Youth Activism in Russia: Can a New Generation Make a Difference

December 15, 2011
02:00 pm - 03:30 pm

Youth Activism in Russia: Can a New Generation Make a Difference from National Endowment for Democracy on Vimeo.

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Dr. Tamirlan Kurbanov, Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow

with comments by

Dr. Nadia Diuk, National Endowment for Democracy

About the Event

In the twenty years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has embarked on a difficult path toward democracy. Since then, the only consensus of both the Russian domestic community and outside observers is that the journey has been tumultuous. Yet, the political engagement of young people in Russia has grown markedly over the last ten years, even as it has varied dramatically from region to region. Can the relative success of youth-led groups in Russia’s northwestern region be replicated in the country’s southern outposts in spite of their different political, economic, and social environments? How can lessons learned from youth-led groups be applied cross-regionally?

Dr. Tamirlan Kurbanov addressed these questions and offered insights into the dynamics of young people’s involvement, including their motivations, challenges, and impact on the Russian political system. Dr. Kurbanov explained the mindsets and attitudes of Russia’s new generation and offer recommendations for strengthening the role of youth in Russia’s democratic journey. Dr. Nadia Diuk provided comments.

About the Speakers

Dr. Tamirlan Kurbanov most recently served as a program officer at the Moscow office of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, where he was involved in developing and expanding the capacities of political and civic organizations; promoting citizen participation in public life, youth engagement in particular; and encouraging constructive dialogue among representatives of the Russian government, civil society, and the small business sector. Prior to joining NDI, he served as a research scholar at the Russian Academy of Sciences. He holds a Ph.D. in international law from the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry and an L.L.M. from the University of Minnesota. During his fellowship, Dr. Kurbanov explored effective methods of promoting civic engagement among youth, including the use of both traditional and digital communications to influence decision makers and effect democratic change. He documented his findings in the form of a training manual on youth engagement in public life.

Dr. Nadia Diuk is the vice president of programs for Africa, Central Europe and Eurasia, and Latin America and the Caribbean at the National Endowment for Democracy.