Springe direkt zu Inhalt

COURSES SumSe 2022


  • “Digital East”: Auswirkungen digitaler Kulturen
    Our project seminar also deals with the conflict of interests between the state and civil society with regard to digitalization and the resulting dangers and opportunities. After an interdisciplinary, theoretical, and conceptual introduction to the topic, the course focuses on supervised project work in small groups. Scientific, journalistic, and artistic projects are realized, which can be thematically located in all areas of the institute. 


  • Before Nord Stream 2 and All That: German-Russian/Soviet Economic Relations in the Long 20th Century
    This course reconstructs the long history of German-Russian/Soviet economic relations between ~ the 1900 and the post-Soviet era. Its first part will be devoted to theoretical and methodological basics regarding the political economy of international relations, actors and structural features. In the second part, students will conduct small group projects to reconstruct German-Russian/Soviet economic relations in chronological order. The seminar will be jointly organized by Martin Lutz (HU) and Robert Kindler (FU).

  • Soviet History through the Senses
    In 1994 George H. Roeder Jr. published an article in the Journal of American History titled ‚Coming to Our Senses‘ and claimed: „Ours is a nearly sense-less profession.“ (JAH 81, 3; p. 1112.). Only a few historians have studied sensory experiences up to this point; most notably Alain Corbin. We will delve into the main themes of the historiography of the Soviet Union and explore their still largely uncharted sensory dimension. Although we will work mainly with texts and audio-visual material, we will also strive for a practical approach, for example, by studying Soviet cookbooks. 

  • Das Russländische Imperium und die Sowjetunion in westlichen Reiseberichten
    Until well into the second half of the 20th century, travelogues from Russia and the Soviet Union served historical researchers at best as a "reservoir of quotations" and were considered useful historical sources only to a limited extent. Together, we will devote this seminar to a selection of well-known and lesser-known (Western) European and American travelogues from the beginning of the 19th to the end of the 20th century.


  • Andersdenken/Umdenken. Protest und Dissidenz in osteuropäischen Kulturen

    The seminar examines artistic forms of resistance, alterity, and protest in literature, photography, film, and performance in Eastern European cultures from ca. 1900 to the present. Attention will focus on the following questions: What are forms of articulation, rhetorics, and narratives of the counterculture? How are spaces and (off)times of protest shaped? Which aesthetics of resistance or subversion can be observed?

  • Die Erfindung einer Region. Zentralasien in der sowjetischen Kultur
    The seminar is dedicated to the cultural imaginary and considers the 'invention' of Soviet Central Asia between the October Revolution and the end of the empire. The focus is on the one hand on the specific processes of the invention of revolution, nation, history, and city in the early Soviet and Stalinist periods, and on the other hand on the growing unease in the multinational empire that manifested itself since the Thaw and was linked to the critique of cultural experiences of alienation, ecological crises, and growing ethnic tensions.

  • Der rote Globus. Osteuropäische Reiseliteratur im Kalten Krieg
    The seminar aims to develop a systematic insight into the history and theory of the genre of travel literature and to reconstruct the specific genesis of the genre in the context of the Cold War, globalization and decolonization using the example of Eastern European accounts. The seminar is offered in cooperation with Dr. Matthias Schwartz from the Leibniz Center for Literary and Cultural Research (ZfL) in Berlin. 

  • Erinnern, Wiederholen, Durcharbeiten – Migrationserzählungen aus Mittel- und Osteuropa
    The seminar builds on an intensive text-analytical work from a Slavic perspective and focuses especially on the following works and authors, who impressively demonstrate different forms of movement through spaces, cultures, time or even language to the readership: Olga Gryaznova's "The Russian is one who loves birches" (2012), Katya Petrovskaya's "Maybe Esther" (2014), and Sasha Marianna Salzmann's "Out of herself" (2017). 


  • Development Assistance Policy of Eastern European Countries and Russia
    The goal of the course is to give an analysis of the development assistance priorities of Russia and Eastern European countries. The course will be focused on the evolution of the concept of development cooperation and its role in promoting the economic and political interests of a state. More info can be found in the description of the seminar.

  • Quantitative Methods in Autocracy Research
    The class aims to combine a brief introduction into the quantitative research in modern social sciences with the discussion of specific problems quantitative political science faces while studying authoritarian regimes. It builds upon the previous knowledge of quantitative methods (especially regression analysis) and focuses on the topics of causal identification. The class will be accompanied by the discussion of practical examples of studying authoritarian regimes using quantitative methods. 

