Prof. Dr. Joachim Ahrens

Project Director

E-Mail: ahrens(at)

Joachim Ahrens studied economics and political science. He earned a doctoral degree and the Habilitation degree at the Department of Economics at the University of Goettingen. Following research affiliations at Harvard University, the Hoover Institution/Stanford University, and the University of California/Berkeley, he worked as an economist at the Asian Development Bank in Manila. In 2003, he accepted a position as Professor of International Political Economy at the European Business School International University, Oestrich-Winkel, Germany. In March 2006, he became Professor of International Economics at PFH Goettingen Business School.


Joachim Ahrens has substantial experiences in teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level as well as in the area of executive education. He has taught at various universities in Germany and abroad.


His research interests center around systemic transformation in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, European integration, economic development and integration processes in East Asia as well as the interplay of institutions, governance, and economic development.



Christian Timm


E-Mail: timm(at)

Christian Timm studied social sciences at the European University Viadrina, in St. Petersburg, Warsaw and Berlin. He was a collaborator at the Centre for Conflict Studies in Post-Socialist Societies at Viadrina and worked at the Collaborative Research Center (SFB 700) Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood at Free University Berlin.


His PhD thesis at Humboldt University Berlin centers on the relations between institutional uncertainty and political orders in post-communism. He focuses on the evolution of state institutions and administrative reforms in Georgia before and after the Rose Revolution.


At KomPost he studies patterns of interaction between state and economy and the institutional prerequisites for promoting economic development. He broadens the comparative fundament of the project by including the Caucasus into the analysis.



Dr. des Alexander Wolters

Associated Researcher

E-Mail: alexanderwolters(at)

Alexander Wolters has completed his PhD at the European University Viadrina in 2012. In his dissertation he analysed the conditions for public perception of political conflicts in the Republic of Kyrgyzstan in the aftermath of the Tulip Revolution.


In his current research he focuses on the nexus between religion, economy and politics in the state of Central Asia. He has published on political developments in Central Asia and he regularly works as a consultant on Central Asian political and economic affairs.


He is teaching a course on state and social security in Central Asia at the Central Asia Seminar of Humboldt University in Spring Semester 2013.



Inna Melnykovska

Associated Researcher

E-Mail: inna.melnykovska(at)

Inna Melnykovska holds degrees in International Relations and Economics. Her research focuses on issues of institutional change in the post-communist countries. Her PhD thesis analyses the dynamics of the post-communist hybrid regimes from the perspective of political economy. She has published in Journal of Common Market Studies, Europe-Asia Studies, Post-Soviet Affairs, Economics of Transition, Defense and Peace Economics, Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, Osteuropa.


Inna Melnykovska worked as Research Fellow at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, at the Department of Political Science of the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel and at the Institute for East-European Studies of the Freie Universität Berlin. She is Scientific Coordinator at the Center for Area Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin.



Manuel Stark

Former Researcher

E-Mail: mail(at)

Manuel Stark wrote this dissertation a doctoral student at the Department of Economics, European Business School (EBS) Oestrich-Winkel under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Joachim Ahrens. He focuses his research on institutional reform and drivers for economic success in emerging economies. Before pursuing doctoral studies, Manuel Stark graduated in 2006 as Diplom-Kaufmann from the European Business School. As a part of his studies at the EBS, he spent semesters abroad in South Korea and Mexico. These countries can both be considered emerging economies, but show remarkable differences in their political and administrative system, their culture and their recent economic development. The experiences he made during his stay abroad are a major source of motivation for Manuel Stark to analyze the challenges for the emerging economies in Central Asia.


Manuel Stark currently works as a consultant for BearingPoint. Prior to that, he worked as a research fellow for the “Kompetenznetzwerk PostSozialismus”, for the project “Emerging Market Economies in Central Asia”, and as a lecturer in Economics at the PFH Göttingen.