Power, Conflict and Morality in the Postsocialist World
Course held by the East / Central Europe Research Group
Institute of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen
Coordinator - Finn Sivert Nielsen
Course description  
More than a decade has passed since the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the revolutionary changes in the former socialist states of Eastern and Central Europe. With the breakdown of socialism, how have the populations coped with the changes - the new ideas of governance and social interaction and the increasing opportunities to participate in economic and political life? How do people put locally and historically embedded conventions, convictions and strategies into play in the new, post-socialist world?

This course explores how concepts of power are involved in establishing new forms of morality in the midst of the conflict and social change have emerged throughout this vast region, ranging from Mongolia to the Balkans, from former East Germany to Siberia. Lectures are taught by young anthropologists who have conducted fieldwork in various local settings in the region. Both urban and rural environments will be covered, and lecture themes will range from violent conflict and criminality, to democratization, international intervention, privatization, migration, work, gender, love and the changing boundaries between the public and private spheres. Thus, students will gain insight into a considerable range of empirically embedded problematiques, and be introduced to some of the central theoretical concepts that have found use in anthropological studies of the region.

The course will be held by the institute's East / Central Europe Research Group, and will be coordinated, introduced and concluded by Finn Sivert Nielsen.

The course will be held in English if any non-Danish speaking students follow it.