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Photo: “Palace of Nations and the Flagpole, Dushanbe, Tajikistan“, by Rjruiziii licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0. Hue modified from the original

Isaacs, Rico, Jonathan Wheatly, and Sarah Whitmore. “Culture Wars in the Post-Soviet Space.” Europe-Asia Studies 73, no. 8 (September 21, 2021): 1407–17.


In the last decade the term culture war has become hard to avoid. If it is not yet the buzzword of the first part of the twenty-first century, it soon will be. Culture wars seem to be around us everywhere. Each passing week brings some new mention of an outbreak in a public institution, civic space or political arena in some part of the globe. Culture wars are the phenomenon we cannot seem to shake. Battle lines are drawn, rhetorical tools are sharpened and social media awash with vitriol and moralising, and seemingly unbridgeable social gaps. If the immediate post-Cold War period did usher in an era of universal global liberalism, decades on it is now far in the distance, only visible in the rear-view mirror. Instead, around us lie social and political fault lines featuring competing visions of what should be the appropriate normative basis upon which societies should be constituted. They are debates that focus on belonging, on citizenship, on rights and identities.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.