ZOiS Research Colloquium

As of the winter semester 2020, the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS), in cooperation with the Freie Universität Berlin, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), is opening invitations to a new multidisciplinary research colloquium. The colloquium is to serve as a discussion forum for work in progress by PhD candidates, postdocs, and established researchers whose work in the social sciences focuses on Eastern Europe. With this colloquium, the aim is to establish a permanent meeting point in the Berlin-Brandenburg area for those engaged in research on Eastern Europe. The research colloquium will take place online every second Wednesday at 5pm in the months during the semester. We will send the access data shortly before the beginning of each session.

If you wish to participate, please register with Anja Krüger (events(at)zois-berlin(dot)de).


Prof. Dr. Gwendolyn Sasse, Zentrum für Osteuropa- und internationale Studien
Prof. Dr. Katharina Bluhm, Freie Universität Berlin
Prof. Dr. Sabine Kropp, Freie Universität Berlin
Prof. Dr. Silvia von Steinsdorff, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Prof. Dr. Timm Beichelt, Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)

Programme winter semester 2020/2021

November 11, 2020

Trajectories of state capitalism in post-socialist states

In her dissertation, Misook Choi explores how state capitalism emerged and sustained in the post-socialist bloc over the last three decades.The longitudinal comparison traces economic institutions and industrial strategies which crystalize socio-political compromises, covering Belarus, Slovenia, Poland, Hungary, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. At the session, we will discuss Trajectory-based Qualitative comparative analysis (TJ-QCA) results with brief explanations on the typical cases of each trajectory type including Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Misook Choi (Researcher, Governance in Emerging Economies in Berlin, and PhD Candidate, University of Groningen)

December 9,  2020

Negotiating ‘labour migration’: Competing political projects of postsocialist development

This PhD thesis examines political debates on immigration in post-Soviet Russia and shows how the social construction of immigration as a political issue is related to questions of economy, identity and morality in a globalized world. In doing so, it contextualizes the specific debate on immigration within broader societal developments and interprets conflicts over immigration as disputes about post-socialist development. The empirical analysis focuses on the Russian expert discourse and investigates how expert knowledge is translated into state policy under conditions of authoritarian rule.

Julia Glathe (Freie Universität Berlin, Institute for East European Studies, Sociology)

January 13, 2021

Questioning the Concept of "Religious Activism" in Russian Orthodoxy from a Theological Position

Theology and social sciences have different methodological and conceptional approaches on "religious activism", which complicate the interdisciplinary exchange about these issues. By exploring the analytical opportunities and boundaries of the concept of “religious activism” from a theological perspective, I want to suggest a new interdisciplinary dialogue between anthropology and theology. By focusing on a theological analysis of the mechanisms of negotiating “activism” within the church, the analysis will engage with recent processes of dissent within the Orthodox Church on the sociopolitical developments in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

Regina Elsner (ZOiS Researcher)

February 10,  2021 

Materialized Futurities? - The Soviet city and its aftermath in Central Asia and the Southern Caucasus

Cross-cutting Urban Sociology, Social Geography and the History of the Soviet South (Caucasus and Central Asia), I explore not only how urbanity was created, but how as a physical remainder of the ancien régime, they condition social relations in present-day Bishkek and Yerevan. Engaging with the wide-spread consensus that space shapes and, in return, is shaped by social relations, this paper asks: which role plays urban materiality that has outlived the system to which it owes its existence?

David Leupold (Postdoctoral research fellow at Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO))