My research interests cover concepts of democracy, democracy promotion by international actors, and transnational social movements. My dissertation was published in 2018 as “Globalization, EU Democracy Assistance and the World Social Forum: Concepts and Practices of Democracy” in the Palgrave Series European Political Sociology. I have analyzed the EU’s concepts of democracy and civil society in the European Neighbourhood Policy. Furthermore, I was interested to learn how social movement activists practice democracy and co-operate transnationally. For that purpose, I participated in the World Social Forums in 2013 and 2015 in Tunis (and other events) and applied approaches in political sociology and the sociology of organization. As a student, I was always interested in political thought and how concepts work out in practice. In my M.A. thesis at U Leipzig I analyzed the term ‘democracy’ in the Fair Trade discourse using Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe’s work. At York U, I wrote about new theories on representation and their usefulness in the context of the alter-globalization movements.
Universität Leipzig, Germany – 2017
Dr. Phil Global Studies
York University, Toronto – 2011
M.A. Political Science
Universität Leipzig – 2009
M.A. Political Science, Philosophy, Psychology
This is my current position and a selection of positions that I held in the past.
August 2020 –
Position: Assistant Professor
DAAD Visiting Assistant Professor at the Department of Politics
In my current position I am working at the Department of Politics at York University in Toronto. I am teaching on topics such as the European Union, globalization and social movements. In addition, I am contributing to the German Studies program at York University.
This position is partly funded by the German Academic Exchange Service.
Leibniz ScienceCampus »Eastern Europe – Global Area« (EEGA)
Sept 2019 – Feb 2020
Position: Postdoctoral Fellow
Project: The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum: A transnational ‘school of democracy’ or ‘school of management’?
During his stay at the EEGA, he will work on a research grant proposal to apply for third party funding of a project on democracy promotion and civil society with a regional focus on the EU partner countries of the Eastern Partnership (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine). Focusing on the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, Fiedlschuster aims to understand whether and how civil society organizations become effective actors at the transnational level. Furthermore, he is interested to analyze whether the forum can be considered as a space in which civil society actors can become protagonists of democracy. He will critically examine whether the EU’s governance approach in development cooperation is an obstacle towards realizing the democratic potential of the forum. He aims to do field work at the transnational level but he will also take a comparative perspective on civil society at the country level.
April 2019 – August 2019
Position: Research Associate
Teaching at the European Studies Institute (Prof. Dr. Eva Heidbreder) at the undergraduate and graduate level.
My course topics were:
- EU Foreign Policy Instruments: EU Democracy Promotion in Non-EU-Countries
- EU-Governance: Are Civil Society Organizations Democratizing the EU?
- European Integration: The Europeanization of Social Movements
- Globalization and Transnational Social Movements
Oct 2018 – March 2019
Position: Postdoc Fellow at the Department of Politics and the Department of Sociology
Project: The conceptual variety of democracy in the world and its uses and misuses in the case of EU democracy assistance
During my post-doc visit I did research on the varieties of democracy in the context of globalization processes. From my perspective democracy is an outcome of broad societal negotiation processes that involve different political actors, such as international organizations or (transnational) social movements which in the course of the last 40 years have come to compete with each other for the position of an ideological hegemon within an emerging transnational civil society. For this purpose, I worked on maping out the concepts of democracy promoted and applied by supranational institutions – focusing mainly on the European Union but also looking at the United Nations, World Trade Organization, on the one hand, and the non-state actors, such as international NGOs and transnational social movements, on the other.
This research has been funded by the German Academic Exchange Service.
Research Training Group GK 1261 “Critical Junctures of Globalization” Leipzig University
Oct 2011 – Sept 2014
Position: Research Associate, PhD Candidate
I was a member of the Research Training group, which funded my PhD research and where I got my PhD training. My PhD supervisor was Prof. Helena Flam (PhD). The research group was devoted to the interdisciplinary analysis of processes of globalization, with a focus on those places, moments and arenas in which new spatializations of social action are negotiated from the early 19 th century to the present. For more information about my PhD research see my book “Globalization, EU Democracy Assistance and the World Social Forum: Concepts and Practices of Democracy” (2018, Palgrave Macmillan).