Research Team

Project Directors

Professor Dr. Matthias Middell

Matthias Middell studied history at the University of Leipzig. He earned his PhD in 1989 with a study on French counter-revolution at the end of the 18th century. His habilitation (2002) dealt with World History writing during the 20th century. From 1994 till 2008 he served as Managing Director of the Centre for Advanced Study and since 2008 he is Director of the Global and European Studies Institute at Leipzig University where he coordinates the European Master „Global Studies“. Since 2001 he is the Spokesperson of the International PhD Programme "Regionalisation and Transnationalisation since the 18th century“ and he became Director of the Graduate Center Social Sciences and Humanities at the Research Academy Leipzig in 2006. Since 2009 he serves also as Spokesperson of the Center for Area Studies of the University of Leipzig. He was a visiting fellow and guest professor at the universities of Addis Ababa,  Lyon, New Delhi, Paris, Rennes, Rouen, Santa Barbara, Stellenbosch, and Yaoundé, in 2008 he was the Fulbright Distinguished Professor in Transnational History at Duke University and in 2011 a Fellow of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study. Since 1991 he serves as editor of the journal Comparativ. Zeitschrift für Globalgeschichte and since 2004 he edits together with Michel Espagne the e-journal geschichte.transnational. His main research interests include global history with emphasis on spatial configurations; cultural transfers between France and Germany as well as the history of historiography in the 19th and 20th century.


Professor Dr. Ioannis Th. Mazis

Ioannis Th. Mazis is professor of economic geography and geo-political theory at the School of Economics and Political Science and Director of the Department of Turkish and Modern Asian Studies of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (UoA). He is specialized in the geopolitical theory, geography and spatial analysis and the methodology of systematic geopolitical analysis, the geopolitics of the Middle East and South-Eastern Mediterranean. He is author of many books and articles on the Middle East, the geopolitical approach of the Islamist Movement, the river water geopolitical issue in the Middle East, the theory and practice of Geopolitics and the geopolitical approach of the Secret Islamic Orders in the relation to the economic and political Islam in Modern Turkey. Mazis is co-founder of the Ionian University/Corfu, which was founded in 1984.

Research Team

PhD Candidate Virginia Balafouta

Virginia Balafouta graduated from the Faculty of Law of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She completes her Master Degree on International Law and Diplomacy at Panteion University, and her PhD on the International Law of Transboundary Rivers at National and Kapodisrian University of Athens. She holds a Diploma of Journalism.


PhD Candidate Kostas Charokopos

Kostas Charokopos is a PhD student at the Faculty of Turkish and Modern Asian Studies of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (UoA). His thesis refers to the geopolitical analysis of contemporary international financial environment. In particular, he examines the relationship between the process of financialization and the international power structure and the ways in which the operation of the international financial markets and the financial institutions are changing the international balance of power. Charokopos holds a Master’s degree in Economic Theory and Politics from the University of Crete and a Master’s degree in International Political Economy from the Panteion University.


Dr. Augusta Dimou

Augusta Dimou is a Senior Researcher at the Institute for Southeast European History at the Humboldt University in Berlin. She used to be a Research Fellow at the Centre for the History and Culture of East Central Europe (Geisteswissenschaftliches Zentrum Geschichte und Kultur Ostmitteleuropas – GWZO) at the University of Leipzig. She holds a PhD in History from the European University Institute in Florence and a Master’s degree on Southeast European History from the University of Florida, Gainesville (USA).


Dr. Konstantinos Grivas

Konstantinos Grivas received his doctoral degree at the Ionian University in Corfu. In his thesis he focused on “War technology and geopolitical thought at the dawn of the third millennium”. He teaches Geopolitics at the Hellenic Military Academy and Geography of Security at the Turkish and Modern Asian Studies Department of the University of Athens. He also teaches at the National Defense College for high rank officers of the three branches of the Hellenic Armed Forces, at the National Security Academy for high rank officers of the Hellenic National Police and at the War College of the Hellenic Air Force. He hold the post of chief investigator at the department of modern weapon technologies of the Institute of Defense Analysis of the Hellenic Ministry of Defense from September 2004 to December 2005. Between 1996 and 2004 he was an accredited journalist at the Hellenic Ministry of Defense.


Dr. Ilias Iliopoulos

Ilias Iliopoulos teaches at the Baltic Defense College in Tartu in Estonia. He is specialized in the history of Eastern Europe and Southeastern Europe. He completed his doctoral studies at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich. He was a lecturer at the Greek Naval Academy, Piraeus, and is also a professor at the Greek National Defense College in Athens.


PhD Candidate Ioannis Kotoulas

Ioannis Kotoulas is a PhD student at the Faculty of Turkish and Modern Asian Studies of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (UoA). His PhD project refers to the Greek geopolitical thought in the 19th and 20th centuries. He is scientific advisor of Foreign Affairs Hellenic Edition and author of “Migration and Dominant Culture: Religion, Politics, and Multiculturalism” (Athens 2011).


