International Journal Laboratorium: Russian Review of Social Research in collaboration with Aleksanteri Institute arrange a roundtable discussion


"Post-Soviet Studies: Crisis of Conventions and Compromises"


When: October 19, 2022 18.00–19.30

Where: Humina room on the 3rd floor, Metsätalo

or via Zoom:

Meeting ID: 692 2714 8299 | Passcode: 603740


As part of this roundtable, there will be an open discussion of what the military aggression in Ukraine means for the research field that used to call itself "post-Soviet studies". Over the past decades social sciences have engaged with the legacy of socialism, various configurations of the post-Soviet transformations, reforms and institutional building, the phenomenon of nostalgia for the Soviet ethos, forms of historical memory, the Soviet past, formation and attenuation of identities, historical traumas, etc. All these topics have comprised a rich interdisciplinary agenda of the post-Soviet studies over decades. The ongoing crisis poses a new challenge for the post-Soviet studies. It problematized many, if not all, academic conventions and compromises that have been formed within the framework of the post-Soviet studies over the years of their existence. Everything related to the spatial and temporal conventions of the post-Soviet worlds, including the foundations of the (post-)Soviet identities, now needs to be re-conceptualized.


These are the questions to be discussed at the roundtable:


Have post-Soviet studies as a subset of area studies been underestimated and prematurely abandoned? Or did the framework outlive its usefulness and lingered artificially?

How will the ongoing events in Ukraine influence the epistemic aspects of research into post-Socialist transformations in terms of temporal and spatial conventions, identities, historical memory, trends of development, etc.?

How decolonization of post-Soviet studies may be realized? Will the decolonization of post-Soviet studies lead to the formation of new configurations and hierarchies in the understanding of the post-Soviet space? Will it lead to degeneration (cancellation) of Russian studies?

How does the current crisis fit within or expand the scope of post-Soviet studies and its traditional subjects?

Is the compromise of borrowing Western theories fair? Should researchers of post-Soviet transformations learn to theorize? Can they be competitive in the international social science arena?

Moderator: Dr. Elena Bogdanova, editor of Laboratorium: Russian Review  of Social Research


Dr. Judith Pallot, Professor of Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki / Emeritus Professor, University of Oxford (Christ Church)

Dr. Marianna Muravyeva, Professor of Russian Law and Administration For Legal and Peaceful Conflict Resolution Faculty of Law / Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki

Dr. Dace Dzenovska, Associate Professor in the Anthropology of Migration, University of Oxford

Dr. Jeremy Morris, Professor of School of Culture and Society - Russian and Balkan Studies, subject at Aarhus University