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News from Apr 19, 2022

  • 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.