Meet our new EurasiaLab Fellows and their Research Projects
The “Eurasia Lab & Fellowship Program” of the Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP) called for applications of junior researchers working on Central Asia, the Southern Caucasus and Eastern Europe to present their research ideas for funding within the fellowship program. Until May 2021, the program seeks to support the top three most outstanding research projects with a one-time scholarship of up to 9,000 euro, program and network events to integrate the researchers into IEP’s network and the involvement in the EurasiaLab’s podcast series.
Among all applicants, three research teams convinced us the most of their excellence and suitability to our fellowship program through their overall academic quality, outstanding research designs and topic proposals. Please find a short presentation of the teams and their research projects in the following. We wish all three selected research teams the best of success with the implementation of their projects. We are looking forward to our collaboration during the upcoming months and the results of the projects.
The EurasiaLab Fellows
Azizjon Berdiqulov, Muslimbek Buriev and Sergey Marinin: “Civil Society and the COVID-19 Governance Crisis in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan”
The research project is aimed to identify and categorize the dynamics of civil society organizations’ (CSOs) activities during the COVID-19 pandemic in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Particularly, they will look at which roles CSOs assumed to assist local populations throughout the crisis. The key purpose is to analyze and provide recommendations on how local governments and international organizations can integrate the strategies of non-state crisis-driven activism into their respective policies.
The team consists of three aspiring researchers who work in different spheres, but share a common academic background. Having run multiple research projects, they advanced both their research and project management skills. Closely cooperating with expert communities, state and non-state actors, they gained solid expertise in analyzing the policies of Central Asia concerning civil society and democratization processes, human rights and political mobilization of minorities. They managed to build a diverse network, which they will use for the benefit of the project, especially in the context of Central Asia, where personal connections play a decisive role in obtaining information.
Mihai-Razvan Corman, Eliana Coraci and Nicolas Heger: “EU external anti-corruption promotion. A case study on the Republic of Moldova”
The research project “EU external anti-corruption promotion. A case study on the Republic of Moldova” aims to identify the underlying factors that favor EU anti-corruption policy, focusing on the EU’s legal competences and instruments aimed at tackling corruption in Moldova. The project rests on the observation that Moldova is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. EU anti-corruption promotion is of high policy-relevance for the future EU-Moldova relations and Moldova’s aspirations to become a European-style democracy with a functioning rule of law system and a free, peaceful and prosperous society.
Mihai-Razvan Corman is a PhD Researcher at Ghent University and an Independent Consultant for the European Commission and the Institute of European Democrats, a think tank funded by the European Parliament. Eliana Coraci is a researcher and analyst with expertise on disinformation in the Eastern Partnership, currently working for NATO HQ in Brussels. Nicolas Heger is a Program Coordinator at the Kyiv Mohyla Academy (NaUKMA) and a consultant for GIZ Ukraine. Mihai, Eliana and Nicolas are members and research fellows of the Moldovan-German Forum, a Chisinau-based non-governmental organization whose aim is to enhance the European integration process in Moldova.
Vasil Navumau and Olga Matveieva: “Prospects of Post-Authoritarian Transformation in Belarus: Tracing Civic and Political Initiatives for Democracy Promotion”
The project aims to trace civic initiatives, emerged during the upsurge of the mass mobilization after the falsification of the presidential elections in Belarus in 2020. This period is characterized by transferring from the previously prioritized strategy of ‘collective exit’ from the politically-charged issues back to ‘collective voice’, or protesting against the authorities. The project will analyze civic initiatives to connect them to the existing Eastern Partnership instruments and the EU mechanisms to expand the dialogue on a peaceful conflict regulation in Belarus. Also, it will identify the possible strategies of cooperation between the EU and Belarusian civil society.
Vasil Navumau, PhD in Sociology, is a visiting fellow at the Center for Advanced Internet Studies (Bochum) and civic activist. He is an author of a monography and several publications on protest movements in Belarus, Russian disinformation in Belarus. Olga Matveieva, PhD in Public Administration, is an associate professor at the Institute for Public Administration. Her research interests include e‑governance, contentious politics, gender issues, global challenges to public administration system. The researchers published several co-authored comparative articles on protest in Belarus (Revolution of Consistency) and Ukraine (EuroMaidan), and gender-related consequences of COVID-19 pandemic for both countries.
We received an outstanding number of 97 applications from individual researchers and research teams. The majority of applications came from Central Asia, followed by the Southern Caucasus and Eastern Europe. Country-wise, the most applications came from Georgia, followed by Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The transformative political and socio-economic developments in Eurasia were well-reflected in the proposed research topics. The broad field of proposals focused on various contemporary developments in the Eurasia region in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, political conflict, corruption as well as civil society actors and initiatives that are shaping the region’s political landscape.
We would like to use this opportunity to thank all researchers and research teams for their applications and interest in our program. Seeing the overwhelming interest in the region’s developments and challenges in a time like this serves as an inspiration to us and strengthens our commitment to connecting researches working on Eurasia.
This project is supported by the Open Society Foundations (OSF). The opinions expressed by the project and its publications may not reflect OSF’s views.