FIIA Postdoctoral Fellow Kristiina Silvan’s doctoral dissertation was approved by the University of Helsinki Faculty of Social Sciences and received the highest grade “pass with distinction” (kiittäen hyväksytty). Silvan’s doctoral dissertation analyses government-supported youth activism in Belarus and Russia.

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