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Every project supported by Gebert Rüf Stiftung is made accessible with a web presentation that informs about the core data of the project. With this public presentation, the foundation publishes the funding results achieved and contributes to the communication of science to society.


ASCN Annual Conference – ASCN 2015


Für den Inhalt der Angaben zeichnet die Projektleitung verantwortlich.


Dieses von der Gebert Rüf Stiftung geförderte Projekt wird von folgenden weiteren Projektpartnern mitgetragen: Interfakultäres Institut für Ost- und Ostmitteleuropa IIOOE der Universität Freiburg

Project data

  • Project no: GRS-010/15 
  • Amount of funding: CHF 45'000 
  • Approved: 23.01.2015 
  • Duration: 02.2015 - 03.2016 
  • Area of activity:  ASCN, 2009 - 2018

Project management

Project description

The chain of revolutions in post-soviet countries, starting with the November Revolution of 2003 in Georgia and ending with Maidan in Ukraine of 2014 have been a transforming factor not only for the countries where they were successful (Georgia, Ukraine, Kirgizstan, Moldova), but also for those where large-scale political protest was attempted or just feared (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Belarus). These instances of political protest were mostly considered in the context of democratization; the electoral context - many of these revolutions succeeded or failed against the background of the allegations of vote fraud - reinforced the tendency to frame them in the context of democracy. But this framing is one-sided; in many cases it was the failing state, with its corruption and inability to provide basic services to its citizens, as well as the failing economy which have motivated the protesters. The drive to modernize was at least as important as the drive to democratize.

The modernization process leads to the protest of its own. Those left behind during the rapid transformation of society effected through radical reforms resort to extreme nationalism or religious fundamentalism to stop and to revert it. The backlash soon halts the reforms, forcing the political elite to accommodate the demands of the more conservative forces. As for the democratization process, it brings with it variety of forms of contestation, pluralizing the latter. No longer the revolution but nascent social movements with their particular focus on women's rights, minorities, ecology, labor rights etc. serve as paradigms for contestation. At the intersection of these instances of protest there arise tensions between modernization and democratization imperatives, which are then exploited by authoritarian or semi-authoritarian governments who choose or pretend to choose modernity over democracy

The 2015 ASCN annual conference will for the first have a regional perspective, thus covering the whole post-Soviet space. It will take place in September 2015 in Tbilisi.

What is special about the project?

The conference will bring together both local and international experts of the region to discuss different approaches for analyzing political and social dynamics in post-soviet countries against the background of the politics of contestation and the processes of modernization and democratization linked to it. It will target in priority junior scholars (PhD students or recent PhD graduates).


Die Konferenz wurde erfolgreich durchgeführt. Auf den im Februar ausgeschriebenen Call sind 115 Bewerbungen eingegangen. Das Auswahlkomitee hat eine Auswahl von 29 Beiträgen getroffen, welche in vier thematischen Panels organisiert wurden. In einer Schlussrunde haben die Panelleiter die Ergebnisse für das Plenum zusammengefasst.


Persons involved in the project

Tamara Brunner, Projektkoordinatorin, Universität Freiburg, Pérolles II, Boulevard de Pérolles 90, 1700 Fribourg, phone +41 (0)26 300 77 74

Last update to this project presentation  17.10.2018