Dr. Steffi Marung

Steffi Marung studied political science and German literature in Halle, Berlin and Prague. Holding a PhD in Global Studies with a historical focus, she is currently senior researcher at the Centre for Area Studies of the University of Leipzig, where she undertakes a study on the transnational history of Soviet African Studies. She teaches global history at the Global and European Studies Institute (GESI) of the University of Leipzig and is a board member of the European Network in Universal and Global History (ENIUGH). Until 2010, she was a researcher at the Leipzig Centre for the History and Culture of East Central Europe (GWZO) where she undertook her PhD study on shifting border regimes as a consequence of EU enlargement after 1990. Her research interests include border regimes and regimes of territorialization in global history, the history of area studies as well as critical geography and critical geopolitics.


PhD Candidate Michalis Sarlis

Michalis Sarlis is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Turkish and Modern Asian Studies of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (UoA). The titel of his PhD thesis is: "Geopolitical analysis of the Islamist movement in Lebanon. Structure, influences and dynamics". Sarlis holds a Bachelor’s degree in General Archeology and Anthropology (University College London), a Master’s degree (MSC) in Politics, Security and Integration (School of Slavonic and East European Studies, SSEES University College London). His primary research subjects focus on the Arab state system and the evolution of Syria’s state and foreign policy, the Islamic movement in the Middle East with a special focus on the Lebanon, Syria, and the Caucasus region. He travelled extensively in the Middle East and did much of his research in Lebanon.


Dr. Adamantios Skordos

Adamantios Skordos is a senior researcher at the Centre for the History and Culture of East Central Europe (Geisteswissenschaftliches Zentrum Geschichte und Kultur Ostmitteleuropas – GWZO) at the University of Leipzig. His current research focuses on the influence of the South-East European conflicts on the development of international law in the 19th and 20th century. He holds a PhD degree from the University of Leipzig on "Griechenlands Makedonische Frage: Bürgerkrieg und Geschichtspolitik im Südosten Europas, 1945-1992" (“Greece’s Macedonian Question: Civil War and history politics in South-East Europe, 1945-1992”). From 2011 till 2014 he was a researcher at the Institute of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies at the University of Vienna, where he focused on Greece’s relations with Eastern Europe in his research and teaching.


PhD Candidate Ioannis P. Sotiropoulos

Ioannis P. Sotiropoulos is a researcher in the Laboratory of Geocultural Analyses of the Broader Middle East and Turkey in the Faculty of Turkish Studies and Modern Asian Studies of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (UoA). He is also Senior Research Fellow in the Institute of Energy for South-East Europe (IENE). In his academic analysis, he puts focus on the current international issues from the geopolitical perspective. His proposed PhD research topic is “The geopolitical pylons, (according to the Systemic Geopolitics), which influenced the decision-making process for the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in December 1979” (University of Nicosia, Cyprus). Sotiropoulos holds an MPhil research degree in Politics and International Studies from the University of Leeds and a Master's degree in International Politics from the University of Hull in the UK. He is author of the book: “The International Relations Parameter as Fundamental Reason for the Soviet Defeat in Afghanistan” (Athens 2006).


Dr. Alexandros Stoyannos

Alexandros Stoyannos gained his doctorate degree at the Faculty of Turkish and Modern Asian Studies, University of Athens (UoA). He wrote his PhD about "The modern interpretation of Friedrich Ratzel and the myth of the geo-determinism. The case of the Eastern Question". Stoyannos is tutor in the e-learning program of the Athens University and is co-founder and head of the German department of the “Erasmos Language School” in Corfu/city.


Prof. Dr. Stefan Troebst

Stefan Troebst is a historian and Slavicist and since 1999 Professor of East European Cultural Studies at the University of Leipzig. He studied in Tübingen, Sofija, Skopje and Bloomington and holds a Ph. D. degree in Russian and East European History by the Free University of Berlin where he also completed his habilitation. His fields of research are international and interethnic relations in modern Eastern Europe as well as the comparative cultural history of contemporary Europe. He has published widely on culture, history and politics of the Balkans, East Central Europe, Russia and the Baltic Sea Region. Among his recent publications are "Remembering Communism. Private and Public Recollections of Lived Experience in Southeast Europe", co-edited with Maria Todorova and Augusta Dimou (New York, Budapest: CEU Press, 2014), and "Prosfiges se mia diairemeni chora: ellenopoula sti LDG, 1949-1989" [Refugees in a Cold Country: Greek Children in the GDR, 1949-1989], in: „Paidomazoma” i „paidososimo”? Paidia tou emfyliou stin anatoliki kai kentriki Evropi. Ed. by Eirini Lagani and Maria Bontila (Thessaloniki: Epikentro, 2012), pp. 163-193.