Postdoctoral researcher Zeveleva Olga

206700 €

Polycrisis of violence: Ecofeminist perspectives on the war in Ukraine and the military-prison nexus (PUMP)

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Nelivuotinen

My research project addresses the question “is European democracy eroding?” by developing an intersectional theory of heteropatriarchal violence and its uneven effects in the context of the current global polycrisis, with a focus on prison-military connections in light of Russia’s war on Ukraine. The ongoing war is deeply entwined with the rise of illiberal anti-democratic ideologies, the global hunger crisis, the reverberations of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the environmental and climate crisis. We are experiencing a cluster of interrelated, simultaneous global challenges with compounding effects: they come together as a polycrisis, which means the whole is even more overwhelming than the sum of its various parts. I argue that one of the major mechanisms that brings these crises together is heteropatriarchal violence. This involves the domination of masculinist models of governance over humans and nature, in a system based on individualism, profit of elite groups, and perpetuation of inequality. I critically examine the war on Ukraine as part of the current polycrisis through the perspective of intersectional ecofeminism, which allows us to trace how oppression operates across gender, class, ethnicity, and race to reinforce global and local inequalities and exploitations. I focus on two institutions that produce violence and domination: the military and the prison. I show that these institutions co-produce violence and inequality through heteropatriarchal models of social control. The project focuses on four most-different country cases that vary by levels of prison militarism: Russia, Kazakhstan, Estonia, and Finland. The Russian case is a country at war that draws on prisoners for its war effort; Kazakhstan is a peacetime case where Soviet militarism is still present in a USSR-style prison system; Estonia is a peacetime case of prisons demilitarized during vast post-Soviet criminal justice reforms; and Finland is a peacetime case outside the post-Soviet space.