Doctoral Fellow

Doctoral Fellow Denys GorbachDenys Gorbach

Discipline: Political Science
Supervisor: Jenny Andersson
Enrolled: September 2017

Denys Gorbach received his Master's degree in June 2017 from the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Central European University, Budapest. Previously, he received his BA in political science and MA in philosophy from Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Ukraine, and worked as an economic journalist. His research interests include political economy, social movements, and working class formation in the post-Soviet region. For his master’s project, Denys studied hegemonic configurations at the workplace and national level that prevented trade unions from becoming channels of radical political mobilisation. His current research project is focused on national populism in today's Ukraine – both as the basis of dominant national public discourses and as the defining factor of the country's national variety of capitalism.

  • Project description

    Explaining Populism in Post-Soviet Ukraine

    The research project seeks to ethnographically explore populism as the dominant framework for political claiming and political participation in today's Ukraine. Using the lenses of social movements literature and politico-economic anthropology, relying on the existing research on political economy of reforms and transition, it will critically analyse the specific conditions structuring the public sphere in the way conducive to framing politics as the eternal struggle of "the people" against alien elements. Methodologically, the project will be situated in the realm of reflexive social science and rely on a qualitative toolkit. Concentrating on three research sites – a suburb of Kyiv; an industrial city in the East; and a mid-size town in the West of Ukraine – I will conduct a series of interviews and use the method of participant observation over the span of three years. The data thus obtained will be put into dialogue with wider politico-economic context. According to the initial hypothesis, populism is a defining element of the Ukrainian politico-economic landscape, structured by post-Soviet path dependencies and the critical junctures of the last two decades. The project aims to contribute to the academic explanation of “new populism” in the post-Soviet region and its role in the development of particular economic models.


Short biography

  • June 2015-present: Contributor to the section covering Eastern Europe and former Soviet Union – analysis of social and politico-economic issues regarding Ukraine
  • 2015-2017: Central European University, Budapest, Hungary. MA in Sociology and Social Anthorpology, with Global and Urban Studies Specialization. MA thesis title "Underground Waterlines: Explaining Political Quiescence of Ukrainian Trade Unions"
  • 2014-2015: Centre.UA NGO, Kyiv, Ukraine. Economic analyst.


  • September-December 2018: The Great Transition – Responsibility, Innovation, Commons. Coordinator of tutoring, TA for the course animated by Marie-Laure Djelic, Dominique Cardon and Eloi Laurent at Sciences Po School of Management and Innovation.

Selected publications

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