Young Eastern Europe experts presented their latest findings

On July 8 – 10, the 24th Conference of the young Eastern Europe experts (JOE-Tagung) “Local, regional, (trans-)national: New Research on Eastern Europe” took place at the European Academy Berlin. With support of the Research Centre for East European Studies, Bremen and the German Association for East European Studies (DGO), 34 junior researchers from different disciplines presented their work.

Five participants presented their research on Ukraine. In the first panel “Civil Society in the “weak” state”, Oksana Huss, Development manager of the Ukrainian Think Tanks Liaison Office in Brussels and PhD researcher at the Institute for Development and Peace, Germany, presented her article “Perpetual circle of corruption in Ukraine and post-revolutionary attempts to break it through”.The main argument of this article is that the system of corruption is an integral part of the hybrid political regime with distinct characteristics, marked by complex coexistence and interdependence of formally democratic and non-democratic elements. Since the system of corruption is a closed circle, successful attempts to break it through are possible only from the system’s environment, which consist of the civil society and external actors. There are several positive attempts in anti-corruption initiatives after the Revolution of Dignity, worth mentioning.

Oleksandra Kryshtapovych, the researcher at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, presented results of her master thesis “State and civil society relations in the conditions of military crises: the case of defence volunteer movement in Ukraine”. Her presentation focused on the relations between the state and the Ukrainian defence volunteer movement. The main conclusion was that the volunteers and their counterparts in the Ministry of Defence work often in partnership, but this relation is perceived by volunteers as largely negative due to bureaucratic obstacles, lack of political will for change within the Ministry and low level of professionalism of ministerial staff.

In the panel on State Stabilisation Mechanisms, Maryna Rabinovych, PhD researcher at the Odessa Mechnikov National University and former GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaftfür Internationale Zusammenarbeit) intern in Hamburg, presented her research „The Decentralisation Reform in Ukraine: Success and Challenges“, conducted within the GIZ project, dealing with the prospects of using the elements of German federal experience for the decentralization reform in Ukraine.

In the panel on Transnational Networks, Ljudmyla Melnyk, researcher at the Institute of European Politics (IEP) in Berlin, presented the publication „Ukrainians in Poland and Germany – civil society and political engagement, expectations, action possibilities”. Her presentation was dealing with engagement forms, structures, motivations and prospects among the Ukrainian diaspora in Germany. More information about the project can be accessed here.

In the panel on History and Narratives, Jérémy Caro, researcher at the University Bremen, presented the paper “From Ukraine to the Western Europe and back. Ukrainian folklore, Literature and Exile in the political education of Wolodymyr Wynnychenko, 1907-1914”.

Summing up, in recent years there is an increasing interest to study Ukraine among young researchers, working in Germany and abroad.

The full program of the conference is available here.