It is a pleasure to invite you to 

Russian Revolution: Theoretical approaches and open questions conference.

The conference is organized by a committee of academics and activists and will take place in

Athens Low School on 12-14 April 2019.

The anniversary debate on the October Revolution usually remains trapped in the context of a sterile, dogmatic and often self-assertive gesture of the various ideological-political trends claiming or rejecting the October (or part of the October) legacy. Critical thinking and practice finds difficult to reflect on a revolutionary period that has been catalysing to shape the modern world. Certainly there are significant contributions to this direction, but overall what seems to be dominating is, on one hand, sanctifications, mechanical replication, undeniable faith to different political dogmas, or on the other hand, its uncritical rejection.
In such a climate, important and critical aspects of the Russian revolutionary process, as well as its opposition and reversal, remain in the dark because they do not fit into the “established” narratives. As the burden of these narratives falls on parties and organizations, “holy” or “abominable” factions, state policies and geopolitical controversies, the enormous social movement of the millions of revolutionary protagonists as well as their original creative agency, but also their contradictions and the dramatic dilemmas they faced, they have not been adequately pointed out. The “preface” of this movement and the “rhizomes” in the Russian history that have allowed this innovative “blooming”, remains underscored.
Focusing therefore, on the history from below, on the dilemmas the protagonists confronted as well as on the solutions they devised, on the deadlocks they encountered as well as on the obstacles they could not overcome, we want to contribute, with this congress, to a topical reflection on critical questions related to the October Revolution.

Topics of interest

More specifically, the conference aims to focus on the following thematic axes:

  • Social and political conditions in the Pre-Revolutionary Russia
  • Problems of transition to a “stateless” state: revolution and democracy, self-organization and institutions, direct democracy and representation,
  • The agricultural revolution: the legacy of the Russian rural community (mir)
  • Revolution and Industrialization: factory, wage labor, cooperatives, market, state design
  • Political “avant-guards”: Narodniks, Socialists-Revolutionaries, Mensheviks, anarchists
  • Revolution and national issue: between ethnicities and nationalities
  • Gender and identity issues during the transition.



  • 11:30 – 12:30      Registration
  • 12:30 – 14:00      Session: Critical Approaches

Chair: Yiannis Kibouropoulos, Journalist

Revolution, Necessity and Ideological Reflection

Costas Galanopoulos, PhD

Concerning the development of the productive forces and other demons

Giannis Billas, Writer

The Power of Intellectuals

Charis Naxakis, University of Ioannina

 Russian Revolution: The Ghost of 20th Century

Fotis Terzakis, Writer, Essayist


  •  14:00 – 14:45      Session: Nations, Ethnicities, Anti-imperialist Struggles

Chair: Corina Vasilopoulou, Journalist

The Socialist Republic of Georgia and its Suppression by the Bolsheviks

Thanasis Drivas, ARMAZI, Hellenic-Georgian Cultural Association

International Causes, Consequences and today’s Relevance of the October Revolution (Lenin’s action as a turning point in Marxism)

Dimitris Konstantakopoulos, Journalist-Writer, Coordinator, Delphi Initiative (


  • 14:45 – 15:00       Break
  • 15:00 – 16:00     Session: Revolution’s Roots- Its Gestation and its Environment

Chair: Vicky Iakovou, University of the Aegean

The Drafts of Marx’s Answer to Vera Zasulich 1881

Thanasis Giouras, University of Crete

 Russian Particularity or a Timeless Doctrine?

For a Dialectical Approach on the Formation of Bolshevism

Nikos Pelekoudas, PhD Candidate

Attempting to Raid the Sky: Narodnichestvo and Social Struggle

Polyzois Plastrakis, Historian-Social Anthropologist

  •  16:00 – 17:00       Invited Speaker

Chair: Costas Papadakis, Lawyer

17th and 18th Century Rebellions in Russia and their Soviet Interpretations

Nikolas Pissis, Free University of Berlin

  •  17:00 – 18:00    Session: Revolution’s Roots- Its Gestation and its Environment (2)

