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Scholar Spotlight: Susann Worschech

Susann Worschech
October 31, 2023

Susann Worschech is a social scientiest at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany and works on political sociology of Europe, with a particular emphasis on Ukraine and other post-socialist societies. She is author of numerous publications on civil society, democratization and Europeanization. Her dissertation on external democracy promotion in Ukraine was awarded with the Klaus Mehnert Prize 2016 by the German Association for East European Studies. In 2019, she was awarded with both the Brandenburg State Award for Excellent Academic Teaching and the Brandenburg Postdoc Award for outstanding research in the area of the humanities and social sciences. At Yale University, she works on a project on Democratic Resilience and Social Change.

What was your pathway to visiting Yale? 
As a political sociologist studying Central and Eastern Europe, and Ukraine in particular, I knew that there were strong research traditions at Yale in several of my areas of expertise - Ukrainian society and Ukrainian history, but also the vibrant civic sphere, including civic activism and democracy. Being part of this vibrant space of discussion and reflection on Central and Eastern Europe has long been a strong desire and an important component of my academic trajectory - so I was delighted to be invited to the MacMillan Center.
What will you be working on when you are at Yale? 
My recent project is about civic democratic resilience. Resilience is the ability of social entities not only to cope with disturbances, but it is also an aspect of transformation and social change. I analyze Ukrainian’s civic resilience with regard to democracy, social solidarity and pluralism under conditions of war, and I am working on conceptualizing resilience as a social substructure of democracy in what has been called post-socialist societies.
How will you be working with Yale students?
Unfortunately, my visit to Yale does not include any courses, but I am very excited about the great scientific curiosity of Yale students that can be seen and felt on campus.
How will you be working with Yale researchers? 
At MacMillan Center, there are so many great opportunities for exchange, debate and inspiration – I already had great experiences of discussing and sharing ideas. Beyond that, we are planning to work on a research project with some colleagues which could be come a very sustainable outcome of my work here.
What are you most looking forward to doing or visiting when at Yale? 
Working in the Marx Science and Social Science library – one of the most beautiful and convenient places for writing, thinking and ‘getting things done’ I ever experienced. And enjoying the beautiful nature of East Rock after a great day in the library!
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