Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies

Breadcrumb Navigation


Dr. Irina Morozova

Affiliated Researcher –
Former Postdoc


Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies
Universität Regensburg
Landshuter Str. 4
93047 Regensburg

Phone: +49 (0)941 / 943 - 5431

Main Research Areas

  • Comparative studies of socialist societies
  • Economic and social history of Central and Inner Asia
  • Cold War history and Soviet politics in Asia
  • Modern national movements, post-colonial and post-imperial discourse
  • Social role of religions in Central and Inner Asia
  • Oral history and memories of socialism and transition in Central and Inner Asia

Research Project

The Debate on Progress, Social Order and Economy and the Rise of New Inequalities in Central Asia, 1970-90s — completed

Postdoctoral Project at the Graduate School

For the wide sections of the population in Soviet Central Asia and Mongolia, which had lived through the socio-economic stabilisation of the 1960-70s, the perestroika reform of the second part of the 1980 unexpectedly resulted in a systemic change, – dismantling of socialism and the USSR’s and SMEA’s disintegration. The introduction and implementation of market reforms and public debates on social inequalities uncovered the sharp rivalry for the socialist state resources at the end 1980s-beginning 1990s. The history of these processes, not written so far, shall not only explain the similarities and variations in present development trajectories of such different states as a regional economic ‘leader’ Kazakhstan and a ‘weaker’, known for its revolutionary scenarios of power transition Kyrgyzstan, but also shall highlight the patterns of socio-economic transition internationally. The comparison with the de-jure independent and more successful in ‘democracy-building’ in post-socialism states such as Mongolia (which nevertheless experienced unprecedented social erosion and polarisation) highlights complex historical contexts and makes the study relevant to the questions on development of social systems and sustainability of structures and concepts of nation-state. The research peruses comparison of the stages and pace of realisation of economic reforms in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia since their conceptual framing within the USSR and socialist world in the mid-1970s, the first experiments with introduction of market elements within the socialist system in 1987 and through launching full-scale market reforms and their further implementation in the 1990s. The project studies the concepts of economic progress, social order and inequalities as they were translated in the media and discussed among the population. The key question is: how the development of the public debate on economic progress, social system and inequalities resulted from, paralleled to and preceded these reforms. The comparative component helps to reflect upon the chosen terms and concepts. The research is largely based on the established database of written and oral original sources. The economic history study is pursued at various levels, as it investigates the privatisation of large state-owned enterprises, on the one hand, and analyses the economic history of everyday life, on the other. The project shall have an impact upon research collectives and scholars engaged in studying economic history and social production of the concepts on (economic) progress and social inequality.

Please also see an overview of her project in the Graduate School's Annual Report 2014.

Curriculum Vitae

Since 2017, Affiliated Researcher and from 2014 to 2017 Postdoctoral Researcher at the Graduate School. She graduated from the Institute of Asian and African Studies at Lomonosov Moscow State University. After her PhD (dissertation: "Social transformation in Outer Mongolia, 1920-40"), she continued research with a fellowship of the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS ) at the Universities of Leiden and Amsterdam. Besides her work as a lecturer and researcher at Lomonosov Moscow State University, Dr. Morozova worked, as Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) in Hamburg. There she ran the project: "Transformation of Political Elites in Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia from 1924 to 2007 – a Comparative Historical Analysis". From 2010 to 2014 at the Seminar for Central Asian Studies, Humboldt University of Berlin, Dr. Morozova was leading a project (funded by Volkswagen Foundation) "The History of Perestroika in Central Asia (social transformation in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia, 1982-1991)", after which she took a position of senior researcher at the Institute for East and Southeast European Studies in Regensburg. She works on her habilitation project: "The Debate on Progress, Social Order and Economy and the Rise of New Inequalities in Central Asia, 1970-90".

Positions, Assignments and Memberships

  • Founding member of the International Unit for Central and Inner Asian Studies (IUCIAS), since 2012
  • Member of the German Association for Middle Eastern Studies (DAVO), since 2009
  • Member of the European Society for Central Asian Studies (ESCAS), since 2001
  • Member of the International Institute for the Study of the Nomadic Civilizations (IISNC), since 2001
  • Member of the Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS), since 2000
  • Board Member of the European Society for Central Asian Studies (ESCAS), 2005-2009


List of Publications (

Organization of Workshops and Conferences (selected)

  • Co-convenor and co-organiser of the International Conference “Changing Patterns of Power in Historical and Modern Central and Inner Asia”, in co-operation with the IIAS, Ulaanbaatar University and IUCIAS, Ulaanbaatar 7-9 August 2014
  • Co-convenor and co-organiser of the International Seminar “Knowledge Production and Knowledge Transfer in and on Central and Inner Asia” (within the IIAS programme “Rethinking Asian Studies in a Global Context” sponsored by the Mellon Foundation, New York), Ulaanbaatar 5-6 August 2014
  • Convenor of the Workshop “Left movements and ideology in Asia, Africa and the Middle East at the last quarter of the twentieth century: towards a comparative-historical analysis” in co-operation with Zentrum Moderner Orient and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, 19 March 2014
  • Convenor and organiser of the International Conference “The History of Perestroika in Central Asia”, sponsored by VolkswagenStiftung and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and hosted by Aigine cultural research center, Bishkek 30 May-1 June 2013
  • Convenor of the International Workshop “The Legacy of perestroika discourses in knowledge production on Central Asia” (together with co-convenor Prof. J. Boldbaatar) in co-operation with Ulaanbaatar University, the Union of Historians of Mongolia, HU Berlin, VolkswagenStiftung, the IIAS, National Institutes for the Humanities (Japan), Ulaanbaatar 24-25 August 2012
  • Member of the Organizing Committee of the ESCAS Conference XI "Studying Central Asia: in quest of new paths and concepts?", Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, 3-5 September 2009
  • Co-director of the NATO Advanced Research Workshop “Towards Social Stability and Democratic Governance in Central Eurasia: Challenges to Regional Security”, IIAS, Leiden 8-11 September 2004