Chair: Vassilis Xidias, high-school teacher

Slavophiles and Westernizers in 19th Century Russia

Dimitris Baltas, PhD in Philosophy, University of Athens

Christianity’s Last Heresy

Father Antonios Pinakoulas, Vicar

Messianism and the Russian Revolution

Stefanos Rozanis, Panteion University

  •  18:00-18:30         Break
  •  18:30 – 19:00      Opening Ceremony
  • 19:00 – 20:00        Invited Speaker

Chair: Thanasis Giouras, University of Crete

The Russian Revolution 1902-1922

Teodor Shanin, President of the Moscow School for the Social and Economic Sciences, Professor Emeritus of the University of Manchester

  •  20:00 – 21:00            Invited Speaker

Chair: Stelios Elliniadis, Journalist

Evolution of the Soviets in 1917-1918

Alexander Shubin, Chief Researcher of the Institute of General history (RAS), Professor, Russian State University for Humanities


  • 21:30       The Great Utopia, a film by Fotos Lamprinos




  • 10:30 – 11:30      Session: Utopia and Technology

Chair: George Papanikolaou, Associate Professor Harokopion University

Lenin and the Machine. Techno-sate Imaginary and the End of Politics

Yiannis Ktenas, KABOOM Journal, Panteion University

Giorgos Pertsas, PhD candidate

Craftmanship and Wage Labour: An Incompatible Relation

Andreas Kyranis, Architect

Russian Revolution and the Ghost of the Mega-machine of Technical Domination

Giannis Raouzaios, Film critic, Writer


  • 11:30 – 12:30      Session: Labour and Socialism

Chair: Despina Koutsoumba, Achaeologist

From the Challenge of Worker’s Democracy to the “Lure” of Employer’s Authoritarianism. Worker’s Self-management and Taylorism in Post-revolutionary Russia

Vassilis Minakakis, Editor, Writer

Money Theory and Labour Legislation in the USSR

Dimitris M. Moschos, Historian-Anthropologist

 Does Labour Emancipate?

Social Relations of Production and Worker’s Emancipation

Kostas Charitakis, BΙOME Cooperative


  • 12:30 – 13:30    Invited Speaker

Chair: Sofia Adam, Heinrich Boell Stiftung Thessaloniki Office

The primary party organizations of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) as an aspect of state-society relations in interwar USSR: The case of the Putilov-Kirov plant in Leningrad

Yiannis Kokosalakis, Historian, University College Dublin


  • 13:30 – 14:00        Break
  • 14:00 – 14:45      Session: Socialist Economy

Chair: Nefeli Pandiri, Political Scientist

Planned Economy and Black Market: Forms of Informal Economy in the USSR

Yiannis Leventidis, University of Athens

 “Socialist Planning” and Enterprise in the USSR, 1929-1989

John (Giannis) Milios, National Technical University of Athens


  • 14:45 – 15:30     Session: The Greeks and the Revolution

Chair: Nikos Potamianos, assistant researcher, Institute for Mediterranean Studies, Foundation for Research and Technology

The Greek Communities in Russia during the Revolution

Andreas Zafeiris, University of Gorlovka

The Bolshevik Revolution through the Eyes of the Participants in the Greek Expeditionary Force

Tasos Kostopoulos, Historian-Journalist


  • 15:30 – 16:30    Invited Speaker

Chair: Giorgos Nikolakakis, Associate Professor at the University of Crete

The chances, potential and reasons for the failure of the Social Revolutionary democratic alternative in 1917.

Konstantin Morozov, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration


  • 16:30 – 17:30   Invited Speaker

Chair: Vaso Seirinidou, Assistant Professor in Modern History, University of Athens

Alternative Plan of Evolution of Social Revolution in Russia, 1918-1924

Yaroslav Leontyev, Moscow State University


  • 17:30 – 18:00      Break
  • 18:00 – 19:00      Session: Historical Issues

Chair: Costas Raptis, Journalist

Danger Sign. The Timely Anarchist Warnings: Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin

Costas Despiniadis, Publishing house-journal “Panopticon”

Trotsky as Supporter of Compulsive Labour

 Dimitris Belantis, PhD, Writer

Mensheviks: The Problem of Democracy from Tsarist Russia to the Soviet Union

Giannis Chatzhioannou, Lawyer


  • 19:00 – 20:00     Invited Speaker

Chair: Dimitris J. Kyrtatas, Professor University of Thessaly

Reality and Legend of the Russian Revolution

Ettore Cinnella, University of Pisa


  • 20:00 – 21:00    Invited Speaker

Chair: Spyros Dapergolas, Designer

The Evolution of the Political Position of Anarchists in the Russian Revolution of 1917-1922