  • Deutsche Außenpolitik zu Ost- und Südosteuropa: Herausforderungen der Politikberatung
    The course is intended to provide insight into policy advice on numerous political and social challenges facing both the countries of Eastern and Southeastern Europe and German and EU policy towards these states. It will be organized in cooperation with LMU Munich; it is planned to hold the event as a block in the first week after the end of the semester and as a series of visits to relevant institutions; pandemic-related changes are of course reserved.

  • Kleptocracy, Rents, and Development in Eurasia
    The seminar explores this variety of rent-seeking and development in Eurasian societies, which offer a rich empirical ground to ask about the different sources of rents, the ways in which they are controlled and distributed by various actors, and the conditions under which rent-driven development processes succeed, falter or fail. To this end, we will first explore conceptual approaches to the relationship between kleptocracy, rent and development. We will then look at processes of rent management, rent channelling, and rent circulation, using different country cases, levels and sectors, to find out how various state and non-state actors seek to navigate, alter or block Eurasia’s political economies.


  • Russische Eliten

    This seminar combines sociological and political science approaches to elite and authoritarianism research in order to broaden the view and to identify structural connections. The focus is on the recruitment, composition and lines of conflict in the political elite, the relationship between economic elites and the state, and between the state and the Russian Orthodox Church. In addition, the increasing closure in the wake of the conflict with the West and the question of counter-elites are discussed.

  • Gender, Nation and Welfare States in Eastern Europe
    The focus of this seminar is more on Central and Eastern Europe, Ukraine and Russia. We combine theoretical conceptualizations with empirical findings on the interaction of gender regimes, nation-building and social policy. We will discuss why "gender" has become an important issue for the rise of right-wing populism or illiberal conservatism. 

  • Social Structures of Post-Communism
    This seminar helps students develop scientific arguments and terms papers via an offer of motivating and thought-provoking topics that reveal the rich societal diversity of a multi-faceted Eastern Europe. The seminar’s empirical focus is on the social structures of post-communist societies. Throughout the seminar students work on various individual and team assignments, helping them develop the analytical skills needed in social scientific scholars. 

  • Civil Society and Social Movements
    The seminar combines theoretical texts on civil society and social movements with important examples of collective action in post-communist Europe. Cases to be discussed in class include the NGO sector and the international “democratization industry”, the role of intellectual dissidents, Solidarnosc in Poland, cultural movements – both conservative (in Poland) and anarchist (Voina, in Russia), far-right movements in Russia and Poland, Otpor in Serbia and its global model for peaceful revolutions, Ukraine’s Euromaidan and its aftermath.  

  • Social Problems and Social Policies: Experiences from Post-Communist Countries
    Following decades of neoliberal offensive against the welfare state, post-communist countries have found themselves with a set of most often externally-defined “social problems”, to be tackled with communist-era institutions. Discrimination, gender and family policies, poverty, drug addiction, crime, disability, and many others: These cases of hotly debated "social problems" and the means used to address them in post-communist Europe inform and structure our seminar, along with theoretical texts in the sociology of social problems and deviance.

  • Researching Identities
    This seminar discusses strategies for researching identities through qualitative (ethnographic) methods with a special focus on radicalized, as well as repressed or stigmatized identities. We will also detail the use(fulness) of “identity” and explore whether and how identities can explain phenomena as varied as extremism, social action, deviance etc.

  • Migration and Transformation
    This seminar links the analysis of migration phenomena to post-socialist theory and, through this, to the analysis of social change. It offers a broad overview of migration and migration policy in Eastern Europe and discusses these phenomena in the context of the post-socialist transformation. We will examine which social aspects of transformation influence migration processes and how migration itself influences social change. 


  • Economics of Post-Soviet Education

    This seminar provides a comprehensive overview of the empirical economic analysis of investment in and provision of education in post-Soviet countries. The transformation process and characteristics of the education system in these countries will be examined. The seminar will also analyze the production and provision of education.

  • The political economy of (un)sustainable development in Central Asia
    The course is jointly conducted by political economist Kuat Akizhanov (Nur-Sultan) and political scientist Sebastian Schiek (Berlin) and takes place in English partly online, partly offline. The course aims to build an understanding of evolution and transformations that has taken place in the five post-Soviet Central Asian countries, namely, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. This course applies the interdisciplinary approach to analyse the socio-economic and political processes in the region. The course is designed to provide students with a solid introduction to key actors in the Central Asian states and approaches that will serve as the analytical basis and a tool for policymaking. 

  • Quantitative Methoden mit STATA
    This seminar is intended for students who have little or no knowledge of econometrics or of using the statistical program STATA. It includes a step-by-step introduction to data analysis with STATA, as basic knowledge of regression methods and a confident use of STATA are important prerequisites for successful participation in advanced master courses. Participants will learn basic models and methods for analyzing microeconometric data and will be able to perform such analyses using a program such as STATA.