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Dr Liene Ozoliņa-Fitzgerald

I hold a PhD in political sociology from the Department of Sociology at LSE. Before coming to LSE, I studied social theory in Amsterdam and sociology and humanities in Riga. As a political sociologist I am interested in the interconnections between the political structures we inhabit and the ways in which we imagine ourselves as particular kinds of political subjects.

I have studied reconfigurations of political subjectivity in post-Soviet Latvia via ethnographic case studies of the welfare system reform, civic education, and democratic accountability initiatives. My writing intersects social theory, sociology and anthropology of the state, and theories of political subjectivity. 

My doctoral research was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and it was based on eight months of ethnographic fieldwork at an unemployment office in Latvia. An article based on this research has been published in the British Journal of Sociology (see below). In this article, I focus specifically on the politics of waiting in post-socialism.

I am currently working on a book manuscript, provisionally entitled ‘Waiting, Welfare, and Freedom: Austerity politics in post-socialist Latvia’. The book will be published by the Manchester University Press in their new series ‘Political Ethnography’.

At the Department, I teach both undergraduates and MSc students and I am a co-convener of the Department of Sociology Writing Group for faculty and PhD students. 

Selected Publications


(Forthcoming in 2018) Waiting, Welfare, and Freedom: Austerity politics in post-socialist Latvia. Under contract with Manchester University Press. 

Peer-reviewed papers

Ozoliņa-Fitzgerald, L. (2016) A State of Limbo: The politics of waiting in neoliberal Latvia. In: British Journal of Sociology 67(3). 

Ozoliņa, L. (2010) Raspberries, Tablecloths, and Critical Thinking: Accountability Reforms in Post-Socialist Latvia. In: East European Politics and Societies 24(4): 572-594.

Recent conference presentations

On Sociology as a Listener’s Art”, conference “The Art of Knowing”, Latvian Academy of Culture. Riga, Latvia (May 2016).

A State of Limbo: The Politics of Waiting in Neo-Liberal Latvia”, the 13th Annual NYLON Graduate Student Conference, Max Planck Institute for Human Development. Berlin, Germany (March 2015).

The Tyrannies of Intimacy: Notes on Neo-Liberal Political Subjectivity Formation in Latvia”, international research workshop “Popular Geopolitics in Russia and Post-Soviet Eastern Europe”, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies. London, UK (February 2015).

The Moral Economy of the Latvian Post-Socialist Welfare State: Ethnography of an Unemployment Office”, international workshop “Central and East European Employment Relations”, University of Greenwich. London, UK (January 2015).


 Liene Ozolina