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Varga, Mihail

Research Fellow in Sociology

Free University Berlin, Eastern Europe Institute, Germany



Max Weber alumnus

Department of Political and Social Sciences

Cohort(s): 2011/2012

Ph.D. Institution

University of Amsterdam, Netherlands


Prior to joining the European University Institute as a Max Weber Fellow I was a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Under the supervision of Annette Freyberg-Inan and Jelle Visser, I completed my doctoral dissertation cum laudae in February 2011, titled ‘Striking with tied hands: Strategies of labour interest representation in post-communist Romania and Ukraine’. In 2009-2010 I taught a self-designed course titled, ‘Democracy in Eastern Europe, 1989-2009’ at UvA.
I graduated from the National School of Administrative and Political Studies in Bucharest with a B.A. in Political Science, and earned an M.A. in European Studies from Viadrina University in Frankfurt-Oder.
My research interests lie in the fields of the political economy of post-communist states, and collective action problems and their consequences for democracy.
I am particularly interested in the ways in which states contain or facilitate collective action, and so far my research has focused on post-communist Europe. My dissertation deals with the struggles of workers at newly privatized industrial plants in Ukraine and Romania. By means of more than a year of field research at ten factories, I developed an ethnographic study of causes and outcomes of worker protests in economic sectors heavily affected by economic crisis (metallurgy and machine-building). Specifically I explored how national or sectoral political economy regimes interact with forms of trade union organization to contain or allow worker protests.
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