TU Berlin

IPODIValentina Fava

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Valentina Fava


"My research focusses on the technological and business relations between Western European automotive producers and some former socialist manufacturers. I am currently reconstructing the history of the giant Russian automobile corporation, Avtovaz, from its origins, in the late 1960s, to more recent times. I am exploring how Western business partners imported technology and how management practices contributed to determine the firm trajectory. I am particularly interested in the way in which the adaptation of foreign technology, knowledge and practices was discussed in the Soviet and post-Soviet context by Russian and foreign technical and managerial experts and implemented in the production process. I think that a micro and historical approach to the software (decision making process and innovation discourse) and hardware of the “modernization” of a key Soviet/Russian enterprise might contribute to a better understanding of the relation between international transfer of technology and innovation in the socialist and post socialist context."


Scientific career

Since 2017: Research Associate at Institut für Berufliche Bildung und Arbeitslehre, Technische Universität Berlin

2015-2017: IPODI Fellow

2013: Partner, Centre of Excellence “Choices of Russian Modernization”, Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki

2009-2014: University Researcher, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland

2008-2010: Fellow, Foundation for the History of Technology, Technical University Eindhoven, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

2006-2008: Max Weber Fellow, Department of History and Civilization, European University Institute, Florence

2005-2006: One Year Research grant, Department of Public Management, Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi, Milan, Italy

2004: Ph.D. in Economic and Social History, Department of Public Management, Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi, Milan, Italy

2000-2001: One Year Fellowship to specialize abroad, Università degli Studi di Milano, to be spent at the Ústav pro Soudobé Děiny, České Akademie Věd (Institute for Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Sciences), Prague, Czech Republic

1999: B.A. in History and Philosophy, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan Italy


Research interests

  • Business History
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Labor History
  • Cold War Studies
  • Mobility Studies ​



Email: v.fava[at]tu-berlin.de




IPODI Research Project

Automobile Industry goes Global: Foreign Capital, Networks, Actors in the Modernization of Soviet and post Soviet Car Manufacturing

Duration: 1 September 2015 – 31 August 2017

Mentor: Prof. Dr. Hans-Liudger Dienel, Faculty I, Institut für Berufliche Bildung und Arbeitslehre

Abstract: The research proposal connects three different theoretical and disciplinary frameworks and scholarly debates concerning the circulation and transformation of production models in the global automobile industry; the role of technological and business networks in the linking and de-linking of Europe and the specific debate on the choices of Russian modernization and varieties of capitalism. It studies the Soviet and Russian automobile industry and its transformations vis á vis the changes in the global automobile industry from 1970 to 2010, a period marked by the crisis of historical Fordism and the search for new post-fordist reconfigurations. The study questions the existence of a Russian specific “road” to post-fordism, thereby investigating its historical determinants. In order to do so, the study will: (1) Analyze the relationship between the transformation in the production system (corporate structure and production methods) and the historical construction, disaggregation and reconstruction of networks of suppliers in one of the major Soviet and Russian automobile enterprises, AVTOVAZ. (2) Map the changes in foreign presence and international connections in the industry (suppliers, capital, consultants). (3) Explore the critical reflections of historical actors, managers and top level technicians and their reactions to the production “fashions” from abroad as well as the actual foreign-led transformation of the Soviet/Russian automobile industry.




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