Thesis Abstract

Strikingly, the meaning of no, that refusal to accept society as a given, unchangeable community is today increasingly is interwoven with such places as Tahrir, Maidan, Zuccotti Park, or Tiananmen. Scholars of Global Social Movements have payed attention to this new protest form that centers around the physical space of the square, however, the relationship between these protest and globalization remains only vaguely explored. My argument is that the heterodox movements forming on city squares have a history that correlates with the increased paste of global integration since the ending 70s of last Century. In 1989 and 2011, opposition formed on city squares and challenged established order that was already confronted with the new past of globalizing times. Through two comparative case studies of the role of the square in the protests on Tiananmen and in Leipzig 1989, I explore the practice of turning the square into a focal point for dissent. On the square, alternative ideals and practices are formed andcommunicated. In some cases like on Tiananmen and Occupy, the place of the square is even framed as an alternative republic to the existing state, providing its very own political arena. Though the outcome
of such heterogeneous and unordered protests is highly unforeseeable, this mode of protests has lately gained momentum again. Understanding better the role of the square in protests during contemporary accelerated globalization is to better understand how societies respond from below to the new challenges imposed. The city square challenges established rule and gives place to alternative visions yet is highly chaotic in its nature and ambiguous in its outcomes.


Academic Experience

Academic Experience
2007 - 2011 University of Leipzig BA Sozialwissenschaften/Philosophie mit dem Kernfach Politikwissenschaften

2010   ERASMUS exchange semester at the Universidad Europea de Madrid

2011 - 2013 ERASMUS MUNDUS MA Global Studies: A European Perspective

2011 - 2012 Roskilde University, Denmark

2012 - 2013 University of California, Santa Barbara

2013 - 2016 BIGSSS

2014 Exchange to Beijing Captial Normal University, China

2015: DAAD Research Semester at Capital Normal University


Research assistance:

2013: Mark Juergensmeyer, UCSB. Book project: Thinking Globally. A Global Studies Reader. 

2013: Jan Nederveen Pieterse, UCSB. Varieties of Capitalism research project.

2013: Heidrun Zinecker, University of  Leipzig. Violence in Central America research project.

2013: Dominic Sachsenmaier, Jacobs University. Guest scholar program, teaching assistance Modern Chinese History

2014:  Dominic Sachsenmaier, Jacobs University, teaching assistance: Histories of Globalizations; Transatlantic History in a Comparative Perspective

2015:  Yin Yue, Jacobs University, teaching assistance: Histories of Globalizations 


2013: University of Leipzig. Introduction into Political Economy

2014: Jacobs University. Histories of Globalization; Atlantic History

2015 University of Bremen: Introduction to Global Studies.


Guest Lectures:

11.11.2017 Universität der Künste: Globalisierung und Räume des Widerspruchs

03.03.2014. UCSB. "Maidan protests in Kiev"




2011: "Wanted: Kritische Theorie der Finanzkrise" in: Powision

2012: "The Power of the Powerless" in: Vis a Vis

2013: "Protest in a tent. Lessons from Oakland"  Paper presented at the Global Studies Conference, UCSB

2013: "Linke Leipziger Zustaende" in: Cee Ieh

2014: "Producing spaces of dissent in Kiev" Paper presented at the Global Studies Conference, UCSB

2014: "Maydan als Raum der Selbstbehauptung" in: Cee Ieh

2015> Socialist Parties in East Germany and China in a Comparative Perspective: Origins, Patterns^, Divergence.



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