My main areas of research are sociology of religion, political sociology and political theory. The focus of my research lies on politics and religion, on state-religion relations in Russia, norm and anti-gender mobilizations and transnational religious actors. The most significant achievement in the recent years was winning an ERC Starting Grant and FWF Start Prize for my project “Postsecular Conflicts” (2015-2022) which investigated moral conservative norm mobilization by religious actors across Russia, Europe and the United States. Thanks to this project, I achieved a stable academic position as full professor at the University of Innsbruck.
Since 2016, I direct the >> Postsecular Conflicts Research Group, specialized in sociological and interdisciplinary research on religion in contemporary society. The theoretical focus of our work lies on social theories of secularization and post-secularity as well as normative political theories on religion & democracy and religion in the public sphere. Our mostly qualitative empirical research revolves around religious and secular actors in value-conflicts and the polarization of the religious field in liberal and conservative currents. With a strong regional focus on Russia and the former Soviet Union and a special attention to transnational and global religious dynamics, the Postsecular Conflicts Research Group has produced pathbreaking research on transnational moral conservative norm mobilization, the Russian Orthodox Church as a global norm entrepreneur, and religion-state relations in Russia and Europe.
Our research is supported by: