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Fellows 2017


Free University Berlin

Bucerius Ph.D. Fellow

Social Innovation in Non-Democratic Regimes: Interaction between State and Civil Society - the Case of Russia


In her Ph.D. thesis, Julia investigates the process of social innovation in Russia focusing on interactions between state and society as its main actors. The research is centered on digital crowdsourcing platforms that facilitate people’s involvement into the solution finding for different problems, ranging from urban infrastructure to fighting corruption. This technology also creates an indirect channel of horizontal and vertical communication and generates more transparency in the state-society relations. Independent activists in different places in Russia are managing these platforms, thus the exertion of influence by the state is limited as compared to the situation with the NGO sector. The main research question is how digital social innovation changes forms and quality of interaction between state and society.

Julia Mierau (Ostanina) is a doctoral candidate at the Free University Berlin in the Department of Sociology. She completed a master's degree in European Studies (M.A.) at the University of Leipzig. Currently, Julia is a research assistant in the Eastern Europe and Eurasia Division at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs. Her research interests include development of civil societies in Eastern Europe, state-society relations and social innovation processes.

Julia Mierau. Erfolg der russischen Systemopposition bei den Regionalwahlen: Moskau sieht in den jüngsten Wahlergebnissen ein Warnsignal, SWP-Aktuell 2018/A 61, November 2018.


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