Schaefer, Branch Chief for Central and South Asia, Department of Defense


When: Thursday, October 24, 12:00pm

Where: 206 Ingraham Hall

Sponsors: The Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia (CREECA), The Center for South Asia (CSA), Letters & Science Career Services


About the Lecture:An interactive discussion that will provide an opportunity for students and interested parties to hear about the specifics of foreign policy careers outside of academia for those interested in Central Asia.


About the Speaker: see below


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"Uzbekistan and US Foreign Policy. What Comes Next?"

Robert Schaefer, Branch Chief for Central and South Asia, Department of Defense


When: Thursday, October 24, 4:00pm

Where: 206 Ingraham Hall

Sponsors: The Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia (CREECA), Letters & Science Career Service


About the Lecture:Uzbekistan’s foreign policy directive is one that is grounded in realist terms. Tashkent operates pragmatically in its foreign relations and exercises restraint in its endorsement of policies and multilateral bodies that don’t further the state’s own interests. The double landlocked, Central Asian state has historically been influenced by Russia’s considerable economic and political gravity in the region, especially during its existence as a component of the USSR until independence in 1991. Since then, Uzbekistan has oscillated between competing Russian and Western influences, but recent signals indicate a new policy alignment that is based more on bi-lateral (rather than multi-lateral) relationships and increasingly looks towards Beijing. Many factors point towards a change in orientation: President Islam Karimov and his regime’s officials have indicated that Uzbekistan will be more receptive to Chinese led investment projects and security related policies; Tashkent’s departure from the Russian-led CSTO, and its retention of membership in the Chinese-centric SCO; warming U.S. relations in light of recent Russian military agreements in neighboring Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and other agreements that have isolated Tashkent politically and economically, and have forced the state to diffuse its relations with other regional powers like Kazakhstan. However, the US and NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 will change the current security environment and will test Uzbekistan as it attempts to halt the proliferation of violent extremist organizations such as the IMU and Taliban, while simultaneously working to improve its human rights record; it will also force some degree of multilateral security related cooperation with Moscow. Uzbekistan, despite having some of the region’s best transportation infrastructure (NDN), has limited resources with even fewer import/export routes, making foreign trade difficult for the former Soviet satellite. Chinese companies, flush with credit lines and cash have increasingly looked westward in order to tap into lucrative hydrocarbon markets and secure its own vast energy needs. Politically, Uzbekistan can serve as a proponent to Beijing’s anti-Uighur program in the XUAR region of western China, where the presence of alleged Islamic separatist and terrorist factions have forced a crackdown in the majority Muslim region.


About the Speaker: LTC Robert Schaefer is a U.S. Army Special Forces officer (Green Beret), diplomat, and senior international defense expert with over 26 years working with senior foreign defense and military officials. He is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author, a consultant to several U.S. Government agencies, and a frequent commentator for major media and seminars focusing on terrorism and insurgency in Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. He will be the Caucasus Correspondent/Consultant for NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.


He has served in a variety of special units and participated in virtually every U.S. overseas operation since 1990.  LTC Schaefer was a Special Forces Engineering and Demolitions Sergeant before earning his commission in 1993, when he was awarded the Abrams Award as the top ROTC cadet in the United States. LTC Schaefer is a “double-sewn” Green Beret, having successfully completed the entire Special Forces course a second time as an officer, and being selected as both the Honor Graduate and the Leadership Award Winner in the process. During his long Special Operations career he was hand-picked for a number of classified, special, or politically-sensitive missions, one of which resulted in his being awarded the Singlaub Award as USSOCOM’s Person of the Year for his historic achievements with Russian Airborne Forces. LTC Schaefer is the first documented U.S. officer in history to lead Russian forces in combat-like operations; his team was the first U.S. Special Forces team in history to fire artillery in support of Russian forces, and the first U.S. unit to have done so since WWII. LTC Schaefer was also chosen as one of the primary planners and executors of the first mission of the U.S. War on Terror following 9-11, and later hand-picked to integrate the Ukrainian Special Purpose Battalion into Operation Iraqi Freedom – an extremely sensitive mission due to the political ramifications of Ukraine’s decision to support the U.S. coalition against Russia’s wishes.


LTC Schaefer has served in multiple diplomatic postings, most recently as the Military Attaché to the country of Estonia, where he was instrumental in creating both the Estonian Special Forces and the Estonian Cyber Defense Command. For his contributions to Estonia, he was awarded the Estonian Defense Forces Distinguished Service Cross, the Ministry of Defense’s Cross of Merit, and the White Cross of the Estonian Kaitseliit – the only foreigner in contemporary Estonian history to have been decorated by all three organizations. He has also served in U.S. Embassies in Moscow, Russia, and Kiev, Ukraine.


LTC Schaefer received his Masters Degree from Harvard University’s Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia Program, and is the host of National Public Radio’s Memorial Day Special 2007-2013. He is a member of the Editorial Board for the Caucasus Survey (a peer-reviewed professional journal) and serves as a consultant to NBC Universal for the 2014 Olympics. His critically-acclaimed book on terrorism in Russia, The Insurgency in Chechnya and the North Caucasus, From Gazavat to Jihad, won multiple national awards and was named a “Best of 2011” by Kirkus Reviews and to the “Top 150 Books on Terrorism and Counterterrorism.”  He has also published numerous articles and contributed a chapter to The Fire Below, How the Caucasus Changed Russia, (Bloomsbury, 2013), and to Operation Homecoming (Random House, 2006).


He currently serves as the Chief of Central and South Asia Branch for Army Central Command, working with senior foreign government and military leaders and managing a team of military and civilian specialists to develop, coordinate and implement bi-lateral security cooperation plans, build partner capacity, and improve the overall regional security environment for Afghanistan, Pakistan, the countries of Central Asia, and the North Arabian Sea. He is married to Olya Schaefer, a Google Apps Project Manager and has a daughter, Rowan and a son, Nicholas.

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"Building a Public Policy Community in Kazakhstan: My Year as Founding Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Nazarbayev University"

John Witte, La Follette School


When: Tuesday, October 29, 12:00pm

Where: Conference Room, Observatory Hill Office Building


For more information, contact 262-3038,

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No CREECA Lecture

Special Session on Research Resources for REECAS MA Students


When: Thursday, October 31, 4:00pm

Where: Memorial Library

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