Elizaveta Gaufman, Ph.D.


University of Bremen

Country: Germany

About Me:

Elizaveta Gaufman is a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute for Intercultural and International Studies at the University of Bremen. Her research focuses on the impact of verbal and visual enemy images in new media, including representations of gender and ethnicity. Her monograph  "Security Threats and Public Perception: Digital Russia and the Ukraine Crisis" was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2017.

Research Interests

Foreign Policy

Race, Ethnicity and Politics

Political Communication

Social Networks

Countries of Interest



United States



Journal Articles:

(2018) The Trump Carnival: Popular Appeal in the Age of Misinformation, International Relations

This article argues that a Russian analytical paradigm of carnival culture can help explain the successful presidential campaign of President Donald J. Trump. Russian philosopher and literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin developed the notion of carnival culture while analyzing Francois Rabelais’ work and its connection to the popular culture of Renaissance. Carnival ethos stood in opposition to the ‘official’ and ‘serious’ church sanctioned and feudal culture, by bringing out folklore and different forms of folk laughter that Bakhtin denoted as carnival. Carnival culture with its opposition to the official buttoned-up discourse is supposed to be polar opposite, distinguished by anti-ideology and anti-authority, in other words, anti-establishment – the foundation of Trump’s appeal to his voters. This article examines the core characteristics of carnival culture that defined Trump’s presidential campaign from the start.

(2017) Putin's Pastorate: Post-structuralism in Post-Soviet Russia, Alternatives

In this article, I argue that Foucauldian concept of pastorate is an appropriate tool to analyze powerrelations in authoritarian contexts, as it takes into consideration different ways authoritarian systemmanifests itself. Following Carrette, this article proposed translation of pastorate through fourindicators: (1) references to transborder sovereignty, (2) securitization discourse, (3) directinvolvement, and (4) sexualization of the figure of the pastor. Most importantly for InternationalRelations (IR), pastorate has dramatic implications for a state’s foreign policy. At the same time, theconcept of pastorate shows how post-structuralism is embedded with a range of relevant themes ininternational studies that pertain to security, gender, and overlap of domestic and foreign policy.

(2017) “Post-Trauma of World War II in Russia”, Digital Icons

Collective memory often functions as embeddedness for a narrative that can have profound legitimation consequences. In order to make a population 'buy' a narrative, memory entrepreneurs can manipulate traumatic memories in a population to justify the subversion of democratic processes, which is particularly dangerous. The 'Great Patriotic War', as World War II is known in Russia, commemorates not just the defeat of fascism, but also the survival of the nation in the face of extinction. It is also the most important heroic and unifying event in recent Russian history and is now actively used in nation-building efforts. The main argument of this essay is that due to the very traumatic nature of the collective memory of the Great Patriotic War in Russia, its citizens are bound to react in an emotional way to the issues that are discursively connected to the war.

(2015) Memory, Media and Securitization: Russian Media Framing of the Ukrainian Crisis, JSPPS

This article uses securitization theory as a lens for analyzing the Russian media framing of the Ukrainian crisis as a struggle against “fascism”. It argues that the distinctive shape of the post-Soviet Russian collective memory is a crucial factor enabling the successful use of the “fascism” frame. The article combines “big data” and qualitative analysis of the Russian media discourse in the spring and summer of 2014. It compares the prevalence of the fascist frame in different forms of media: Pervyi kanal news reports; mass media more broadly; and social media (Twitter, VKontakte, and Zhivoi Zhurnal), and finds that there is a high degree of similarity across “old” and “new” media in the categories and terms used to narrate the conflict in Ukraine.

(2014) Blogging Nation: Russian Race Riots Online’, Journal of Print and Media Technology Research

New media sources provide a rich pool of data for political scientists. This is especially true within the field of secu-ritisation theory, where tracing the audience's reaction to discourses is paramount. The blogosphere's quintessentially interactive environment serves as a fertile ground for observing reactions of 'netizens' within their 'habitat' without the caveats of the artificiality of lab experiments or the inherent bias of questionnaires. This paper focuses on the quantitative and qualitative analysis of blog commentaries to entries in the Russian-speaking segment of LiveJournal.com, which pertain to the Manezhnaia riots of December 2010. I argue that an analysis of the blogosphere can complete the metho-dological gaps within the field of securitisation theory.

Books Written:

(2017) Security Threats and Public Perception Digital Russia and the Ukraine Crisis, Palgrave Macmillan

Countless attempts at analyzing Russia’s actions focus on Putin to understand Russia’s military imbroglio in Ukraine, hostility towards America, and disdain of ‘Gayropa’. This book invites its readers to look beyond the man and delve into the online lives of millions of Russians. It asks not the question of what the threats are to Russia’s security, but what they are perceived to be by digital Russia. The author examines how enemy images are manufactured, threats magnified, stereotypes revived, memories implanted and fears harnessed. It looks at the legacy of the Soviet Union in shaping discussions ranging from the Ukraine crisis to the Pussy Riots trial, and explores the complex inter-relation between enemy images at the governmental level and their articulation by the general public. By drawing on the fields of international relations, memory studies, visual studies, and big data, this book addresses the question of why securitization succeeds – and why it fails.