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Ekatherina Zhukova

I am a Visby Programme Postdoctoral Researcher (2017-2018) working on the topic of migration of disaster victims. My case study is female migration of the former Chernobyl children from Belarus to Italy since 1990s for the purpose of education and marriage. I would like to understand how humanitarian action in a form of summer recuperation of children abroad has impacted broader life choices such as education migration and marriage migration of young women.

I received my PhD in Political Science (specialization Political Sociology) from Aarhus University in Denmark (2015). I compared media representations of responsibility for managing the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Belarus and Ukraine since 1990s. I used theories of cultural trauma (cultural sociology), ontological security (risk sociology), and identity politics (international relations) to develop a theory of trauma management. I argued that different ways of assigning responsibility in Belarus and Ukraine resulted from the differences in media ownership (state-controlled, non-state), society fragmentation (united, divided), and geopolitical orientation (pro-Russian, pro-European). I showed how assigning responsibility for mitigating the Chernobyl consequences contributed to establishing cooperation between some states (e.g., Belarus and Europe), but spoiling the relationship between others (e.g., Belarus and Russia). My PhD monograph received the Baltic University Programme Honorary Diploma for the Best PhD Thesis 2015 (link

On the basis of my PhD monograph, I published four articles in journals such as British Journal of Sociology, Acta Sociologica, Cooperation and Conflict, and Europe-Asia Studies. (please see the list below). The article in the British Journal of Sociology has been nominated for the BJS Early Career Prize (link The article in Acta Sociologica has been nominated for the International  Congress of Belarusian Studies Award for the best publication in the field of social sciences and humanities published in 2015-2016 (link

I taught MA courses on discourse analysis at Aarhus University (2013, 2015) and was a teaching assistant at the PhD course on qualitative interpretative methods at the ECPR Winter School in Methods and Techniques at the University of Vienna (2014).

I did my master degrees at Central European University in Hungary (Political Science, specialization Political Research Methodology) and University of Sussex in the UK (Contemporary European Studies, specialization International Relations of the EU).



Zhukova, Ekatherina (2017) “Chernobyl, Responsibility, and National Identity: Positioning Europe and Russia in the Media of Belarus and Ukraine (1992–2014),” Europe-Asia Studies, in press, accepted for publication on 20 February 2017.

Zhukova, Ekatherina (2017) “Foreign Aid and Identity after the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster: How Belarus Shapes Relations with Germany, Europe, Russia, and Japan,” Cooperation & Conflict, epub ahead of print, DOI: 10.1177/0010836717710529.


Zhukova, Ekatherina (2016) “Trauma Management as a Way to Sustainable Development,” The Baltic University Programme Newsletter, issue no. 49, December 2016, p. 5.

Zhukova, Ekatherina (2016) “From Ontological Security to Cultural Trauma: The Case of Chernobyl in Belarus and Ukraine,” Acta Sociologica, vol. 59, no. 4, pp. 332-346.

Zhukova, Ekatherina (2016) “Trauma Management: Chernobyl in Belarus and Ukraine,” British Journal of Sociology, vol. 67, no. 2, pp. 195-215.

Zhukova, Ekatherina (2015) Whose Responsibility? Chernobyl as Trauma Management in Belarus and Ukraine, Politica. Institut for Statskundskab. Aarhus Universitet. ISBN: 978-87-7335-200-7 (PhD Thesis).


Commentaries for the Public/Media (in Danish):

In Baumann, Silke and Hintze, Luca August (2016) “Når radioaktivitet lokker turister til”, Media Project at the Danish School of Media and Journalism, available at

In Poulsen, Ulla (2016) “Tjernobyl er blevet fortællingen om fortidens undertrykkelse i Ukraine”, 25 April 2016, Kristeligt Dagblad, available at

In Poulsen, Ulla (2016) “Tjernobyl har trukket et spor af frygt efter sig”, Kristeligt Dagblad, 24 April 2016, available at

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