Summer School on Post-Soviet Space Call for Applications

International and Interdisciplinary PhD Summer School:
Urban economic development and Urban governance in post-Soviet space

Call for applications

The Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, Leipzig (Germany) and the Ural State University of Economics, Yekaterinburg (Russia) invite to the International PhD summer school 2015.

Time: 14.06.2015 – 21.06.2015

Venue: Ural State University of Economics in Yekaterinburg, Russia

The summer school for PhD students in urban-related disciplines will be organized within the project ira.urban “Urban Reconfiguration in post-Soviet Space” ( The summer school will take up the main objective of ira.urban project: the analysis and explanation of the multi-dimensional processes and patterns of urban reconfigurations in the post-Soviet space.

We hope that the summer school will promote the research and personalities of young scientists from all countries and various disciplines and involve them actively in the research of the ira.urban network in order to enrich current debates on processes in post-Soviet cities. The ira.urban summer school is aimed to be an interaction platform where young researchers will get a possibility to present their own researches, to discuss open questions with other young researchers and to learn. The thematic focus of the summer school 2015 lies on the
Urban economic development and urban governance in post-Soviet space.

Trying to adapt to market economy and to keep pace with global urban trends, post-Soviet cities and towns are facing with tremendous changes and challenges. The directions of action that have to be examined within post-Soviet urban space investigations range from the impact of global trends like formation of global urban network, neoliberalism on new urban policies engaged with the challenges of urban adaptation inside each single post-Soviet country, to everyday routine practices which influence urban reconfiguration at the local level. A strong connection between macro and micro scale urban actions manifests itself in ongoing post-Soviet urban space transformation processes. The aim is the better understanding of the challenges and opportunities confronting post-Soviet cities under current conditions.
The summer school will focus on conceptual understanding of post-Soviet urban transformations. The case of Yekaterinburg and the cities of the Sverdlovsk Region will be used as a specific example to illustrate how to deal with different challenges. The aim of the summer school is to explore, how various urban context such as urban economies, government/governance, urban planning have been transformed during the last decades and what could be the different role of cities in post-Soviet countries, in national and global economies. Studies with comparative prospective are very welcome.
Potential key topics for debate are:
·         Rescaling of urban economies in post-Soviet countries
–       cities in global, national and regional economics
–       effects of polarization and peripherialization on different scales
–       from industrial to post-industrial urban economy
–       locational strategies of firms and urban networks
–       urban agglomeration economies
–       social, local and informal economies
–       diversification of urban economic basis in mono-structured towns

·         Urban planning and urban governance in post-Soviet countries
–       national and regional policies, local strategies of spatial and urban development
–       the governance challenge of urban development
–       the policy of urban growth and the policy of urban shrinkage

·          Redefinition/reinvention of cities in post-Soviet countries
–       post-industrial, knowledge based and service oriented cities
–       industrial heritage as a resource and base for new urban functions
–       social involvements in urban development
–       the marketing and branding of cities and towns
–       creative and cultural cities

The peculiarity of this summer school is a mix of research laboratories and field trips. Research laboratories will encourage students to present their current researches, think critically about research issue and get a critical feedback of the senior researchers. Field trips in Yekaterinburg and to cities of the Sverdlovsk region (including Nizhniy Tagil, Berezovskiy) will demonstrate urban transformation.  Round tables with representatives of urban administrations, industrial companies, NGO, civil society, will provide a brilliant opportunity to understand current challenges on urban development.
We are following the interdisciplinary approach aimed to provide a multi-perspective analysis and mutual learning processes for and with PhD students dealing with post-Soviet urban space reconfiguration from adjacent disciplines.
If you are interested in participating in the international and interdisciplinary ira.urban summer school, please submit your application by 15th of March 2015 via email to Yuliana Lazova ( You will receive a notification of acceptance by 30th of March 2015. The participation of the Summer School is for free! Costs of travel, room and board are paid by the participants. However, the project ira.urban grants 200 EUR for PhD students from Russia (with the exception of students from Yekaterinburg) and 400 EUR for foreign PhD students.
The application should include a motivation letter, a short CV, and an abstract of not more than 600 words describing your PhD project that you are going to present and discuss in Yekaterinburg. The common languages will be English and Russian (without translation). The number of participants is limited to 12 PhD students.
If you have any questions concerning organizational issues, please, contact
Natalya Vlasova ( from the Ural State University of Economics in Yekaterinburg.
The IfL-team from Leipzig:

Isolde Brade (head of the project),
Irina Slepukhina,
Yuliana Lazova,

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