Dr Nelly Bekus

Research interests

My research interests include the state-and nation-building under socialism and post-socialism, the religious and the ethno-linguistic landscape in post-Soviet nations and the role of cityscapes in the construction of post-socialist identity.  My current research project explores the ways in which the systemic transformation of former Soviet Republics has been reflected in the urban development of their capital cities and how socialist urban habitus has been adapted to changed political and social settings since the fall of socialism. It aims to connect macro- and micro-processes, examining how aspects of post-socialist transformation globally impact upon the urban landscape, how post-Soviet national elites rework socialist legacies in the production of nationalized urban spaces, and how these shifts influence the practices and lived experience of city-dwellers. The project is planned as a cross-disciplinary study, combining sociological and anthropological approaches to the study of changing and/or lasting socialist patterns of relations between state and space. Whilst aiming to develop broader approaches to the post-socialist city, my own focus will be on the cases of Minsk (Belarus) and Astana (Kazakhstan).