Researchers at UCD


Mariya Ivancheva

Post Doc Research Fellow Lvl I

School of Education



Mariya Ivancheva (BA Hons University of Sofia 2004, MA UCL 2005, MA CEU 2007, PhD Sociology & Social Anthropology CEU, 2013), post-doctoral research fellow on the IRC funded project Equality of opportunity in practice: studies in working, learning, and caring.

My work has been dedicated to the ways in which intellectuals as a social group, and universities, as institutions, impact broader processes of social change.

After researching the concepts of utopia of members of the Frankfurt School and the dialogue between Eastern European dissidents and Western critical intellectuals during the Cold War, I went on to study the trajectories of a group of socialist intellectuals from critical opposition to the enclaves of state power. For my dissertation I did 18 months' fieldwork in Caracas, Venezuela, sponsored by Marie Curie and Wenner Gren dissertation grants. I explored the role of a group of radical intellectuals and former student activists in the establishment of the Bolivarian University of Venezuela (UBV). UBV is an alternative model of mass university set in an aspiring socialist state and designed to oppose the neoliberal policies of higher education through critical pedagogy, extended fieldwork with communities, horizontal relations between staff and students, and an engagement with alternative alliances in the Global South. Showing the ways in which UBV has been pressed to reproduce certain traditional academic distinctions and practices typical for a homogenizing field of higher education, I also claim that UBV is one instance of an alternative canon of higher education, that needs to be studied against the grain of history in a process of learning from past mistakes and envisioning future ways to challenge exacerbating global inequalities. In line with the outlined research interests and skills I have developed over the years, in my current post-doctoral work I explore third level education in Ireland as a site of production of and resistance against inequalities in the intersection of working, learning, and caring.

Beyond my PhD I have also worked as a research assistant on larger projects on academic networks in Europe (CEU, Center for Network Science), the women's movement in Eastern Europe (CEU, Center for Policy Studies) and a collaborative research project on housing policies in Bulgaria and Venezuela (with Stefan Krastev, Sofia University). I have published in various academic and non-academic outlets, including articles on student work in the UK (FOCAAL 2007), a book chapter on the role of dissident intellectuals in the formation of civil society in Eastern Europe (Berghahn Press 2011), a peer-reviewed article on the alternative provided by Venezuelan mass higher education to world ranking systems (Learning & Teaching 2013) and articles on the Bulgarian recent protest wave (2013) the past and present women's movement (2014) and on academic freedom and tenure (together with Professor Kathleen Lynch, UCD, 2015). Over the last years I have contributed various op-ed pieces to outlets as the Guardian, OpenDemocracy, Countretemps, and others, some of which have been translated into over fifteen languages.  A full list of publications is available on my profile page on

Beyond my academic work and a number of activist groups I am involved in, I am also a member of the editorial board of the Eastern European Left-wing portal LeftEast and the Working group on post-socialist neoliberalism and social movements.



Honours and Awards

Year: 2013.
Title: Advanced PhD Student Award
Year: 2004.
Title: Best BA Students in Philosophy



Book Chapters

Mariya Ivancheva, Micheal O'Flynn (2016) 'Between Career Progression and Career Stagnation: Casualisation, Tenure, and the Contract of Indefinite Duration in Ireland' In: S.Gupta, J.Hablan, H.Tutek (eds). Academic Labour, Unemployment and Global Higher Education Neoliberal Policies of Funding and Management. London: Palgrave McMillan. , pp.167-184 Available Online [Details]
Mariya Ivancheva (2011) 'The Role of Dissident Intellectuals in the Formation of Civil Society in (Post)communist East-Central Europe' In: Hara Kouki, Eduardo Romanos (eds). Re-Visiting Protests: New Approaches to Social Mobilization in Europe since 1945. New York and London: Berghahn PRess. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Mariya Ivancheva (2016) 'Precarious Anthropology'. Social Anthropology, 24 (3):357-359. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Mariya Ivancheva (2016) 'Between Permanent Revolution and Permanent Liminality Continuity and Rupture in the Bolivarian Government¿s Higher Education Reform'. Latin American Perspectives, . Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Mariya Ivancheva (2016) 'The Discreet Charm of University Autonomy: Conflicting Legacies in the Venezuelan Student Movements'. Bulletin of Latin American Research, . Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Kathleen Lynch, Mariya Ivancheva (2015) 'Academic freedom and the commercialisation of universities: a critical ethical analysis'. Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics, 15 (1):1-15. Available Online [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Mariya Ivancheva (2013) 'A Revolutionary Alternative in the Global Field of Higher Education? The case of UBV'. Learning and Teaching, 6 (1):3-23. Link to full text [Details]
Mariya Ivancheva (2014) 'Strawberry Fields Forever? Bulgarian and Romanian Student-Workers in the UK'. Focaal, virtual issue :110-117. Available Online [DOI] [Details]

Other Journals

Mariya P Ivancheva (2015) 'The age of precarity and the new challenges to the academic profession' Studia Europaea LX (1) :39-47. Available Online Link to full text [Details]
Mariya Ivancheva (2013) 'A post-socialist scholar visits socialist Venezuela' Global Dialogue: International Sociological Association 4 (3) :22-23. Available Online [Details]
Mariya Ivancheva (2013) 'The Bulgarian protest wave of 2012-2013' Critical Commentary: Council of European Studies, Columbia University . Available Online [Details]
Mariya Ivancheva (2014) 'Die Protestwelle 2012-2013: Gelegenheiten und Hindernisse für eine neue Linke im postsozialistischen Bulgarien' Kurswechsel 1/2014 :71-79. [Details]


Research Interests

Research interests: higher education and neoliberalism, social movements, contentious politics, intellectual dissent, history and legacy of socialism, gender and welfare policies in Europe and Latin America

09.2014-04.2017 - Post-doctoral research fellow, IRC funded project "Equality of opportunity in practice: studies in working, learning, and caring", Equality Studies Center, School of Social Justice, UCD, PI Prof. Kathleen Lynch 

05.2013-06.2013 - Research Assistant, "Mobilizing women movements in East-Central Europe, CEU, Center for Policy Studies", PI Dr. Andrea Krizsan

03.2011-09.2011 - Collaborative project, "Eyes wide shut: the role of the state in squatting preactices in Sofia and Caracas" (with Stefan Krastev, University of Sofia)

01.2009-03.2009 - Research Assistant, Project European Network of Network Scientist CEU Network Studies Centre, coord. PI Dr. Balazs Vedres

10.2008-10.2011 - 18 moths of of dissertation fieldwork in Caracas

08.2005-09.2005 - Research internship School-works, London
07.2005                 - Research worker,  project "Team Incentives: Evidence from a Firm Level Experiment", LSE, University in Essex, University of Chicago

Research Projects

Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : The UCD College of Human Sciences Research Funding Scheme
Start Date / End Date : 19-MAY-15 / 30-JUN-16