Sergei Medvedev gave a public lecture at CEURUS

On 18 February 2022, the Centre for Eurasian and Russian Studies of the University of Tartu (CEURUS) hosted Dr. Sergei Medvedev from Free University in Moscow, who gave a lecture on “Biopolitics of the Pandemic”. The meeting at the University of Tartu was attended by university students and staff members. The discussion was moderated by Andrey Makarychev, Professor of Regional Political Studies at the University of Tartu.

Dr. Medvedev started his talk by highlighting “the return of nature” to the global biopolitical discourse against the background of global warming, natural disasters and the subsequent shift in the ethical foundation of politics. He touched upon “organic”, “biological” aspects of the politics, such as migration, demography, right-wing populism and nationalism. He then made a shift towards the “ecopolitics” of the pandemic, where he discussed the environmental roots of the virus against a broader background. Moving the focus to COVID-related trends, he discussed the normalization of death, autistic civilization, body as the means of self-expression and physical activity in times of lockdown. In his analysis he drew on the work of Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben, James Lovelock and Bruno Latour. Finally, Medvedev addressed the problem of biopolitics as an instrument of power and the way it functions in different regime types.

Sergei Medvedev is a professor of the Free University in Moscow. Born in Moscow, he studied at the Moscow University, Charles University in Prague, and Columbia University in New York City, and holds a Ph.D. in history. In the past 25 years, he has held research positions and professorships in Russia, Germany, Italy and Finland. He specializes in political history, sociology and cultural studies. Dr. Medvedev has written several books, including Mapping European Security After Kosovo (Manchester, 2002, with Peter van Ham). Russia and the West at the Millennium (Berlin, 2003) and Identity Politics in Wider Europe (Berlin, 2012). His most recent book on Putin’s Russia, The Return of the Russian Leviathan (Cambridg: Polity Press, 2019) has won the Pushkin House Book Prize as best English-language non-fiction book on Russia in 2020. 

Forwarded by: Fidan Vali, Communication Specialist,