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On 1 June, Dr David Lewis gave a keynote speech at the Forum’s plenary session, held at the historic Tauride Palace. 

Roundtable on Eurasian Integration brings together scholars and policy-makers in St Petersburg

On 31 May and 1 June, Dr David Lewis and Dr Catherine Owen organised and presented at an international roundtable entitled ‘Eurasian Integration and Public Administration’ as part of the annual Forum on Public Administration organised by the St Petersburg branch of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA). 

The event was funded through an Impact Award and was hosted by RANEPA’s Faculty of Comparative Political Studies where Catherine Owen is currently a Visiting Fellow. The Faculty Dean, Dr Evgeny Roshchin, chaired the session, which was held in Russian.

Alongside presentations from David Lewis and Catherine Owen, attendees heard speeches from Professor Yang Cheng from the Shanghai International Studies University, Dr Igor Savin from the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Saniya Sagnaeva, an independent ethnographer based in Uralsk, Kazakhstan, and Renat Abdulina, Chairman of the Committee for Youth Policy and Relations with Public Organizations of the Government of St. Petersburg. The roundtable aimed to foster dialogue between scholars and policy-makers on the subject of Eurasian integration and was attended by local politicians, scholars and students interested in the politics of Eurasian integration. The roundtable constituted an interdisciplinary dialogue on processes of Eurasian integration as the speakers presented conclusions derived from macro-political analyses, qualitative content analysis and anthropological methodologies. Speakers discussed the various political factors associated with the various integrative projects advanced in the region by Russia and China, as well as the way these projects are perceived and experienced by ordinary people, especially in the border areas. Follow-up questions from the audience focused on the aims and goals of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the extent to which policy-makers in the UK take onboard research and recommendations from scholars working on these subjects. 

On 1 June, Dr David Lewis gave a keynote speech at the Forum’s plenary session, held at the historic Tauride Palace. Built for noted 18th Century statesman, Prince Grigory Potemkin, the palace briefly housed both the Russian Provisional Government and the Petrograd Soviet in the aftermath of the February Revolution of 1917. The event was attended by regional officials, policy-makers and academics, including the Chief Federal Inspector for St. Petersburg, Russian Presidential Plenipotentiary of the North-West Federal District and the General Secretary of the Interparliamentary Council of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The two days provided an excellent opportunity for scholars from Exeter to network with Russian, Chinese and Kazakh colleagues working on questions of Eurasian integration and laid foundations for further joint research and collaboration. 

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