Director of the Visiting Fellows Programme
Anna Korhonen
Head of International Affairs
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Eeva Korteniemi
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Location & Connections


Visiting Fellows 2013-2014

Gerlach, Julia, Free University of Berlin, Institute for East European Studies/ Center for Global Politics, Germany

“From Crisis to Development: Putin’s Narrative of Stability
(January 2014-March 2014)


Julia Gerlach has been a research fellow at the Institute for East European Studies at Freie Universität Berlin since 2007. Her main fields of teaching and research are political change and the nexus of politics and religion in Eastern Europe. Also, she has been involved in the cooperation with partner universities abroad, coordinating the certificate program “German Studies Russia” and the Russian-German double Master’s program in “International Relations” with Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO). Julia has been trained as a political scientist. She holds a MA in Political Science from University of Bonn and a PhD from University of Chemnitz. Her PhD that analyzes how democracies cope with the challenge of extremism has been published in German in 2012 (“Das Vereinsverbot der streitbaren Demokratie. Verbieten oder Nicht-Verbieten?”). She is currently working on co-editing a collection titled “Under Construction. The Role of Religion in Eastern Europe Today” with Jochen Toepfer.

Abstract of current research:
The aim of this research project is to make sense of political Russia’s path since the year 2000 by analyzing and modelling Vladimir Putin’s narrative of stability (стабильность) as presented to the public during the presidential election campaign of 2012. The hypothesis is that this narrative reflects the fundamental political approach of the Putin administration in a nutshell and thus, can contribute to explaining Russia’s recent and possibly future political development. The narrative includes both, diagnosis of and therapy for political Russia, and is imagined as a precondition for the future development of the country. The narrative of stability and the promotion of in-stability and crises scenarios by the elites as a threat have shaped political culture in Russia, and both instigated and legitimized changes in leadership, polity, and policy in the domestic, the ‘near abroad’, and the global spheres.

Email: julia.gerlach[at]

Academic hosts at the Aleksanteri Institute: Vladimir Gelman, Jouni Järvinen