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National Research University Higher School of EconomicsNewsSocietyBook Published About the Mythologisation of Western Values during Perestroika

Book Published About the Mythologisation of Western Values during Perestroika

A book entitled The Mythologies of Capitalism and the End of the Soviet Project by Associate Professor at the HSE Faculty of Media Communications Olga Baysha has been published by Lexington Books (United States).

What do the Arab Spring of 2011, Ukraine's Orange Revolution of 2004, Georgia's Rose Revolution of 2003, and the Soviet Union's perestroika of the late 1980s all have in common? The book's author argues that, despite the differences in political and social circumstances, each of these revolutionary events was an attempt to appropriate modernity, as it is known in the West, with its discourses of democratization, building civil society, and economic liberalization. And, no less important, each of these revolutionary transformations led not only to the appropriations of modernity but also to popular disillusionment: the loss of hope for quick positive changes or even realization that those very changes were unnecessary.

Olga Baysha suggests that the causes of popular post-revolutionary disappointment should be sought in pre-revolutionary discourses on democracy, liberalism, and other concepts of Western modernity. Produced outside local contexts, these discourses are introduced into these particular localities through global communications, and are then localized through the interpretations of politicians, activists, and experts. It is through this global-to-local adaptation process that we see the mythologization of concepts associated with Western modernity: these concepts take on a new meaning.

From 1991-2000 Olga Baysha worked as a journalist and presenter with a TV network in Kharkov, Ukraine. She then completed an MA course in journalism and communications at Colorado State University, United States. In 2012 she defended her PhD thesis at the University of Colorado at Boulder on 'The Mythologies of Modernity with a Schizophrenic Network Dynamic.'

She then took the position of Professor at Mullenberg College, United States, where she taught courses in 'Contemporary media analysis', 'Communication in a globalized world', 'Online journalism and democracy', and 'Rhetorical analysis: Ideological criticism.'
Olga Baysha joined HSE in 2013.

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