PhD seminar: Russian Law and Human Rights with Jeffrey Kahn (PluriCourts, UiO) and Geir Flikke (ILOS, UiO)

Please sign up here by 22 October.


This short PhD seminar will focus on aspects of Russian law and the conditions for Russian human rights defenders in Russia today. Preparations for the seminar will consist in reading two draft papers (Geir Flikke and Jeffrey Kahn) on the conditions for Russian human rights activists and the relationship of Russia to the European Courts, comment upon the papers, and also, formulate specific PhD project relevant queries that involve issues of law.

Law and legal processes are often underestimated in traditional area-studies approaches, and a more coherent focus on these issues brings new perspectives on hybrid regime governance and human rights activism. Russian human rights activists use international litigation more frequently as a strategy to direct attention at the conditions created by regime policies, whereas hybrid regime governance readily creates amendments and restrictions that run contrary to laws adopted at earlier stages.

Short biographies:

Professor Jeffrey Kahn joined the SMU Law faculty at Dedman College in Fall 2006. He teaches and writes on American constitutional law, Russian law, human rights, and counterterrorism. Jeffrey Kahn’s work on Russian law has been noted by the New York Times and published in various law reviews as well as the peer-reviewed journals Post-Soviet Affairs and Review of Central and East European Law. His latest research has focused primarily on the influence in Russia of the European Convention on Human Rights. In 2011, Russian President Dmitrii Medvedev’s Human Rights Council asked him─the one American among six other experts from Russia, one from Germany, and one from the Netherlands─to write an expert report on the second conviction of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev. Professor Kahn described this work and its repercussions in an op-ed published in the New York Times (online) and International Herald Tribune (print).

Geir Flikke is Associate Professor at ILOS (UiO) in Russian Studies, and specializes in particular in state-society relations in Russia, protest activism, and hybrid regime policy processes. Flikke has led the NEPORUS project in the period from 2014-2017 and has published articles on Russian youth protesting, hybrid regime governance dilemmas, and changes in Russia’s NGO legislation.


  • Short presentation of each participant
  • Jeffrey Kahn: The Relationship between the European Court of Human Rights and the Russian Constitutional Court
  • Geir Flikke: Russian observer commissions: the end of human rights activism in Russia?
  • Discussions and comments
  • Project presentations PhDs
  • Discussions and comments
  • Lunch  


ECTS credits


Practical information

There is no course fee. Participants must arrange their own travel and accommodation. Lunch will be provided.

Published Sep. 29, 2017 3:15 PM - Last modified Aug. 26, 2019 10:54 AM