Dr Kelly Hignett is a historian and a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University. Kelly’s interests primarily relate to communist and post-communist Eastern Europe.
Kelly’s research focuses on the historical analysis of crime and social deviance, particularly in the central and east European region and the former USSR; crime, deviance and underground movements/sub-cultures in communist regimes; the evolving relationship between state and society and experiences of ‘the everyday’ under communism. Her PhD research drew on a combination of archival research and oral testimony to explore the evolution of criminal networks in East Central Europe from the 1970s to the early post-communist period. Kelly has previously published articles in several peer-review journals and edited collections, contributed a series of shorter articles to publications including New Eastern Europe and Jane’s Intelligence Digest and presented numerous papers about her research internationally, in countries including the UK, USA, Poland, Slovakia, Lithuania, Germany and Morocco.
More recently Kelly has been researching drug abuse and the development of domestic drug markets in late socialist east central Europe. Her next major research project will focus on political repression in communist-era Czechoslovakia.
In addition to continuing to develop her research into crime, deviance and dissent Kelly is also interested in the historical borderlands of Eastern Europe. From initial research into the historical development of crime and attempts to control crime in border regions, she has become increasingly interested in some of the broader historical, political and socio-economic aspects of life among communities who have historically existed on the margins of state control. She plans to develop her initial research into a broader comparative study of this area.
A Few Recent Publications:
K Hignett, ‘Spy Game Diplomacy’, New Eastern Europe, 3/IV (July-September 2012)
K Hignett, ‘Transnational Organised Crime and the Global Village’ in F Allum and S Gilmour (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Transnational Organized Crime, (November 2011):
K Hignett, ‘Crime in Communist and Post-Communist Eastern Europe’, Law, Crime & History, SOLON Online Journal, 1/1 (2011) @
K Hignett, ‘The Changing Face of Organised Crime in Post-Communist East Central Europe’ in Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe, 18/1, (April 2010), pp. 71-88
Hignett, ‘Co-option or Criminalisation? The State, Border Communities and Organised Crime’, in M Galeotti (ed), Organised Crime in History (Routledge, 2009)
Major Current/Forthcoming Research Projects:
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