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Moving beyond the "Post-Soviet": Future Approaches of Urban Studies in the Region

GWZO Leipzig

Podium discussion with Nadir Kinossian (IfL), Tauri Tuvikene (University of Tallinn), Daria Bocharnikova (Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels) und Mariusz Czepczynski (University of Gdańsk) at the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO)

In urban studies, the notion of ‚post-Soviet‘ has been used as a framework to describe shared processes and experiences across the territory of the former Soviet Union that are associatedwith the legacy of this state. This has included difficult/dissonant memorial and symbolic urban landscapes, but also weak municipal governance, corruption risks, and radical neo-liberalism. Russia‘s ongoing war against Ukraine has reinforced the already existing dissatisfaction with this notion, which has been criticized for linking today’s independent countries to a framework of Russian domination. Instead, recent debates sought to bring more into the focus the views from the alleged periphery, i.e., the former Soviet republics in Central Asia and the Caucasus, and it has prompted researchers to revert to Euro-centric perspectives.

The aim of this podium discussion is to critically examine the notion of ‚post-Soviet‘ in urban research, with a specific focus on built heritage, thus providing the space for an open discussion regarding its past uses, present criticism, and future alternatives.

  • What have been considered constitutive features of ‚post-Soviet‘ beyond its understanding as a spatial container?
  • Does ‘post-Soviet’ as an analytical concept still provide the necessary theoretical clarity and does it encompass the spatial and structural transformations of the region?
  • What alternative frameworks exist and how are they used in urban studies?
  • Where do ‘post-socialism’ and ‘post-Soviet’ intersect, and where do they diverge? How can we critically look at these two frameworks in comparison?
  • What are the differences between ‘post-Soviet’ and other alternative frameworks, such as authoritarian or neoliberal urbanism?


  • Professor Mariusz Czepczyński, University of Gdańsk
  • Dr Daria Bocharnikova, Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels
  • Dr Nadir Kinossian, Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde (IfL)
  • Professor Tauri Tuvikene, University of Tallinn


Leibniz-Institut für Geschichte und Kultur des östlichen Europa (GWZO)
Reichsstr. 4-6, 04109 Leipzig
Conference Room, 4th floor

Date & time

26 June 2023, 17:00 – 18:30

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