Georg-Arnhold-Professor 2015/16: Sergey Rumyansev

The fourth Georg Arnhold Visiting Research Professor: Sergey Rumyansev

Dr. Sergey Rumyansevstayed at the GEI from October 2015 to March 2016. He is co-director of the South Caucasus Open School (Tbilisi, Georgia) and one of the founders of the Centre for Independent Social Research (CISR) in Berlin. From 2003 until 2014, he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences in Baku, Azerbaijan. He also works with the Heinrich Böll Foundation Scholarship Program for the Young Social Scientists, Lecturers, and Teachers as the Scientific Expert of the Program, and is the Coordinator of the NOVATOR Independent Transnational Social Research Network.

Dr. Rumyansev holds a Ph.D. and Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Baku State University. Dr. Rumyansev’s main areas of research include nationalism, diaspora and migration, conflict studies, and Soviet studies, with a focus on conflicts in the post-Soviet space. He has worked on international research projects with organizations such as the Imagine Center for Conflict Transformation and Alert International. His book, Migration and Diasporabuilding in Post-Soviet Azerbaijan: Main Tendencies and Dominant Discourses, was published in 2014 by the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences press. Dr. Rumyansev is also the co-author of Beyond the Karabakh Conflict: The Story of Village Exchange, and he has contributed 47 articles to peer-reviewed journals and publications.

On his research focus “Myths of Historical Territories -Maps and Cartographic Discourses in the Post-Soviet Space” at the Georg Eckert Institute:

“The war between Russia and Georgia in 2008 signified the second wave of territorial conflicts in the post-Soviet space. Answers to why such conflicts have emerged in the two decades following the collapse of the USSR, along with the reasons behind their broad public support, are to be found not only in the post-Soviet economy and the relations between the ex-Soviet republics, but in modern nationalist ideologies. Nationalist political discourses currently being constructed by post-Soviet elites are greatly influenced by interconnected primordial and essentialist conceptions of ethnic groups, ethnicity, and myths of historical territories that were established in the Soviet Union. Historical territories and essentialist cartographic discourses are constantly used by politicians, and are widely represented in the media and in history textbooks. They also play a key role in provoking and justifying conflicts in the post-Soviet space and are a means for each country to substantiate territorial claims against its neighbors. The main objectives of this project are to complete research on the deconstruction of essentialist myths of historical territories; to comparatively and critically analyze disputable cartographic discourses; and to prepare a book detailing the cumulative research.”