The View East

Central and Eastern Europe, Past and Present.

About the Author:

Dr Kelly Hignett is Senior Lecturer in History at Leeds Beckett University.  Kelly’s  research interests relate to twentieth century central/east Europe with a particular focus on Czechoslovakia. This includes: state-sponsored terror, repression, imprisonment and forced labour; show trials and political persecution; criminality, social deviance and dissent; the evolving relationship between state, society and experiences of ‘the everyday’ under communism; women’s experiences of communism, and nationalism, state-building and identity construction in modern central/east Europe. More generally, Kelly is also interested in methodological approaches to life writing, personal narratives and oral testimonies; histories of imprisonment and forced labour and the history of crime on a more broadly comparative and transnational basis.

Current/Future Research Projects:


A Few Recent Publications:

Hignett, K, Ilic, M, Leinarte, D and Snitar, C, Women’s Experiences of Repression in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe (Routledge, 2017).

Hignett, K, ‘”We had to become criminals to survive under Communism!”’ Testimonies of Petty Criminality and Everyday Morality in Late Socialist Central Europe’ in Ilic, M and Leinarte, D (Eds.) The Soviet Past in the Post-Socialist Present: Methodology and Ethics in Russian, Baltic and Central European Oral History and Memory Studies  (Routledge, 2016).

K Hignett, ‘Transnational Organised Crime and the Global Village’ in F Allum and S Gilmour (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Transnational Organized Crime, (2011).

K Hignett, ‘Crime in Communist and Post-Communist Eastern Europe’, Law, Crime & History, (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)

Contact Details:




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  1. I have an interest in your research on the Chodove People (the reason can be easily inferred from my last name). How is your “The Guardians of Bohemia: A History of the Chodove People’ project progressing, and when might it be accessible?

    Comment by Barbara Weselak | January 27, 2010 | Reply

  2. Hi there, I found your website via Google while searching for a related topic, your website came up, it looks good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    Comment by Markita Grisson | January 23, 2012 | Reply

  3. This book is worth checking out if you’re looking for voices from the edge 🙂 Also Protestants in Communist East Germany by Wendy R. Tyndale 🙂

    Comment by Autumn | July 29, 2012 | Reply

  4. Hello, I am interested in your blog, and thank you for your research.
    Do you have any information on culture/arts during communist times in
    Czechoslovakia? I would like to read more about that. How the artists lived/worked who
    were not sponsored by the state.
    Thank you

    Comment by Carolanne Patterson | January 27, 2013 | Reply

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