GERMANY: Post-Soviet researcher launches Facebook site

A new Facebook community of academics and researchers with interests in post-Soviet higher education, social sciences and humanities teaching has attracted more than 110 members within days of being set up.

It has been launched by Andreas Umland, an historian and assistant professor at Germany's Eichstaett Institute for Central and East European Studies, part of the Catholic University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt, which he describes as "a small, yet active research centre, in Upper Bavaria".

"The site is linked to a multi-volume project of collected works in which Western and East European authors have been analysing problems of the teaching of social sciences and humanities," Umland told University World News.

"This site is intended to extend further the circle of participants in this discussion. These teaching issues can be seen as the major problem transition states whose leaders are often unprepared for the new challenges they are facing."

Umland - who has also joined the UWN Facebook site - is an expert on the post-Soviet extreme right and is also involved in the creation, in Ukraine, of a new masters programme in German and European Studies administered jointly by Kyiv's Mohyla Academy and Jena's Schiller University. His 80,000-word thesis, Post-Soviet 'Uncivil Society' and the Rise of Aleksandr Dugin: A case study of the extra-parliamentary radical right in contemporary Russia, was completed in 2007.