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Transnational and

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Regional Dynamics

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Ph.D. Scholarships in
Humanities and Social Sciences

Analysing Change

15 September 2021

In her commentary for Social Europe ( Bucerius fellow Weronika Grzebalska argues that Lukashenka’s thrashing around in Eastern Europe forces progressives to offer a positive alternative on security


CfA: In Search of the “Political”: Law’s (Il)legibility between Violence and Care

Working Group for Advanced Ph.D. Students and Early-Career Researchers

02 August 2021

Deadline was 13 September 2021

The working group is initiated by Bucerius Fellows Revital Madar and Ola Galal.


Normalisation and Realignment in the Middle East:

A New, Conflict-Prone Regional Order Takes Shape

28 July 2021

Advisory Board Member Muriel Asseburg and her co-author Sarah Ch. Henkel about regional security and conflict management in the Middle East


Elites and Institutions in the Russian Thermidor

Regime Instrumentalism, Entrepreneurial Signaling, and Inherent Illiberalism

12 July 2021

Bucerius Fellow Julian G. Waller examines illiberal dynamics on different levels of Russian politics and society. He draws a broader framework to understand illiberalism, its diverse sources and appearances

„Trajectories of Change“ series at TRAFO Blog

15 December 2020

Since December 2020 TRAFO Blog for Transregional Research hosts articles originating form 
“Trajectories of Change” programme.  The series attempts to combine the critical revision of regional and transregional geographies with studies in entangled histories. It examines complex change trajectories in the East of Europe, the Middle East as well as in the Maghreb and Sahel regions.  more


“Trajectories of Change” addresses historical and current transformation processes in the European neighbourhood. Between 2014 and 2018 the programme awarded 92 stipends and fieldwork grants for Ph.D. students in the humanities and social sciences studying political and social change in Eastern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East as well as Central Asia. Conferences, workshops and joint publication projects following these funding activities concentrate on the interdisciplinary exchange. 


Shifting the wall further east

Kundera’s tragedy of ‘central Europe’ three decades later 

19 May 2021

Advisory Board Member Mykola Riabchuk discusses the “philosophic geography” of Eastern and Central Europe.


New at TRAFO Blog

06 January 2021

“Constitutional Capture in and around the Contested Neighborhood” – Blog entry by Žilvinas Švedkauskas shows how autocratization affects both the EU and its neighbouring countries

“Scholars of area studies and policymakers have been “dividing” the neighborhood, narrowing their respective research questions and policy problems into “eastern-” and “southern-”, country-, and region-specific issues. Though compartmentalization simplifies research and policymaking, I believe it turns our attention away from gradual changes occurring on both sides of the contested European border. Let us consider the contemporary script of autocratization, which I aim to explore in my doctoral dissertation.” 

Analysing Change

A Green Gambit: The Development of Environmental Foreign Policy in Morocco

28 December 2020

Bucerius Fellow Katharina Nicolai explores the function and significance of environmental sustainability policy of Morocco:

“I argue that Morocco’s expanding reputation as a posterchild of environmental sustainability is not merely a product of specific need, but an instrument of broad governance realignment whose drivers and purpose go significantly beyond concerns over the environment and energy security.” 


New at TRAFO Blog

16 December 2020

“Trajectories of Change: New Research Projects on the European Neighbourhood” – Introduction to the new blog series by Anna Hofmann

“The revolutionary moments of the Arab Spring in 2011 and the Ukrainian “Euromaidan” in 2014 called for a remarkable rise of public and academic attention towards regions in the east and south of the European continent. Protests, repressions, regime changes or authoritarian reinforcements were closely followed by international media. They resulted in debates about the changing political, social and economic situation in the region, the resilience of the authoritarian regimes, the prospects for liberalisation and democratisation as well as economic outlooks for countries in turmoil. In these circumstances, novel academic inquiries have also arisen, and new research projects have been developed. They have been increasingly questioning prevailing assumptions about the historically founded inertia and path dependencies in the political and social developments at Europe’s margins, within the so called “European Neighbourhood”. 

Analysing Change

03 December 2020

Bucerius Fellow Regine Schwab and her colleagues Hanna Pfeifer and Clara-Auguste Süß on “Who are these ´Islamists´ everyone talks about?! Why academics struggles over words matter”:

“Politicians, the media, and social media users alike have framed recent attacks in Europe as instances of “Islamist” violence. The current debate often remains superficial and uses the umbrella term of “Islamism” to describe a diverse spectrum of actors, ideologies, and activities.”