War and Peace in Ukraine

Reflecting, Studying and Engaging Across Disciplines

Email for registration: Aktivieren Sie JavaScript, um diesen Inhalt anzuzeigen.

Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine has created a substantial overlap between two interdisciplinary fields of expertise that have had little in common for the last thirty years: peace and conflict studies and East European studies in general and Ukrainian studies in particular.

By focusing on the case of Germany, this symposium will critically examine the recent developments in and between peace and conflict studies and East European studies, including different disciplinary approaches, old and new controversies, fruitful encounters and missed opportunities. First, we want to discuss with German and Ukrainian historians, sociologists and political scientists how the professional interest in Ukraine has changed in and between their fields of expertise. Second, we want to draw lessons from the ways in which experts’ voices have co-created German public debates about Ukrainian affairs and which challenges they face when attempting to bring scholarly expertise to highly political debates. Third, in dialogue with experts based in Austria and Switzerland, we want to initiate a comparative debate on the condition of expertise for Eastern Europe in German-speaking countries. Last but not least, by bringing together scholars from Ukraine and German-speaking countries, this event will intensify the existing and create new intellectual ties – both individual and institutional.


12 October 2023

04.00–04.15 p.m.: Opening by

  • Frank Grüner (Bielefeld University)
  • Gelinada Grinchenko (V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University & University of Wuppertal)
  • Yaroslav Zhuravlov (NASU Institute of History of Ukraine, Kyiv & Bielefeld University)

04.15–06.00 p.m.: Evening Lectures

Guido Hausmann (Regensburg University): “Ukrainian History/Studies in Germany and Beyond: Conjunctures, Traps, Chances”


Valeria Korablyova (Charles University, Prague): “Russia's War as an Epistemological Challenge: “Banal Imperialism(s)” in the (Inter-)Disciplinary Knowledge-Production”

Chair: Gabriele Freitag (German Association for East European Studies)

6.00 – 6.15 p.m.: technical break

6.15  – 7.00 p.m.: Q & A with Oleksandra Matviichuk (Center for Civil Liberties, Kyiv) (online)

Chair: Kornelia Kończal (Bielefeld University)

7.15  p.m.: dinner

13 October 2023

09.00–10.30 a.m.: Panel 1. Interdisciplinary Encounters and Entanglements: Academic Perspectives

Both peace and conflict studies and East European studies are interdisciplinary fields. Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine has created a substantial overlap between them. Yet the relationship between these two fields of expertise is much longer. How has it changed over time in German academia? Which gaps and deficits in interdisciplinary dialogue can be identified? To what extent does the absence of peace and conflict studies as an established field of scholarly knowledge in Ukraine shape the German-Ukrainian encounters?

Panel debate with:

  • Julia Eichenberg (University of Bamberg & University of Bayreuth)
  • Yevhen Mahda (Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute & Institute of World Policy, Kyiv) (online)
  • Svitlana Potapenko (Goethe University Frankfurt & National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv )
  • Andreas Zick (Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence, Bielefeld)

Chair: Kornelia Kończal (Bielefeld University)

10.30–11.00 a.m.: Coffee Break

11.00 a.m.–12.30 p.m.: Panel 2. Rethinking Ukrainian Past for a Common European Future

Most conceptions of Europe have been thought of primarily from a Western European perspective, which can essentially be explained by the logic of the European Union’s genesis. Central and Eastern European perspectives have been added in the course of the EU's eastward enlargement, but they have been less able to determine Europe's current constitution and policies. The panel will discuss to what extent the historical experiences of Ukraine and its neighboring states since World War I need to be incorporated into the future shaping of a European community of values and security.

Panel debate with:

  • Kateryna Kobchenko (University of Münster)
  • Jurko Prochasko (NASU Ivan Franko Institute, Lviv)
  • Tatiana Zhurzhenko (Centre for East European and International Studies, Berlin) 
  • Benjamin Schenk (Ukrainian Research in Switzerland – URIS, University of Basel)

Chair: Ricarda Vulpius (University of Münster)

12:30–02.00 p.m.: Lunch Break

02:00–03.30 p.m.: Panel 3. Ukraine in German public debate from 2014 to the present

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has raised a great deal of public attention towards the past and present of this country. However, German public debates about Ukraine have not been not free from misunderstandings and misconceptions. To what extent have experts co-created the public exchange about Ukrainian affairs – as compared to 2014? Whose voices were (not) listened to and why? How has the very notion of an expert changed since 24 February 2022?

Panel debate with:

  • Nataliya Butych (Leibniz University Hannover)
  • Franziska Davies (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich)
  • Steffen Dobbert (DIE ZEIT)
  • Anna Veronika Wendland (Herder-Institut Marburg)

Chair: Fabian Baumann (University of Heidelberg)

03.30–04.00 p.m.: Coffee Break

04.00–05.30 p.m.: Panel 4. Rebuilding Ukraine: Perspectives on Peacebuilding and Reconstruction

Rebuilding (post-war-) Ukraine will become a major task, first of all for Ukrainian society and politics, but also for international donors, in particular for the EU and its member states. Rebuilding implies a number of dimensions, including political, security, socio-economic and socio-psychological issues. It is also closely linked to peacebuilding and questions of transitional justice. What are past experiences regarding war-torn societies which need to be reflected for Ukraine? Which key concerns and priorities should be considered? To what extent do perspectives and approaches differ across disciplines and how could a joined research agenda look like?

Panel debate with:

  • Julian Bergmann (German Institute of Development and Sustainability)
  • Olena Kovalenko (Ukrainian Institute, Kyiv)
  • Viktorya Sereda (Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin)
  • Tetiana Vodotyka (The Institute of Advanced Study Fellow, Durham University & Kyiv School of Economics, Ukraine)

Chair: Ulrich Schneckener (Osnabrück University)

5.30  – 6.00 p.m. concluding remarks by 

  • Gelinada Grinchenko (University of Wuppertal)
  • Frank Grüner (Bielefeld University)
  • Ulrich Schneckener (Osnabrück University)
  • Nataliia Sinkevych (Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO), Leipzig)


Programm (PDF, 3.540 kB)

12.10. bis 13.10.2023

Universität Bielefeld
Gebäude X, 2. OG, A2-103
33615 Bielefeld



Programm (PDF, 3.540 kB)

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Osteuropakunde

Logo KooperationspartnerLogo KooperationspartnerLogo KooperationspartnerLogo KooperationspartnerLogo KooperationspartnerLogo KooperationspartnerLogo Kooperationspartner