Dmitry Rublev, Сandidate of Historical Sciences, Docent of Moscow State University (MSU)



  • 10:30 – 12:40      Session: The State and Revolution

Chair: Gianna Kurtovik, Lawyer

What is to be done with the State? Principles for the Formation of a Cooperative Justice

Giannis Efstathiou, PhD candidate

Jurists and Soviet Power

Jason Koutoufaris-Malandrinos, Lawyer

Abolishing the State: Direct Democracy or the “Management of Things”? Why the Bolsheviks managed to fool the Anarchists

Giorgos Lieros, Writer

Revolution and the Prospect of the State’s “Withering Away”: Lessons from the October Revolution up to Now

Giorgos Liodakis, Technical University of Crete

 Constitutionalism, Proletarian Sovereignty and Rights: form the “Anomaly” of 1918 to the Orthodoxy of 1936

Dimitris Tsarapatsanis, University of York

Proletarian Justice?

Petros PetkasJurist


  • 12:40 – 13:00       Break
  • 13:00 – 14:00      Invited Speaker

Chair: Antonis Drakonakis, PhD candidate

Proletarian Culture against Proletkult: Alexander Bogdanov’s Idea and its Implementation in Soviet Reality

Alla Morozova, Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences


  • 14:00 – 15:00      Session: Issues of Culture and Society

Chair: Fotis Kagelaris, Doctor of Psychopathology, Writer

Space and Time, Geography and History. The Epistemological Facet in the Conflict Between Anarchism and Marxism in the Environment of the Russian Revolution

Sotiris Lycourghiotis, University of Applied Sciences-Western Greece, Ηellenin Open University

The Dynamics of Space in El Lissitzky and the Subversion of the Master Signifier

Vicky Skoumbi, Αληtheia Journal

 The Russian Revolution and Gendered Oppression

Dimitra Kyrilou, Engineer, Film Critic

Aleka Makri, Doctor, Member of the Feminist Collective “TO MOV


  • 15:00 – 15:30       Break
  • 15:30 – 16:30      Session: Critical Approaches to the Theories on Totalitarianism

Chair: Nikos Katsiaounis, ERMA publications

Carl Schmitt and the Russian Revolution: Bolshevism’s influence on the German Radical Right

Giorgos Mertikas, Writer-Translator

 October 1917: Lessons from the Bolshevik’s Coup and the Defeat of the Soviets

Υorgos Oikonomou, PhD in Philosophy-Writer

 The State and Revolution in the Longue Durée: Critical Approaches to Orientalism

Dimitris Stamatopoulos, University of Macedonia


  • 16:30 – 17:00

Chair: Leonidas Velissaropoulos, forester

The Period of Political Prosecutions in the Soviet Union (1936-1939). The ad hoc Dimensions of the “Great Terror” inside the Communist International

Nikos Papadatos, University of Geneva Clobal Studies Institute (GSI).


  • 17:00 – 17:15     Break
  • 17:15 – 18:00      Session: Farmers and the Revolution

Chair: Sotiris Papadimitriou, Writer-Director

Socialism in the Countryside: Political Aspects of the Worker-Farmer Alliance in the USSR (1917-1940) and in China (1927-1960)

Sotirirs Lapieris, Graduate of the National School of Public Administration and Local Government (ESDDA)

Giorgos Tsoutsouvas, Lawyer

New Economic Policy (NEP): The road to Communism or Tactical Retreat?

Dimitris Papafotiou, Mechanical Engineer


  • 18:00 – 19:00     Invited Speaker

Chair: Filimonas Patsakis, Writer

A.V. Chayanov’s Theory of Peasant Economy as a Forsaken Way Towards Socialism

Renaud Garcia, philosophy teacher in secondary school


  • 19:00 – 20:00    Invited Speaker

Chair: Chair: Nicholas Theocharakis, Associate Professor University of Athens

Peasant Revolution as a Moment of Truth of the Great Russian Revolution

Viktor Kondrashin, Head of the Center for Economic History, Institute of Russian History, Russian Academy of Sciences

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