Team | Advisory Board  

Principal Investigator

Kristina Stoeckl


Principal Investigator of the Postsecular Conflicts Project and assistant professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Innsbruck. PhD in social and political sciences from the European University Institute (2007), Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Rome Tor Vergata (2009-12), APART Fellow of the Austrian Academy of Sciences at the University of Vienna and the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna (2012-2015).

Her research is set at the intersection of social and political theory and comparative sociology of religion with a special focus on Orthodox Christianity. Her work is motivated by a profound interest in philosophical questions of political nature, in particular the relationship between the freedom of the human subject and community, and by a genuine perplexity about the breach between secular modernity and traditional
                                      and/or religious worldviews. With her research on the Orthodox world, she wants to make a case in point
                                      about the ambiguous relationship between the modern and the traditional and she wants to explore
                                      philosophically and empirically the difficulties of negotiating modern secular and traditional and religious
                                      views about legitimate authority, personal freedom and human rights.

                                      Please visit the website:


Olena Kostenko

Olena Kostenko Olena Kostenko studied political and social conflict at the University of Augsburg in Germany, political science at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and philology at the National Technical University of Kharkiv Polytechnic Insitute in Ukraine. Since June 2016 she is a research team member in the project “Postsecular Conflicts”.

Caroline Hill

Hill CarolineCaroline Hill studied political science at Uppsala University, international relations at the University of Amsterdam, and Russian language at St. Petersburg State University. Her research interests include morality policy debates in the former Soviet states and Southeastern Europe, and the role of the Orthodox Church and evangelical Christian groups in mediatization of religion in Eastern Europe and the West. She joined the Postsecular Conflicts Project as a researcher in September 2017.


Research Associates

Sergei Chapnin

Sergei Chapnin

Sergei Chapnin has a Master in Journalism and Communication Science from Moscow State University in 1993 and was a chief editor of the official magazine of the Russian Orthodox Church the Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate and the official newspaper the Church Herald. He also served as a senior lecturer at the Theological faculty of the St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University, as a secretary of the Commission on Church, state and society of the Inter-Conciliar Board of the Russian Orthodox Church and a deputy chief editor of the Publishing house of the Moscow Patriarchate. He organized many national and international events for the Church, including a biannual Festival of Orthodox Media and exhibitions of contemporary Christian art and architecture.

His main interests include: the intersections of religion, state, and society, civil religion and secularization with a focus on a period of so-called ‘Church revival’ in Russia. His book, titled “The Church in Post-Soviet Russia. Revival, ‘quality of faith’, dialog with the society” was published in Russian in 2013. 

More information at his website:

Senior Research Associates

Pasquale Annicchino

Pasquale Annicchino

Pasquale Annicchino is Research Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies and a Senior Research Associate at the Cambridge Institute on Religion & International Studies, Cambridge University. He has been Adjunct Professor of Law at BYU Law School (U.S.A.) and Visiting Professor at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium).

He serves as book review editor for Religion and Human Rights: an International Journal and is a member of the editorial board of Quaderni di Diritto e Politica Ecclesiastica published by Il Mulino.  His main interests include the followings: Legal Theory, Law and Religion, EU Law, National Security Law, Religion and Politics. Among his recent publications: Esportare la Libertà Religiosa. Il Modello Americano nell'Arena Globale (Bologna, 2015); A Transatlantic Partnership for International Religious Freedom? The United States, Europe and the Challenge of Religious Persecutions, Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, 2016. He has been appointed by the Italian Minister of Interior as a member of the Italian Council for the relationships with muslim communities.

Phillip Ayoub

Phillip Ayoub

Phillip Ayoub is Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics at Drexel University. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Government at Cornell University in 2013, after obtaining a B.A. from the University of Washington and M.A. degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Cornell University. He also spent a year as Max Weber Fellow in the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute. 

His research bridges insights from international relations and comparative politics, engaging with literature on transnational politics, gender and politics, norm diffusion, and the study of social movements. His book, titled When States Come Out: Europe’s Sexual Minorities and the Politics of Visibility, was published by Cambridge University Press in April 2016.  Using a mixed-method approach that combines large-n quantitative analysis with in-depth qualitative analysis of key cases, it explores the domestic conditions under which international norms governing LGBT rights are most likely to spread.

