Freie Universität Berlin is a young, international university with a unique history. It is one of eleven Universities of Excellence in Germany. In the global competition among universities Freie Universität takes its place as an international network university. The university’s office abroad in Beijing, Brussels, Cairo, New Delhi, New York, Moscow, and São Paulo provide a plat-form for international cooperation. The university maintains more than 100 international partnerships with universities worldwide. About 17 percent of its students come from abroad. In the 2017 ranking of the Times Higher Education magazine, Freie Universität was listed among the five best German universities. In the same raking the humanities at Freie Universität were found to be among the best 20 globally. The Funding Atlas issued by the German Research Foundation also places Freie Universität among the top five German universities. Located in the quiet south-western part of Berlin, the university is part of one of the largest research sites in Europe. Freie Universität Berlin has 16 academic departments and central institutes offering over 150 degree programs across a wide range of subjects. The home of the De.Rad Team at the FU Berlin is the Institute of East European Studies (OEI). The OEI was founded in 1951 as an interdisciplinary regional institute and has significant expertise on the political, economic, and societal changes affecting the post-communist world.
Mihai Varga, De.Rad Principal Investigator, has been working as a researcher and lecturer at the FU Berlin since 2012. He holds a doctorate in social science from the University of Amsterdam (2011). Mihai Varga brings to De.Rad expertise on researching nationalism, far-right paramilitaries and subcultures (skinheads), and right-wing nationalist intellectuals. His work on right-wing and far-right forces has appeared in Nations and Nationalism, Nationalities Papers, Problems of Post-Communism, New Political Economy. He is the co-editor with Katharina Bluhm, Dean of the OEI, of a volume on conservative right-wing intellectuals and political parties that has appeared in 2019 with Routledge. His broader work and research interests deal with the political and social-economic effects of market reforms in post-communist countries.
Volodymyr Ishchenko defended a doctoral thesis in sociology at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (Ukraine). His research focused on protests and social movements, revolutions, radical right and left politics, nationalism, civil society. He authored a number of peer-reviewed articles and interviews on contemporary Ukrainian politics, the Maidan uprising, and the following war in 2013-14 published in Post-Soviet Affairs, Globalizations, New Left Review, among other journals. He has been a prominent contributor to major international media outlets such as The Guardian, Haaretz, Jacobin, La Croix since 2014. He is working on a collective book manuscript The Maidan Uprising: Mobilization, Radicalization, and Revolution in Ukraine, 2013-2014.
Julia Glathe is a PhD student at the Institute for East European Studies (FU Berlin) and has been working as lecturer at the FU Berlin since 2017. In her dissertation she explores political discourses on immigration in post-Soviet Russia, with a particular focus on the role of non-state actors in producing and communicating them. In addition, her work focuses on far-right subcultures and was published in Europe-Asia Studies, Journal für Entwicklungspolitik and several volumes. She regularly contributes to media projects such as Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, Dekoder, ZOiS Spotlight and Russland-Analysen. Funded by a junior research grant, she is currently working on a special issue on the relationship between migration conflicts and democracy.