Political Pedagogy of
Technical Assistance
A Study in Historical Ontology
of Russian Postcommunism

By Sergei Prozorov
September 2004
Tampere University Press
ISBN: 9514458508
507 pages, Illustrated, 6 " x 9 "
$125.00 Paper Original

This Ph.D. dissertation is a study of the effects of EU technical assistance to socioeconomic reforms in contemporary Russia on the formation of postcommunist forms of government. Taking its point of departure in the work of Michel Foucault and the contemporary studies in governmentality, the study poses the question of how the new social order is instituted in local and mundane practices of the transfer of European professional and managerial practices to the Russian counter parts.

The empirical focus of the book is on three EU Tacis projects undertaken in the Russian Republic of Karelia during 1997-2002. The analysis of these EU practices comprises three dimensions that correspond to Foucauldian axes of historical ontology: archaeology, genealogy and ethics. Firstly, the author undertakes an archaeological analysis of the discourse of technical assistance in order to reconstitute the structure of the mode governmentality, actualized in these practices.

The second part of the study features a genealogical interpretation of the historical conditions of the emergence of this mode of governmentality and discusses its integration into the overall field of socioeconomic reforms implemented in contemporary Russia. Finally, the study ventures an ethical critique of technical assistance as a governmental practice and raises the question of the possibility of a concept and practice of freedom that is not tied to governmental subjectification. These three analytical strategies serve to enhance the understanding of the role of EU technical assistance in the Russian politics of the emergence of postcommunist forms of state-society relations.

Studia Politica Tamperensis, No. 11

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