FIIA’s Research Fellow Kristiina Silvan will defend the doctoral dissertation entitled “Legacies of the Komsomol – Afterlife of the Leninist Communist Youth League and Contemporary State-Affiliated Youth Activism in Post-Soviet Belarus and Russia” in the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki, on 25 February 2022 at 13.00. The public examination will take place at the following address: Hall U3032, University Main Building (Fabianinkatu 33), 3rd floor. The examination can also be followed online.

Professor Andrew Wilson, University College London, will serve as the opponent, and Professor Juhana Aunesluoma as the custos.

This interdisciplinary dissertation analyzes changes and continuities in the sphere of state-affiliated youth activism in post-Soviet Belarus and Russia. It explores the little-known afterlife of the republic-level organizations of the Leninist Communist Youth League of the Soviet Union (Komsomol) and studies contemporary government-affiliated youth activism, thus making a contribution to Soviet, Belarusian, and Russian political history. The dissertation provides insights into the collapse of the Soviet Union, the operation of Soviet legacy organizations, the rationale and instruments of youth policy exercised by authoritarian regimes in the post-Soviet space and beyond, and the “compliant” activism of young people in the context of an authoritarian state.

The dissertation has been published in the series Commentationes Scientiarum Socialium by The Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters.

The dissertation can be accessed on Helsinki University webpage on e-theses service


Postdoctoral Fellow