Esileht - Ühiskonnateaduste instituut - Teadus - Akadeemiliste suundade teadustegevus - Riigiteadused




In the frame of the project

Post-Soviet Tensions: A PhD and post-doctoral Training Programme in Post-Soviet Affairs for Early Career Researchers

Funded by a FP7/Marie Curie ITN action
and coordinated by Dublin City University, School of Law and Government

For general information about the network and its activities please contact the project leader 
Dr Abel Polese, abel.polese(at) 

Upcoming events:

Previous events: 


Tensions: short description

The main aim of this project is to create the next generation of experts on post-Soviet affairs and make them competitive for employment in both the public and private sector.

This will be made possible thanks to a highly-targeted training in this research programme that will enhance participants' research skills, together with a first-hand experience with a partner operating in a market environment, where the researchers will learn about the applicability of their skills to different fields and sectors.

The above activities will also assist the establishment, and sustainability, of an interdisciplinary and intersectorial research and training environment on post-Soviet affairs that we expect to become a leading voice on issues related to post-Soviet affairs, both in academia and the private sector.



“Tensions” is a term to be understood in a broad sense in the post-Soviet context, where tensions may be latent, dormant, managed and contained, or erupting. They may also be political, social, domestic and international. We will examine tensions in different contexts, regions, segments of the society and between different actors. Tensions between the state and the citizens, ethnic groups and states, states and non state actors, and between different ethnic, social or economic groups.

  1. Citizenship and Identity in post-Soviet spaces (PhD, Tallinn University)
  2. Socio-economic tensions between ethnic groups resulting from post-independence nation building (PhD, Tallinn University)

Doctoral Students will register in the university and will be governed by the regulations, including language requirements, of that university (in principle, the doctoral thesis can be submitted in English in all our partner universities but course work language has to be negotiated with the university). They will undertake coursework within their host university, typically during their first year. In addition all the PhD students will meet at workshops, summer and winter schools and conferences two to three times per year, where more specialised and collective graduate training will be undertaken. All students will be required to undertake fieldwork in the region, for which some funding will be available on application. In addition doctoral students, will spend time in one of the private sector partners (to specialise in one of the following: consulting for the public and private sector, information and publishing, social research for private companies). They will be expected to complete their Doctoral studies in early 2017.


Tallinn University

From a pool of accomplished applicants the Institute of Political Science and Governance awarded PhD scholarships to Emilia Pawłusz and Oleksandra Seliverstova.

Emilia Pawłusz will be writing her dissertation on the topic Lost in transition? The symbolism, functions and meanings of choral singing in contemporary Estonia. „More than any other phenomenon, choruses embodied the 19th century discovery of Europe as a continent of nations. Choruses of all size and shapes around Europe implemented the convergence of the popular and the political in folk song and then in national song (Bohlman 2011). Among the best-known choral traditions were those of the Baltic states, especially of Estonia. Influenced by the Baltic German traditions, by the 20th century Estonian choruses were following distinctively Estonian routes. The Estonian singing emphasized the mass chorus, a forum to be later recognized as an authentic rendition of the Estonian identity and national heritage. In the 20th century song festivals served as a means of democratic and non-violent resistance to imperialism, culminating in the Baltic countries’ secession from the Soviet Union./.../The main objective is to examine the dynamics of the Estonian singing tradition since the collapse of the USSR. In other words, I intend to find out how a ritual that once carried a need for historical memory, democratization, human rights, and political freedom is being reframed for contemporary circumstances.“

Oleksandra Seliverstova will be writing her dissertation on the topic Consumerism and Integration: The Role of Consumerism in the Integration of National Minorities in post-Soviet Spaces: Evidence from Estonia and Ukraine. „The goal of this project aims to study the role of consumerism, and the emergence of a consumerist culture, in the definition of national identity in post-Soviet spaces. More specifically, this project will explore the way embracing a consumerist culture helps, or hinders in case, the integration of national minorities, and in particular Russians, in Estonia and Ukraine. /.../ By studying the effects of consumerism culture on the formation and re-formation of a national  identity, this research will show a correlation between adoption of consumerism and ethnic integration.“


Annex I: List of partners

Full partners:

Dublin City University (Coordinator)
University of Oslo, Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages
University of St Andrews, School of International Relations
Forschungsstelle Osteuropa - Research Centre for East European Studies at the University of Bremen
Tallinn University, Institute of Political Science and Governance
University of Warsaw, Institute of International Relations

Associate partners:

Caucasus InterConnect (the Netherlands)
GeoWel Research (Georgia)
Ibidem Verlag (Germany)
Levada Centre (Russia)
SIAR Research (Kyrgyzstan)
Transitions Online (the Czech Republic)