Joint Lecture “From Exceptionalization to Normalization: Indonesian and Russian Responses to Covid-19”

We invite you to CSGS & Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies Joint Lecture Series II – From Exceptionalization to Normalization: Indonesian and Russian Responses to Covid-19, on 29 April at 11.00-13.00 (GMT+3) on Zoom.

The Covid-19 pandemic might appear to represent an ideal case for strengthening Carl Schmitt’s model of sovereignty with practices of exceptionalism and decisionism at its core. The coronavirus pandemic has reconfirmed the salience of sovereignty and broadened the space for politics of exceptionality, especially when it comes to multiple bans, closures, restrictions, and limitations in the everyday routine. However, the Covid-related state of emergency and the whole bunch of anti-pandemic policies did not fully support the Schmittian interpretation of sovereign politics through the lens of exceptionalism. They gave a more complex and multifarious picture in which multiple limits to exceptionalism were important elements. Therefore, the Schmittian accent on the exceptionalist qualities of sovereignty needs to be balanced with – and complemented by – the explanatory force of other theoretical approaches.

Two steps are of particular importance for unpacking this argument and adjusting it to Covid-19. First, in the light of the pandemic, a certain reconceptualization of sovereignty might be needed. One possible variant is rooted in theorizing inspired by Giorgio Agamben and averring that “sovereignty belongs to the vocabulary of biopolitics”. Secondly, the logic of sovereignty should be differentiated from the logic of governmentality. Yet, in the meantime, the two are not mutually exclusive. These two theoretical moves make the entire picture more complex and embedded in tight interconnections between two logic of power – exceptionality and normalization. Until recently, studies of the sovereignty-governmentality nexus mostly neglected non-Western as well as non-liberal contexts.

How do Indonesia and Russia develop their anti-crisis policies along with the sovereignty–governmentality spectrum? How do they find a balance between the two poles of this continuum?

Join I Gede Wahyu Wicaksana, PhD (Assistant Professor at Department of International Relations, Universitas Airlangga, Indonesia) and Andrey Makarychev, PhD (Professor of Regional Political Studies at Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies, University of Tartu, Estonia) in a joint lecture series between Cakra Studi Global Strategis (Universitas Airlangga) and Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies (University of Tartu) entitled “From Exceptionalization to Normalization: Indonesian and Russian Responses to Covid-19”. In this lecture series, Aleksandra Yatsyk, PhD (Researcher at Free Russia Foundation) and Dr Sukawarsini Djelantik (Associate Professor of International Relations,  Parahyangan Catholic University) will be the discussants.CSGS and Skytte Institute Joint Lecture Series is a series of collaborative events organized to introduce contemporary issues in Southeast Asia and Europe to students and experts from both institutions.

On April 29th, 2021, the event will take place from 11.00-13.00 Tartu time (GMT+3) on Zoom.
Join via link:
Meeting ID: 960 5399 0816
Passcode: 1234

NB: This event is opened to the public, and there is no need for registration. Please note that the event will be recorded, live-streamed online, and later accessible at “CSGS FISIP Unair” YouTube channel.

Additional information: Radityo Dharmaputra, PhD student,

Forwarded by: Maili Vilson, Head of Communications, Centre for Eurasian and Russian Studies,