John Kennedy

Contemporary Entrepreneurship in Siberia

Supervisor: Dr Derek Averre

For my doctoral research I am conducting an ethnography of entrepreneurialism in Siberia. Specifically, I am examining how social and economic conditions have changed for Siberian entrepreneurs since the Russian economy was stabilised. 

A logical point of departure for this project was the influential qualitative and ethnographic research on 'coping' undertaken during the years following the fall of the Soviet Union, which described the social conditions of the time in terms of crisis because uncertainty was an everyday experience and forms of economic entrepreneurialism were necessary for survival. 

I seek to reappraise these assumptions through an examination of 'actually existing' contemporary entrepreneurship in Russia's now-stable capitalist economy. In doing so I am focusing on some of the most resilient (and controversial) concepts in post-socialist studies including coping and precarity, transition and neoliberalism, exchange and value, risk and modernisation.


After completing degrees in Politics and International Relations I joined the Civil Service in 2007, where I worked in an analytical role on a variety of strategic policy issues. 

In 2011 I completed an MA in CREES, which I chose because of its wide-ranging research and policy expertise and central place in the discipline of Russian Language Based Area Studies.

Before returning for doctoral study I worked as a lobbyist for an international communications agency. 

In 2012 I was awarded a 3 year studentship in Russian and East European Studies by the University of Birmingham ESRC Doctoral Training Centre. I am currently completing ethnographic fieldwork in Siberia.


  • BSc Politics and International Relations, incl. Peter G. Richards Prize 2004 (University of Southampton)
  • MSc International Relations (London School of Economics and Political Science, 2006)
  • MA Russian and East European Studies (University of Birmingham, 2011)

Research interests 

  • Language Based Area Studies
  • UK, European and Eurasian Affairs
  • Risk and ResilienceTechnology and Culture