Professor Ayoub’s publications have appeared or are forthcoming in Comparative Political Studies, Critique Internationale, the European Journal of International Relations, Mobilization, the European Political Science Review, and Perspectives on Europe. He has received various grants and fellowships, including a Fulbright Schuman Fellowship for the European Union, an Alexander von Humboldt Chancellor Fellowship, a Cornell Sage Fellowship, a Mellon Writing Fellowship, three FLAS Fellowships, and a Max Weber Postdoctoral Prize Fellowship.

Julia Mourão Permoser

Julia Mourao PermoserJulia Mourão Permoser has a Bachelor in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, a Master in International Studies from the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Vienna. Currently on maternity leave, she has been awarded a “Back-to-Research-Grant” from the University of Vienna from May to December 2016 in order to develop a new research project. From January 2017 onwards she will join the Post-Secular Conflicts team as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Innsbruck. Her research interests center on religion, citizenship, belonging and migration in Europe. She is interested in the governance of diversity, on role of norms and values in politics and on the challenges that dealing with pluralism pose to liberal democracy.

Christopher Stroop

Chris StroopAfter earning a Ph.D. in modern Russian History and Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities from Stanford University in 2012, Christopher Stroop spent three years teaching at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) in Moscow. Currently a Provost's Postdoctoral Scholar in the History Department at the University of South Florida, and editor of RANEPA's scholarly journal State, Religion and Church, Stroop focuses on the intersections of religion, politics, and society as both an academic and freelance journalist and commentator, in which latter capacity Stroop has written about American evangelical Protestantism and the contemporary Russian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate. As a scholar, Stroop has organized international conferences, published in journals including Russian Review, and participated in the international research project "Russia's Great War and Revolution: The Centennial Reassessment." In addition to studying the influence and reception of Nikolai Berdyaev and other Russian intellectuals with a particular focus on twentieth-century anti-secular discourse and anti-Communism, Stroop is working toward a co edited volume (with Ana Siljak) provisionally titled "Russia, Religion and Secularism" and a monograph provisionally titled "The Politics of Providentialism: A Russian Civil Religious Vision in War, Revolution, and Exile."

Dmitry Uzlaner

Dmitry Uzlaner

Ph.D. in philosophy and religious studies (M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University). Research fellow at Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) and Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences (MSSES). Editor-in-chief of two academic peer-reviewed journals “Gosudarstvo, religiia, tserkov' v Rossii i za rubezhom” (in Russian language) and “State, Religion and Church” (in English language).

Dr. Uzlaner published numerous articles on theoretical and empirical aspects of secularization and post-secularity both in Russian and in global contexts. His current interest is focused on psychoanalysis (Jacques Lacan) and psychoanalytic approach to the analysis of social and cultural issues.

Former Researcher

Ksenia Medvedeva

Ksenia Medvedeva

Ksenia Medvedeva was a researcher in the Postsecular Conflicts project till March 2017. She received her MA in Sociology from Higher School of Economics (St. Petersburg) in 2012 after having finished her research on faith-based extracurricular activities for schoolchildren in Orthodox and Protestant parishes of St. Petersburg. She served as a teacher assistant in sociology and sociology of religion in 2014-2015 and was an international visiting graduate research student at the University of Toronto in 2015. She completed the postgraduate program in Sociology at the Higher School of Economics (Moscow) in 2016 where she conducted her research on contemporary Russian Orthodox monasteries for women. Apart from Christian monasticism, her research interests include pilgrimage; Orthodox Christianity; nationalism, multiculture and religion. In the Postsecular Conflicts project, Ksenia will focus on international networks of conservative organizations and the role of the Russian Orthodox church.

Project Manager

Bettina Jeschke

Bettina JeschkeBettina Jeschke has studied Economics at the University of Innsbruck and works in the Office for the Disabled at the University of Innsbruck also.