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Jokubas Salyga


School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)
Social and Political Sciences


Jokubas Salyga is a Lecturer in International Relations at the Department of Social and Political Sciences.

His research areas include the historical sociology of 'post-communist' transformations in the Baltic states, forms of resistance against neoliberalism in East-Central Europe, political economy of European integration and the concept of ‘mode of production’ in historical materialism.

Career overview

Jokubas completed his doctoral studies in the School of Politics & International Relations at the University of Nottingham. He also holds a BA in International Relations from the Queen Mary, University of London, an MA in International Relations as well as an MSc in Social Research Methods from the University of Sussex.

His articles, book reviews and commentaries have been published in the Economic and Labour Relations Review, Europe-Asia Studies, Historical Materialism, Political Studies Review, Journal of Soviet & Post-Soviet Politics & Society, Progress in Political Economy and Jacobin.

Jokubas teaches on Russian Politics and Society (POLS30071), Global Political Economy (INTR22205) and International Relations and Global History (INTR10625) modules.

He is a member of the Association for Slavic, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies and the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies.

Research areas

My current research programme consists of three projects on Baltic post-communist transformations, labour resistance in East-Central Europe and historical materialist concepts:

State, Capital and Labour in Baltic Post-Communist Transformations

This research strand builds on my doctoral thesis to investigate the conditions and processes undergirding the economic sociology of post-communist change in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Aided by a historical materialist approach, I seek to unearth the vectors of continuity in the forms of class-constituted rule, study the processes conducive to the exasperation of geographical and social unevenness and centre attention on intra- and inter-class conflicts that shaped the trajectories of change. The research project sheds light on previously unexplored themes ranging from the origins of neoliberalism in the Baltics, currency and monetary reforms as exemplary of authoritarian neoliberal statecraft to labour resistance in the episodes of privatisation, the modalities of 2008-2011 crisis management, and the rise of far-right in Estonia.

Cartographies of Eastern European Labour Unrest in the 1990s 

The project pursues the leitmotif of under-explored instances of labour resistance against and its capacity to shape (and at times even reverse) neoliberal restructuring at the heyday of post-communist transformation. Informed by the interviews with labour activists, trade union members and academics across East-Central Europe as well as primary sources such as independent publications addressing labour affairs, preliminary research shows that the reliance on official strike statistics is untenable insofar as it exaggerates the extent of ‘apathy from below’. The ethnographic forms of enquiry at the heart of this research aspire to reconsider and challenge such assumptions.

Revisiting the 'Mode of Production': Enduring Controversies over Labour, Exploitation and Historiographies of Capitalism

The collaborative project with Kayhan Valadbaygi revisits once-thriving historical materialist debates on the conceptualisation of the mode of production and domestic (household) labour. It is comprised of three inter-related themes. First, the re-examination of the concept of the mode of production by looking at several aspects of the debate including emergence and periodisation of capitalism, the ‘schools’ of social formation/articulation and categories of ‘free’ and ‘unfree’ labour, ‘market dependence’ and ‘merchant capital’. Second, the complexity of the domestic labour debate approached through the lenses of the role of the body in the emergence of capitalism, the interiority between production and social reproduction and household labour as productive or non-productive of value and surplus value. Third, the evaluation of the notion of uneven and combined development as a conceptual tool for analysis of the expansion of capitalism, its relation to the notions of the mode of production and by extension domestic labour, its promises for non-Eurocentric historiography and the critique of its applications.



Baltic Labour in the Crucible of Capitalist Exploitation: Reassessing ‘Post-Communist’ Transformation (co-authored with Andreas Bieler), The Economic and Labour Relations Review, 31(2): 191-210.

Book Chapters

‘Historical Materialism and European Integration’ (co-authored with Andreas Bieler) in Didier Bigo, Thomas Diez, Evangelos Fanoulis, Ben Rosamond and Yannis A. Stivachtis (Eds.) Routledge Handbook of Critical European Studies, London: Routledge [forthcoming in 2020].

Book Reviews

The Politics of Europeanization and Post-Socialist Transformations by Nicole Lindstrom. Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, 99pp, Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe, 24(3): 158-159.

Handbook of the Economics and Political Economy of Transition by Paul Hare and Gerard Turley (Eds.). Routledge, 2013. 528pp, Journal of Soviet & Post-Soviet Politics & Society, 2(2): 266-269.

The International Political Economy of Transition: Neoliberal Hegemony and Eastern Europe’s Transformation by Stuart Shields. Routledge, 2014. 180pp, Europe-Asia Studies, 68(6): 1098-1099.

The Contradictions of Austerity:The Socio-Economic Costs of the Neoliberal Baltic Model by Charles Woolfson and Jeffrey Sommers (Eds.). Routledge, 2015. 182pp, Political Studies Review, 14(4): 621-622.

Press expertise

Domestic politics and foreign policy of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

Labour politics in East-Central Europe