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Transnational and

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Regional Dynamics

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Ph.D. Scholarships in
Humanities and Social Sciences

Analysing change

Kazakhstan unrest

07 January 2022

In her new article „Kazakhstan unrest: another regional headache for Vladimir Putin“ Bucerius Fellow Liana Semchuk analyzed the impacts of the deployment of peacekeeping troops from of the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) on January 6 in response to a plea from the country’s embattled president, Kassym-Jormat Tokayev.

„Ultimately – and thanks to the intervention of CSTO forces – the Tokayev regime’s chances of restoring control have notably increased. But the presence of foreign troops in the country could also fuel further public resentment. This may galvanise more protests, raising the question of whether the regime’s survival will hinge on continued – and maybe even greater – Russian support." 

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Analysing change

The grand return of the troops

29 December 2021

In her newly published paper „The grand return of the troops. Militarization of COVID-19 and shifting military-society relations in Visegrad“, Bucerius Fellow Weronika Grzebalska (and her colleague Zuzana Maďarová) analyze the militarization of COVID-19 through a comparative exploration of how the pandemic was handled in Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia.

„[W]e argue that rather than serving as a ‘portal’ for civilian resilience, the pandemic constituted an unprecedented ‘return of the troops’ to Visegrad states and societies in terms of its size, scope, and duration, thus strengthening the pressure for re-militarization in the region that has been recorded in the last decade.“

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Analysing change

My personal history of independence

23 August 2021

On the 30th anniversary of Ukrainian sovereignty, Advisory Board Member Mykola Riabchuk recounts a personal history of how independence was conceived, formed and defended.

„Independence is not only a story of great expectations and disappointments, but also of great insistence, as exercised by a quarter of the population, a minority that has managed to influence the majority-driven post-Soviet politics. It was this committed minority that prevented Ukraine’s backsliding into dictatorship – as it happened in Russia and Belarus.“

 

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CfA: In Search of the “Political”: Law’s (Il)legibility between Violence and Care

Working Group for Advanced Ph.D. Students and Early-Career Researchers

02 August 2021

Deadline was 13 September 2021

The working group is initiated by Bucerius Fellows Revital Madar and Ola Galal.

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Analysing change

“Struggle in the West, Humility in the East” Aleksandr Nevskii in Russian Histor

01 August 2021

In his recently published article “Struggle in the West, Humility in the East” Aleksandr Nevskii in Russian History Policy Advisory Board Member Benjamin Schenk examines the highly contested figure of Aleksandr Nevskii in Russian history policy and current culture of remembrance.

"In 2021, Russia will celebrate the 800th anniversary of the birth of Aleksandr Nevskii, both saint and national hero. The state, the Orthodox Church, and the Military-Historical Society will honour him with monuments and exhibitions. In the cultural memory of the 1990s, the Novgorod prince was present in diverse forms, as a figure of local historic significance or someone who formed a regional identity. Today, a state-serving, patriotic reading dominates. In Russia’s current culture of remembrance, Alekandr Nevskii is regarded as a guarantor of “Russian statehood”, a defender of Russia’s “autonomy”." 

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Normalisation and Realignment in the Middle East:

A New, Conflict-Prone Regional Order Takes Shape

28 July 2021

Advisory Board Member Muriel Asseburg and her co-author Sarah Ch. Henkel about regional security and conflict management in the Middle East

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„Trajectories of Change“ series at TRAFO Blog

15 December 2020

Since December 2020 TRAFO Blog for Transregional Research hosts articles originating form 
“Trajectories of Change” programme.  The series attempts to combine the critical revision of regional and transregional geographies with studies in entangled histories. It examines complex change trajectories in the East of Europe, the Middle East as well as in the Maghreb and Sahel regions.  more

Programme

“Trajectories of Change” addresses historical and current transformation processes in the European neighbourhood. Between 2014 and 2018 the programme awarded 92 stipends and fieldwork grants for Ph.D. students in the humanities and social sciences studying political and social change in Eastern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East as well as Central Asia. Conferences, workshops and joint publication projects following these funding activities concentrate on the interdisciplinary exchange. 

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Shifting the wall further east

Kundera’s tragedy of ‘central Europe’ three decades later 

19 May 2021

Advisory Board Member Mykola Riabchuk discusses the “philosophic geography” of Eastern and Central Europe.

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New at TRAFO Blog

06 January 2021

“Constitutional Capture in and around the Contested Neighborhood” – Blog entry by Žilvinas Švedkauskas shows how autocratization affects both the EU and its neighbouring countries


“Scholars of area studies and policymakers have been “dividing” the neighborhood, narrowing their respective research questions and policy problems into “eastern-” and “southern-”, country-, and region-specific issues. Though compartmentalization simplifies research and policymaking, I believe it turns our attention away from gradual changes occurring on both sides of the contested European border. Let us consider the contemporary script of autocratization, which I aim to explore in my doctoral dissertation.” 
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Analysing Change

A Green Gambit: The Development of Environmental Foreign Policy in Morocco

28 December 2020

Bucerius Fellow Katharina Nicolai explores the function and significance of environmental sustainability policy of Morocco:

“I argue that Morocco’s expanding reputation as a posterchild of environmental sustainability is not merely a product of specific need, but an instrument of broad governance realignment whose drivers and purpose go significantly beyond concerns over the environment and energy security.” 

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New at TRAFO Blog

16 December 2020

“Trajectories of Change: New Research Projects on the European Neighbourhood” – Introduction to the new blog series by Anna Hofmann


“The revolutionary moments of the Arab Spring in 2011 and the Ukrainian “Euromaidan” in 2014 called for a remarkable rise of public and academic attention towards regions in the east and south of the European continent. Protests, repressions, regime changes or authoritarian reinforcements were closely followed by international media. They resulted in debates about the changing political, social and economic situation in the region, the resilience of the authoritarian regimes, the prospects for liberalisation and democratisation as well as economic outlooks for countries in turmoil. In these circumstances, novel academic inquiries have also arisen, and new research projects have been developed. They have been increasingly questioning prevailing assumptions about the historically founded inertia and path dependencies in the political and social developments at Europe’s margins, within the so called “European Neighbourhood”. 
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Analysing Change

03 December 2020

Bucerius Fellow Regine Schwab and her colleagues Hanna Pfeifer and Clara-Auguste Süß on “Who are these ´Islamists´ everyone talks about?! Why academics struggles over words matter”:

“Politicians, the media, and social media users alike have framed recent attacks in Europe as instances of “Islamist” violence. The current debate often remains superficial and uses the umbrella term of “Islamism” to describe a diverse spectrum of actors, ideologies, and activities.”

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