Projects currently in operation
1. MARKETS: Mapping Uncertainties, Challenges and Future Opportunities of Emerging Markets: Informal Barriers, Business Environments and Future Trends in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (Duration: 2020 – 2024, Budget allocated to the University of Bremen: € 505 576)
MARKETS is an Innovative Training Network funded by an MSCA grant of the European Union in the context of Horizon 2020 (Grant agreement no: 861034) and coordinated by Dublin City University, in cooperation with the University of Bremen, University College London (United Kingdom), Universiteit Maastricht (Netherlands), University of Helsinki (Finland), Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (Latvia), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), Tallinna Tehnikaulikool (Estonia), and the Centre for Social Sciences (Georgia).
At the University of Bremen, the project is jointly coordinated by Heiko Pleines (Forschungsstelle Osteuropa) and Michael Rochlitz (Faculty of Business Studies and Economics). Two PhD candidates financed by the ITN network, Ekaterina Vorobeva and Michael Richter, work at the research group of institutional economics and the Forschungsstelle Osteuropa, to examine how informal institutions affect economic outcomes in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Central Asia.
Projects from internal competitions
2. Supported by Michael Rochlitz, Ekaterina Paustyan successfully applied for an “Independent Project for Postdocs”, financed by the Central Research Development Fund (CRDF) of the University of Bremen. Ekaterina is a postdoc fellow at the working group of institutional economics from November 2020 to November 2023. Ekaterina’s research examines how subnational elite cohesion and turnover among regional officials are influencing political and economic outcomes in authoritarian regimes, with a focus on the Russian Federation. She is also actively involved in other research projects in our group, and teaches classes in qualitative research methods and the political economy of authoritarianism at the Faculty of Business Studies and Economics.
3. Michael Rochlitz and Torben Klarl successfully applied for an internal grant of the Department of Business Studies and Economics to study how innovation in the field of digital technologies is influenced by authoritarian politics, with a regional focus on China and Russia. The research project “Innovation, Digitalization, and Authoritarian Political Systems” is part of the Diginomics Research Group at the Department of Business Studies and Economics. In the project, we develop a number of theoretical general equilibrium models, and then test our theory with laboratory experiments in Germany and Russia, as well as patent data from China. David Karpa is a PhD student employed in the project, cooperating with Olga Masyutina to run laboratory experiments in Russia.
Projects currently under review
4. In December 2020, Michael Rochlitz together with Andrei Yakovlev (Higher School of Economics, Moscow) and Alexander Libman (FU Berlin) applied for a joint research grant by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Russian Science Foundation (RSF), for the project “Bureaucracy and Social Mobility in (Post-)Communist Limited Access Orders”. If successful, the project will comprise a team of 12 researchers and 7 associates and will provide funding for 3 PhD students and 3 research assistants in Germany and Russia. Our objective is to investigate the role of the bureaucracy as a tool of social mobility in authoritarian regimes, with a focus on the Soviet Union after WW II, as well as contemporary Russia and China.
5. As part of the 2020 YUFE Postdoctoral Programme Call, Michael Rochlitz is supporting the application of two candidates. If successful, Salome Minesashvili, who received her PhD from FU Berlin in December 2019, will join our team to study the role of economic and political elites in Ukraine and Georgia. Kristina Khutsishvili, who received her PhD from the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa in 2020, applied with a project to study the economic and political consequences of the sanctions imposed against Russia after the 2015 Ukraine crisis.
Projects under preparation
6. As part of our Diginomics project “Innovation, Digitalization, and Authoritarian Political Systems”, Michael Rochlitz, David Karpa and Torben Klarl are currently finalizing a DFG grant application to obtain financing for a number of laboratory experiments in Germany and Russia, as well as for fieldwork in Russia and China. This grant application is part of a longer-term strategy to establish a research team with a focus on authoritarian innovation, digital technologies and artificial intelligence at the University of Bremen.
7. Together with Susanne Schattenberg and Heiko Pleines (both based at the Forschungsstelle Osteuropa, University of Bremen), Michael Rochlitz is preparing an application for a “Kolleg-Forschungsgruppe”, financed by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Our objective is to build a strong, interdisciplinary and research-focused center based at the Forschungsstelle Osteuropa and the Department of Business Studies and Economics, to study protests in authoritarian regimes, with a regional focus on the successor states of the former Soviet Union.