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After the START-award for Kristina Stoeckl at the Department of Sociology, she has got a ERC Starting Grant
Kristina Stoeckl

Dr. Kristina Stoeckl
For her research project on post-secular conflicts Kristina Stoeckl has been awarded with the coveted START-award of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). She is the only researcher from the humanities and social scientist to have received such a grant this year. The six-year research project, which is located at the Department of Sociology, will investigate into the transnational politics of moral conservative actors, in particular the Russian Orthodox Church. The 1.2 million euro award is the highest possible recognition for young scientists in Austria.

 ERC Starting Grant
Kristina Stoeckl was also successful with an ERC Starting Grant. This means additional funding for her START project with up to 1.4 Millionen Euro in total.

Issues relating to the legal equality of homosexuals, gender equality, abortion, euthanasia and the public role of religion lead to conflicts in many countries, even in secularized Western European societies. They are discussed not only in national parliaments, but also at the level of civil society and international institutions such as the Advisory Council for Human Rights of the United Nations or the European Court of Human Rights. The START-project will analyze these cleavages and asks with which arguments, strategies and political agendas moral conservatives today challenge secular liberal democracies.

The focus of the project will lie on one key-actor in transnational morality politics, the Russian Orthodox Church. Kristina Stoeckl became first aware of the phenomenon when researching her book The Russian Orthodox Church and Human Rights (2014). While the close relationship between the Russian Patriarch and President Putin is featured again and again in the media, the independent role of the Church in the international arena has been studied to a much lesser degree and it has hardly been reflected theoretically. The aim of the researcher is to fill this theoretical gap by developing a post-secular theory of moral conflicts.

After graduating from the University of Innsbruck in 2001 Kristina Stoeckl embarked on an international academic career with an MA degree at the Central European University Institute in Budapest (2003) and a PhD at the European University Institute in Florence (2007). Her post-doctoral studies included a Marie Curie Fellowship at the University of Rome Tor Vergata (2009-2012) and an APART-fellowship of the Austrian Academy of Sciences at the University of Vienna and the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna (2012-2015). She now returns to the University of Innsbruck, where she has previously worked as coordinator for the research platform World-Order-Religion-Violence (2007-2009), and will work – together with a team of doctoral students and post-docs - on implementing this multidisciplinary project over the next six years.

ECR Starting Grant

ERC Starting Grants aim to support up-and-coming research leaders who are about to establish a proper research team and to start conducting independent research in Europe. The scheme targets promising researchers who have the proven potential of becoming independent research leaders. It will support the creation of excellent new research teams.

More information on the START-award winner: