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HEUTE | Löwenthal Lecture 2024 | Is There a Post-Communist Prison System?

Loewenthal Lecture 2024

Loewenthal Lecture 2024

News vom 19.06.2024


For this year’s Löwenthal Lecture we are delighted to welcome Professor Judith Pallot.

Professor Pallot is Research Director at the Aleksanteri Institute - Finnish Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Helsinki, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Oxford.


Everyone has heard of the gulag. This was the name of the system of forced labour camps that was set up in the Soviet Union under Stalin from the 1930s and that persisted, albeit in modified form, until the end of the USSR.  The Stalinist penal model was exported to the national republics of the USSR and after World War II to the countries of East Central Europe and the new Soviet republics. In the lecture, I will discuss the different paths that the newly independent states have chosen for their national penal systems after 1989/1991 as they tried to distance themselves from the Soviet gulag. Compared with the newly independent states, prison reform has been slow in the Russian Federation and many of the features of the Soviet model have been carried through to today.  I will discuss the reasons for the failure of prison reform in Russia and highlight the various ways the prison system has been used to support Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Date: Wednesday, 19 June, 2024
Time: 16:00
Location: Institute for East European Studies, Garystraße 55, 14195 Berlin

The lecture will be followed by a small informal buffet.


About the Löwenthal lecture series

The Richard Löwenthal Lectures are a series of annual public lectures given by renowned scholars on Eastern Europe and the post-Soviet space at the Institute for East European Studies. Richard Löwenthal (1908-1991) was a political scientist and professor at the Freie Universität Berlin from 1961-1974. He was a socialist who was involved in the resistance against the Nazis and, after returning from exile, carried out research on totalitarianism, National Socialism and the politics in Eastern Europe.

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