Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Dr Lars Fredrik Stöcker

Fellow Imre Kertész Kolleg Dr Lars Fredrik Stöcker

January - September 2019

Lars Fredrik Stöcker was a fellow at the Imre Kertész Kolleg from January until the end of September 2019. He previously held a a postdoctoral researcher position at the Institute of East European History at the University of Vienna from 2015 to 2018 and, since 2017, was also coordinator of the doctoral college “Austrian Galicia and Its Multicultural Heritage”. Having been awarded research grants by the Estonian Science Foundation and the Swedish Research Council, he was earlier employed at the Institute of History at Tallinn University and the Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Uppsala University. He holds a PhD in History and Civilization from the European University Institute and a diploma in cultural studies from the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt/Oder. Among his latest publications is the monograph Bridging the Baltic Sea: Networks of Resistance and Opposition during the Cold War Era, a transnationally framed analysis of anti-Communist networks in northeastern Europe offering a first comprehensive synthesis of the Baltic Sea Region’s post-war history, for which he won the Michael Mitterauer Prize for Social, Cultural and Economic History (awarded by the University of Vienna, the City of Vienna and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research) in 2018.

Research project at the Kolleg

The book project “Exiting Communism: Visions of ‘Economic Sovereignty’ and the Creation of a National Economy in Estonia, 1987–1991” (working title) examines market-oriented visions and agendas in Soviet Estonia, the main incubator and pioneer of radical economic thought in the perestroika-era USSR. Assessing the impact of transnational expert cooperation on the early reform path, which, as is argued, set the track for Estonia’s successful post-Soviet economic performance, the study investigates how Estonian pro-reform economists and marketeers retranslated foreign policy prescriptions to local conditions; both reform-socialist ideas, such as the Hungarian ‘New Economic Mechanism’ or Poland’s ‘Balcerowicz plan’, and Western impulses transmitted via professional linkages with the non-socialist world. The project offers new insights into the mechanisms of systemic change in late socialism, thus linking to ongoing debates on historicizing transformation, and highlights the astonishing divergence of republic-level reform paths in the late USSR. This classical source analysis is based on both archival collections and public sources. However, as many of the networking activities under investigation were happening off the books, even oral history interviews are used to open up the hidden pages in the social and economic history of the late USSR.

Main areas of research

  • history of Central and Eastern Europe and Scandinavia
  • Cold War history
  • socialist and post-socialist economies
  • anti-Communist dissent and opposition

Positions and Memberships

  • Member, Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES)



Lars Fredrik Stöcker, Bridging the Baltic Sea: Networks of Resistance and Opposition during the Cold War Era, Harvard Cold War Studies Book Series, edited by Mark Kramer (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2018).


Lars Fredrik Stöcker, ‘The 1972 Memorandum to the United Nations and Its Repercussions: Émigré Politics and Soviet Estonian Dissent during the “Era of Stagnation”’, Journal of Baltic Studies 48, no. 2 (2017): 109–133.

Lars Fredrik Stöcker, ‘Perestroika and the Economic “Westernization” of the USSR: Soviet Estonian Market Pioneers and Their Nordic Partners’, The Estonian Historical Journal no. 3–4 (2016): 447–476.

Lars Fredrik Stöcker, ‘Cracks in the “Iron Curtain”: The Evolution of Political Contacts between Soviet Estonia and the Estonian Emigration in Sweden before Perestroika’, Baltic Worlds 8, no. 1–2 (2015): 75–85.

Lars Fredrik Stöcker, ‘Nylon Stockings and Samizdat: The “White Ship” between Helsinki and Tallinn in the Light of Its Unintended Economic and Political Consequences’, Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropaforschung 63, no. 3 (2014): 374–398.

Lars Fredrik Stöcker, ‘The Baltic Connection: Transnational Samizdat Networks between Émigrés in Sweden and the Democratic Opposition in Poland’, in Samizdat, Tamizdat & Beyond: Transnational Media during and after Socialism, edited by Friederike Kind-Kóvacs and Jessie Labov (New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2013), 51–69.

Lars Fredrik Stöcker, ‘Eine transnationale Geschichte des geteilten Europa? Die Brückenfunktion des polnischen politischen Exils in Schweden 1968–1980 als Fallstudie’, in “Schleichwege”. Inoffizielle Begegnungen sozialistischer Staatsbürger zwischen 1956 und 1989, edited by Włodzimierz Borodziej, Jerzy Kochanowski and Joachim von Puttkamer (Vienna et al.: Böhlau-Verlag, 2010), 253–273.


Review of Meike Wulf, Shadowlands. Memory and History in Post-Soviet Estonia (New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2016), in Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropaforschung 66, no. 4 (2017): 639–640.

Review of Tõnu Tannberg, ed, Behind the Iron Curtain. Soviet Estonia in the Era of the Cold War (Frankfurt/M. et al.: Peter Lang, 2015), in Forschungen zur Baltischen Geschichte 12 (2017): 445–449.

Review of Simo Mikkonen and Pia Koivunen, eds, Beyond the Divide. Entangled Histories of Cold War Europe (New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2015), in Forschungen zur Baltischen Geschichte 12 (2017): 435–439.

Review of Zenonas Norkus, On Baltic Slovenia and Adriatic Lithuania. A Qualitative Comparative Analysis of Patterns in Post-Communist Transformation (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2012), in Forschungen zur Baltischen Geschichte 9 (2014): 391–395.