Academic and expert in the North Caucasus and Russia, Dr Andrew Foxall, has been appointed to lead the Russia Studies Centre, an advocacy unit based at the Henry Jackson Society think tank which seeks to explore political freedom and human rights abuses in Russia.
Dr Foxall will join the Russia Studies Centre (RSC) from Queen’s University Belfast, where he lectured and researched on ethnicity and nationalism, the geopolitics of territory, ethnic tension and the transformation to post-Soviet Russia from the Former Soviet Union.
The RSC aims to raise awareness of pro-democracy protests in Russia, highlight human rights abuses, and expose corruption in Russia’s Government. The centre has published a significant body of work exploring these themes, most recently commissioning a poll on UK attitudes to a European Magnitsky Act, which found an overwhelming majority of Britons would support legislation to prevent corrupt Russian officials from doing business in the UK.
Dr Foxall, who will take up his post on September 1st 2013, has already outlined upcoming research projects focusing on the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014, an area that is garnering significant political coverage given the controversy over gay rights in Russia, as well as Russia’s contemporary interest in the Arctic and continuing instability in the North Caucasus republics.
Dr Andrew Foxall said: “I am excited to be joining the RSC at what is a particularly important time to be studying Russia.
“With the upcoming Moscow Mayoral election in September, the scheduled release of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, there are huge opportunities to explore the current state of human rights and freedoms in Russia.
“The RSC has already produced some excellent work in this field, and I look forward to raising its profile to a new level.”
Dr Alan Mendoza, Executive Director of the Henry Jackson Society, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Dr Foxall to the Russia Studies Centre.
“He brings with him a wealth of expertise and specialist knowledge on geopolitics in Russia and the transition from the Former Soviet Union, and will no doubt help the RSC secure significant influence in its goal of shining a light on human rights abuses against the people of Russia.”