Opening Ceremony

of the Centre for East European and International Studies on the 27th March at the Leibniz Hall of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.


6.00 pm
Musical welcome by the trio „Blue Charles“ (Berlin)
Jazz Suite No. 2 | Waltz No. 1 by Dmitrij Šostakovič

6.00-6.15 pm
Opening Remarks by Gwendolyn Sasse, Director, and Christian Schaich, Managing Director

6.15-6.45 pm
Official Remarks by State Secretary Walter Lindner, Federal Foreign Office, and Jan Kusber, Chairman of the Foundation Board of ZOiS

6.45-7.45 pm
Panel Discussion (with simultaneous translation from English into German)
“Destructive Convergence: Are Democracies and Authoritarian Regimes becoming more alike?”

From 8.00 pm

To download the programme leaflet, please click here.


Participants of the panel discussion
“Destructive Convergence: Are Democracies and Authoritarian Regimes becoming more alike?”

Gwendolyn Sasse has been the Director of ZOiS since October 2016. She is Professor of Comparative Politics at the Department of Politics and International Relations and at the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies at the University of Oxford, and is Professorial Fellow at Nuffield College and Non-Resident Associate at Carnegie Europe.

Ivan Krastev is the Chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia and Permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna. He is a founding board member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the Board of Trustees of The International Crisis Group and is a Contributing Opinion Writer of The New York Times.

Ingo Mannteufel is Head of the Department for Russia, Ukraine and Turkey and Head of the Russian Service at Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW). He is a journalist and German media expert specializing on Russia and Eastern Europe working for DW since 2000. He studied at the University of London, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, United Kingdom, and the University of Cologne, Germany.

Viacheslav Morozov is Professor of EU–Russia Studies at the University of Tartu. Before moving to Estonia in 2010, he had taught for 13 years at the St. Petersburg State University in Russia. His current research explores how Russia’s political and social development has been conditioned by the country’s position in the international system.

Silvia von Steinsdorff has been Professor of Comparative Political Science and Political Systems of Eastern Europe in the Department of Social Sciences of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, since 2009. Her research interests include various aspects of the comparative analysis of political systems, with a regional focus on Central and Eastern Europe and Turkey.

To downlaod the short biographies, please click here.

Attentive listeners: Gabriele Freitag (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Osteuropakunde), Christian Schaich (ZOiS), Ralf Beste (Auswärtiges Amt), Matthias Kleiner (Leibniz-Gemeinschaft), Alexander Wöll (Europa-Universität Viadrina) (from left). Photo: Peter Himsel

Das Podium

Viacheslav Morozov, Silvia von Steinsdorff, Gwendolyn Sasse, Ingo Mannteufel and Ivan Krastev (from left) discussed about whether democracies and authoritarian regimes are becoming more alike. Photo: Peter Himsel. Foto: Peter Himsel

Slavist Dirk Uffelmann from the University of Passau in conversation with the German ambassador in Russia, Rüdiger von Fritsch (right). Photo: Peter Himsel

Caroline von Gall from the University of Cologne and Michael Nowak from the Federal Foreign Office. Photo: Peter Himsel