Research Projects

The chair of Political Science of the Institute for East European Studies is committed to acquire funding for the organization of research projects from various sponsors, like the Volkswagen Foundation, DAAD or the Alexander von Humbold-Foundation (AvH). With these projects, the CGP directly contributes to academic research and debate via publications, workshops and conference participation. The different past and ongoing projects are represented in the text boxes below. Please click on each of the titles for more information.
Due to the expected retirement of Prof. Dr. Klaus Segbers as of October 2019, there are no current or ongoing research projects at the chair of Political Science at the Institute for East European Studies. For previous projects, please see the different sections below.

Mega cities and global city regions are gaining more and more importance in a world where the traditional Westphalian state system increasingly erodes. The research project “Urban Times” has dealt with the phenomenon of the emergence of non-state actors and especially cities and their role in finding answers on traditional and new issues in world politics. As distances between various entities have lost importance in times of globalization and acceleration, the research project has engaged into the discussion on how cities are playing an even more important element in this emerging diversified global landscape. One major aspect of the research project has been the analysis of cities and their connection to various forms of global flows, like capital, information, migration etc. The project has been generously funded by Volkswagen Foundation.

The University Consortium is a network of six high-ranking Universities - the St. Antony’s College at the University of Oxford, the Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO), National Research University - Higher School of Economics in Moscow (HSE), Freie Universität in Berlin, the Harriman Institute at Columbia University as well as the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. The program is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York for an initial period of two years. The decision for funding has been taken in September 2015. The main aim of the project is to enable and support student as well as intellectual exchange. This happens via different tools, like online discussions, the participation at online webinars, University Consortium modules (trips of a group of students to another UC institution) and the writing articles for blogs, journals etc. Topics discussed all evolve around the tense relationship between Russia and the West in the current times of crises. Freie Universität Berlin has organized the University Consortium Module in November 2016 and has been happy to welcome researchers and students from the partner institutions for this one week event in Berlin. However, due to disagreement about various topics, Freie Universität Berlin representatives decided to leave the cooperation at the end of 2017.

For further information on the network and the upcoming events please take a look at the following homepage:

Since 2011, two Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation (AvH) projects have been conducted in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Andrey Makarychev from the University of Tartu.

Russian Security Discourses: Explaining the variety of Approaches

This project has been funded from June 2011 to August 2013. The project was aimed at analyzing Russia’s discourses on Europe from various research perspectives, including critical discourse analysis, security studies and cultural studies. The research was mainly focused on unpacking the conflictual logic of EU-Russia relations, as well interaction and communication between them in the common neighborhood. Specific cases included Russia-German relations, as well as political and cultural discourses in three countries whose identities are the most sensitive to the fluctuations of EU-Russia conflicts - Estonia, Ukraine and Georgia.

Among the main outcomes of this project are two books:

Andrey Makarychev. "Russia and the EU in a Multipolar World: Discourses, Identities, Norms. Stutgart: ibidem-Verlag, 2014, with a foreword by Klaus Segbers. World-Discourses- Post-Soviet/dp/3838205294

Book reviews:

Andrey Makarychev, Alexandra Yatsyk. Celebrating Borderlands in a Wider Europe: Nations and Identities in Ukraine, Georgia and Estonia. Nomos, 2016.

Book review:

Other publications related to this project include:

Russia and Germany in the Space of European Communications. Edited by Andrey Makaryhev and Andrey Deviatkov. Tiumen University Press, 2013 (in Russian).

Andrey Makarychev. Soft Power in German – Russian Relations. WeltTrends N 89, Marz/April 2013.

Andrey Makarychev. Norms vs. Interests, Agents vs. Structures: The Case of Russian – German Relationship in a Wider Europe. In Die Kooperation zwischen der EU und Russland. Edited by Jochen Franzke, Bogdan Koszel and Andrey Kinyakin. Potsdamer Textbucher PTB 19, 2013.

Andrey Makarychev. Russia – EU: Competing logics of region building. In Economization versus Power Ambitions: Rethinking Russia’s Policy towards post-Soviet States. Edited by Stefan Meister. Nomos, 2013.

Andrey Makarychev. Hard Questions about Soft Power. Berlin: DGAP, October 2011.

Focusing on the role of borders and cross-country interactions in the Baltic States, this project has been funded from 2014 to mid-2016. Various forms of “borders” – not only in the traditional sense of state borders - are analyzed, like ideological ones, identity constructed borders, economic ones etc. In addition, a special focus has been given on regionalization and identity construction in the wider region of north Eastern Europe plus Russia.

Among the main outcomes are:

Academic conferences: “Business as usual? Governing the Baltic Sea Region in times of changing security needs” (co-organized with the University of Tartu, May 2015) and “Regions, Boundaries, and Russia – EU Disconnections”, Free University Berlin, October 2015

Teaching mobility: in the fall semester of 2015 Kristina Piilik and Inna Melnykovska taught guest lectures at the University of Tartu

Publications: project participants contributed to an edited volume titled

“Borders in the Baltic Sea Region: Suturing the Ruptures”, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

This one-year project been conducted by the University of St. Petersburg, Faculty of International Relations, and Freie Universität Berlin, Institute for East European Studies and has been funded by the SPbU-FUB Joint Seed Money Funding Scheme. The timeframe for funding of the project has been from February 2015 to December 2015. Two workshops have been organized, one in June 2015 in St. Petersburg and one within another workshop at Freie Universität Berlin, organized in October 2015. The aim of the joint undertaking was to review and analyze the current state of the German-Russian relations in the light of the military conflict and crises in Eastern Ukraine. The initial spark of the project was that the German politicians and the public were and still are highly split on the issue on how to react to the foreign policy behavior of Russia in 2014 (and onwards) towards Ukraine. While the focus of the project within the first month has been on German-Russian relations, it has shifted towards the European level and the “Western”-Russian relations after a first kick-off meeting in St. Petersburg – taking into account the multi-faceted dimensions of the crises. Project participants were highly split on many issues and topics related to the crises. This is encapsulated within the CGP working paper “The Ukrainian crisis and its implications for Western-Russian relations Contrasting views on the reasons for the confrontation” (see: paper-03- 2016/index.html).

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