Understanding Political Violence and Repression in Our Times
The Work of Robert Conquest
About This Event

Robert Conquest has made an exceptional contribution to the world’s understanding of Soviet and other communist political systems. His work today continues to illuminate their origins, character, and institutional and moral failures. Conquest’s numerous studies also shed light on political violence and repression under various social and historical conditions. His emphasis on the connections between political beliefs and behaviors are particularly enlightening and relevant.

In honor of Robert Conquest’s work, participants at this conference will further explore the roots, manifestations, effects, and legitimations of political violence and repression in different historical and social settings. Topics include case studies of repression in the Soviet Union, post-communist Russia, China, Cuba, and postcolonial Africa; the role of intellectuals in interpreting and legitimizing political violence and repression; and comparisons of communist and contemporary Islamic political violence.

The conference presentations will be the basis of a forthcoming book on political violence and repression in our times.

Agenda
Tuesday,
November 6
8:45 a.m.
Registration and Breakfast
9:00
Welcome:
Christopher DeMuth, AEI
Daniel Schmidt, Bradley Foundation
9:15
Introduction:
Paul Hollander, University of Massachusetts Amherst
9:30
Panel I:
Soviet Communism and the Work of Robert Conquest
Panelists:
Joshua Rubenstein, Amnesty International and Harvard University
"The Reception of The Great Terror"
Mark Kramer, Harvard University
"Political Succession and Political Violence after Stalin’s Death"
Lee Edwards, Heritage Foundation
"The Mass Media in the Service of Communist Totalitarianism"
John Dunlop, Hoover Institution
"Post-Communist Political Violence and the Litvinenko Case"
Moderator:
Leon Aron, AEI
11:20
Question and Answer Session
12:00 p.m.
Luncheon and Special Remarks
Speaker:
Robert Conquest, Hoover Institution
1:30
Panel II:
Comparative Perspectives on Communist Political Violence and Repression
Panelists:
Norman Naimark, Stanford University
"Stalin and the Question of Genocide: Soviet and Nazi Comparisons"
Nicholas Eberstadt, AEI
"The Human Costs of Soviet and Chinese Repression"
Arthur Waldron, University of Pennsylvania
"Chinese Communist Mass Murders and Their Official Interpretation"
Maria Werlau, Cuba Archive Project
"The System of Political Repression in Cuba: Policies and Institutions"
Moderator:
Norman J. Ornstein, AEI
3:20
Question and Answer Session
4:00
Adjournment
Wednesday,
November 7
8:45 a.m.
Registration and Breakfast
9:00
Welcome:
Paul Hollander, University of Massachusetts Amherst
9:05
Panel III:
Comparative Perspectives Continued
Panelists:
Mark Falcoff, AEI
"Revolutions and Revolutionary Ideologies in Latin America"
Anthony Daniels, City Journal
"Postcolonial Violence in Africa and Its Western Perceptions"
Ibn Warraq, author of Why I Am Not a Muslim
"Apologists of Totalitarianism: From Communism to Islam"
Stephen P. Cohen, Institute for Middle East Peace and Development
"Differences and Similarities between Soviet Communism and Islamic Terror"
Moderator:
Paul Hollander, University of Massachusetts Amherst
11:00
Question and Answer Session
11:35
Concluding Remarks
Speakers:
Robert Conquest, Hoover Institution
Paul Hollander, University of Massachusetts Amherst
12:00 p.m.
Adjournment
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