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This article examines Russia's civics and history test, which has been mandatory, since January 2015, for millions of labor migrants applying for a work permit. An analysis of the test's content and of the context in which it was adopted provides a strong case to study how autocracies can use civics tests as instruments of control. Specifically, I argue that the test must be understood in light of Russia's state-sponsored nationalism, latent xenophobic sentiments, and its increasingly restrictive and incoherent migration policy. Not only are many questions irrelevant or disconnected from migrants' everyday concerns: their personal experiences of paying bribes, obtaining fake certificates, or being harassed by the police often contradict the correct answers on the exam. While it is doubtful that this test – along with several other new requirements imposed on migrants – will dissuade foreign laborers to seek employment in Russia, it is bound to make them even more vulnerable to bribes.
The seventh annual Teaching and Learning Conference (TLC) was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from February 5 to 7, 2010, with 224 attendees onsite. The theme for the meeting was “Advancing Excellence in Teaching Political Science.” Using the working-group model, the TLC track format encourages in-depth discussion and debate on research dealing with the scholarship of teaching and learning.
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