Dr. Martin Brusis


Graduiertenschule für Ost- und Südosteuropastudien
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Maria-Theresia-Str. 21

81675 München

Website (private)
Website (Babeș-Bolyai University)

Research Project

Governing in Post-Soviet States. Traditions, Reform Discourses and Institutional Politics

Governments in many post-Soviet states are characterized by centralization, informal coordination, personal dependencies and institutional instability. Directly elected presidents and their administrations define and supervise the discretion of prime ministers, ministers and ministerial officials. These models of governing are fraught with numerous coordination problems that necessitate institutional reforms and have led several states to initiate projects of constitutional or administrative reform. Domestic reformers have frequently resorted to foreign advisers and have drawn on international ideas and approaches.

The project intends to compare the trajectories and outcomes of these efforts in Armenia, Georgia and Moldova. The hybrid political regimes in these states are situated on the continuum between deficient democracy and electoral authoritarianism. They depend more on foreign support than Russia or the Eurasian states with natural resources. While changes of government in Georgia, Moldova, where associated with overcoming Soviet legacies, all three states are less subject to influences from the European Union than, for example, the Southeast European states.

The project seeks to reconstruct and explain the paths of these state as interactions between Soviet and autochthonous traditions of governing, reform discourses and the incorporation of foreign ideas, and the institutional policies of domestic political actors. It is assumed that imported rules acquire institutional legitimacy, if they are supported by broad coalitions of actors and linked to existing state and administrative traditions.

This focus of research is based on interpretationist approaches of executive studies that view governance as a result of practices, narratives and traditions political actors refer to. Previous studies in the project have shown that the availability of legitimizing ideas strongly influences the relations between states and economic actors in Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine. In addition, the project builds on previous work that has explored the emergence of national varieties of executive governance.

Please also see an overview of his project in the Graduate School's Newsletter Nr. 8, Sommersemester 2017.

Curriculum Vitae

10/2016- Associate Professor (DAAD), Babeș-Bolyai University, Faculty of European Studies

07/2013- Associate Postdoc/Member of the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies

2010-2015 Managing Director of the project network „Institutions and Institutional Change in Postsocialism“ (KomPost)

2009-10 Visiting Professor of Comparative Politics, University of Heidelberg

1995-2009 Research fellow at the Center for Applied Policy Research.
Project responsibilities:

  • Comparison of policy performance and executive governance in OECD member states (2006-09)
  • Comparative evaluation of democratic and economic reforms; assessment of East-Central and Southeast European states (2002-09)
  • Designing strategies on the future European Union (2000-02)
  • Forward studies and public advocacy on EU enlargement (1998-2002)
  • Policy analyses on East-Central European states (1998-2000)
  • Mediation initiatives in Kosovo and Slovakia (1995-98)

Guest researcher at the University of Wales (Aberystwyth), London School of Economics and Political Science, Eötvös-Loránd-Universität Budapest

1999-2001 Research project: „Executive capacity: conditions, configurations, consequences”, LSE and Humboldt University Berlin

1995 Ph.D. in Sociology, Free University of Berlin

1992-94 Research project: Institutionalization of democratic structures in postsocialist societies, Institute of East European Affairs, FU Berlin

1986-91 Studies of political science, public law, sociology and slavic languages at the universities of Marburg and Berlin

Functions and Memberships