We invite applications for our Visiting Fellows Programme (f/m/d) in the framework of the research project “Contentious Mobilities: Rethinking Mobility Transitions through a Decolonial Lens (CoMoDe)”

Academic and non-academic applicants are welcome to apply for stays ranging from one to six months at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL) in Leipzig. The fellowship scheme is administered by the IfL and financed by the Leibniz Association in the framework of its Junior Research Group programme.



23–25 September 2024, Leipzig, Germany
Organised by the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL), and Lancaster University, Leipzig, Germany. Final Conference of the CoMoDe Project (Contentious Mobilities: Rethinking Mobility Transitions through a Decolonial Lens)

Mobilities and Infrastructures: Transitions and Transformations

Modern societies are experiencing striking technological, ecological, socio-economic and cultural as well as political challenges – with mobility questions at the forefront of these contentions. Actors and institutions across the globe increasingly recognize the need for systemic changes in the ways goods, people, ideas, policies and capital are set in motion – usually framed in the terms of “mobility transitions”. Green deal policies are drafted and “just transition” funds are set up, acknowledging that transition to carbon-free futures will require substantial resources to succeed, but also to avoid uneven and unfair socio-spatial effects on nations, regions, cities, and rural places. Existing research has already criticized mobility transition policies for their narrow normative assumptions, their reliance on large-scale infrastructures and technological innovations, and elaborated on the concepts of mobility justice and commoning mobility as a way of devising collective and collaborative means of shaping mobility transitions (Cresswell et. al 2021; Sheller 2018). It is therefore time to interrogate how and in which ways have “mobility transitions” been framed in different places at different times in their multifaceted histories.


Freshly published: The Road to Socialism

A core member of the CoMoDe team Lyubomir Pozharliev recently published his new book “The Road to Socialism. Transport Infrastructure in Socialist Bulgaria and Yugoslavia (1945–1989)” via V&R unipress. It is accessible as an open source publication supported by the Leibniz foundation.

The book is the first comprehensive empirical study of transport infrastructure in two socialist countries in the years 1945–1989. In the case study of Yugoslavia, the construction of roads was interrelated with building socialist and trans-ethnic identities, uniting all federal republics. In practice, the “Brotherhood and Unity Highway” was an artery linking the capitals of the most industrialized republics, neglecting Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and parts of Macedonia. In socialist Bulgaria existed a clear ideological link between transport and nation building. Bulgarian roads’ disintegrative function was best seen in the example of the “Highway Ring” which, constructed as an inner circle, isolated the border regions and areas inhabited by Bulgarian Muslims and Turks.

Dr Lyubomir Pozharliev is a research associate at the Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde (Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography) in Leipzig. He is working within the Leibniz Junior Research group “Contentious Mobilities: rethinking mobility transitions through a decolonial lens” with a focus on mobility modes in Central Asia and other post-socialist countries. Between 2018 and 2020 he was a postdoctoral researcher within SPP “1981 Transottomanica”. He received his doctorate in history and cultural studies (2018) from Justus-Liebig University, Giessen at the Department of Eastern European History.

The full Open Access PDF can be found here.