Political Science

Below you will find terminated research projects that concern research discipline Political Science.

Nationalism and Imperialism in Russian Liberal Thought

Duration: October 2013 - ongoing

Project leader: Susanna Rabow-Edling | Project page

This project concerns the relationship between liberalism, nationalism and imperialism in Russian political thought. It strives to show that both nationalism and imperialism were part of the Russian liberal project and were seen as connected to the development of a modern Russia.

Democratic Values in Post-Accession Lithuania

Duration: 1 June 2013 - 31 July 2013

Project leader: Ausra Padskocimaite | Project page

The aim of the project was to study whether democratic values such as respect for human rights and tolerance promoted by the European Union during the pre-accession period took root in Lithuania. In order to join the European Union candidate countries had to meet the so-called Copenhagen criteria (respect for rule of law and human rights, democratic state of governance, functioning market economy) that led to numerous legislative and administrative changes in the field of human rights. However, it seemed that the formal institutional framework had changed much faster than people’s attitudes and beliefs. The first part of the project was based on interviews with representatives from different human rights NGOs in Lithuania. During the second part, a representative population survey was carried out to uncover people’s ideas about human rights and tolerance of unpopular groups. The results of the survey could provide interesting insights about meaningful differences between different age groups (younger generation is expected to be more tolerant), people with different educational background, religion etc. 

The Image of Islam in Russia

Duration: 6-8 October, 2016 

Project leader: Greg Simons | Project page (coming soon)

Since the collapse of Communism and the emergence of the Russian Federation, in terms of official rhetoric and documents, the country prides itself on being a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional state. Yet, there are counter-veiling tendencies in Russian society that openly do not embrace or are suspicious of ‘Other’ cultures and identities. This can be seen with the rise of nationalism and the current insurgencies in the Northern Caucasus, which can influence public opinion and perception of Islam. The issues of ethnic and religious identities are increasingly under pressure from political actors, and this causes a lack of the needed frank and open discussions on the matter. The conference will explore how Islam is understood, viewed and projected in the public and media sphere in contemporary Russia. A multidisciplinary perspective shall be used to try and illuminate the different aspects to the debate, both historical and contemporary – therefore the disciplines shall include, but not be restricted to history, political science, sociology, religion and mass communication. It shall include how Islam projects itself to other communities and how other communities perceive and react to Islam.

Institutions and Visa Regimes

Duration: September 2014 – May 2016

Project leader: Leonid Polishchuk | Project page

Visa barriers between countries depend on the quality of formal and informal institutions. We show, theoretically and empirically, that when nations improve the quality of their “institutions-services”, measured e.g. by government effectiveness, visa barriers for citizens of those nations get lower. However, an improvement of “institutions-rules”, such as protection of property rights, makes visa barriers higher due to externalities inherent to international travel. We also demonstrate that formal and informal institutions complement each other in their impact on visa regimes.

Social Media and Political Mobilization

Duration: March 2012 - Sep 2013

Project leader: Leonid Polishchuk | Project page

The project develops a theory and uses empirical evidence to explain the mechanism of political mobilization and collective action that was at work during the 2011-2012 political protests in Russia. It is argued that the surge of protests was driven by a peer effect enhanced by social media. While this mechanism was sufficient to power up protests over a short period of time, it failed to sustain massive political participation in longer term. The project gives evidence of the “strength of weak ties” effect in political participation by making use of social media communication data.

Internet Activism in Azerbaijan: Civil Society Renewed?

Duration: 2012- 2014

Project leader: Sofie Bedford | Project page

The empirical aim of this research project was to analyze the features and functions of the phenomenon of Internet activism in the Azerbaijani context. On a theoretical level the purpose was to link between the roles of civil society and informal social networks in the democratic consolidation process.

Nation Building in Times of Conflict: The Discursive Construction of Russian National Identity through the 2008 War in Georgia

Duration: September 2011 - June 2016

Project leader: Marina Henrikson | Project page

This thesis examines the discursive construction and re-construction of Russian state and national identity and the subsequent articulation of foreign policy through the 2008 war in Georgia, and how the role of lexicon and terminology within international relations assists in creating, maintaining and reformulating the identity of states and nations and their respective practices.

Post-election briefing: Lessons Learned for the Azerbaijani Opposition (Seminar)

Duration: November-December 2013

Project leader: Sofie Bedford | Project page

Protest Baku: Is Azerbaijan next in line for a democratic revolution? (Research Symposium)

Duration: March-May 2013

Project leader: Sofie Bedford | Project page

Corruption and Anti-Corruption Policies in Eurasia

Duration: March 2012 - March 2014

Project leader: Johan Engvall | Project page

Project assessing anti-corruption policies under conditions of systemic corruption in Eurasia with special reference to the cases of Georgia after the Rose Revolution and the efforts to fight corruption in Kyrgyzstan after constitutional reforms in 2012. One part of the project is conducted in cooperation with the Institute of Developing Economies in Tokyo, Japan. Another part is supported by the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute – Silk Road Studies, Washington, DC and Stockholm.  

The state as investment market: corruption and the state

Duration: 2005 - 2011

Project leader: Johan Engvall | Project page

What type of state has emerged in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan, and what kind of theoretical framework must we develop to understand its behavior and performance? This study argues that the logic of political and bureaucratic organization follows that of an investment market in which public offices are purchased with the expectation of yielding a favorable return. This theory represents a novel perspective on the post-communist state which has hitherto either been premised on modernization theory or emphasized a robustly personalistic logic of political organization.

Jakten på hållbar opposition i auktoritära stater

Duration: March - June 2017

Project leader: Laurent Vinatier | Project page (coming soon)