My main areas of research are sociology of religion, political sociology and social and political theory. I am a leading specialist on Russian Orthodoxy and religion-state relations in Russia.
Generally, my research dovetails into qualitative empirical research on phenomena that I find new, interesting and puzzling, and a rigorous theoretical elaboration of my findings. Debates and concepts that I have made contributions to with my research are multiple modernities, postsecular society, political theology, norm-mobilization, transnational actor networks, anti-genderism, illiberalism and human rights.
My most recent publication was co-authored with Dmitry Uzlaner: Moralist International. Russia in the Global Culture Wars. Fordham University Press, 2022. This book is available #openaccess.
From 2016 until 2022, I directed the >> Postsecular Conflicts Research Group at the University of Innsbruck, specialized in sociological and interdisciplinary research on religion in contemporary society. The theoretical focus of our work was 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 revolved 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, religion-state relations in Russia and Europe and global resistances to LGBT rights.
My research has been supported by:
European Research Council Starting Grant (2016-2022, grant nr. 676804);
Austrian Science Foundation FWF Start Preis (2015-2021, grant nr. Y-919);
APART [Austrian Program for Advanced Research and Technology], Austrian Academy of Sciences (2012-2015, grant nr. 11545);
European Research Council Marie Skłodowska Curie Intra-European Fellowship FP7-MCIEF (2009-2012, grant nr. 235041).