Jun.-Prof. Dr. Daniela Ruß

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Daniela Ruß

Junior Professor

Global Dynamics of Resource Use and Distribution (JP)
Emil-Fuchs-Straße 1, Room 3.08
04105 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97 - 37866


I'm a historical sociologist working on the relationship between society and nature in a global perspective. My first book Working Nature: Steam, Power, and the Failure of the Energy Economy (forthcoming) offers a historical account of the energy economy informed by a Critical Theory of Nature: Rather than assuming society uses energies available in nature, I propose to conceive of the energy economy as a dialectical self-realization of society against nature's resistance.

My recent research deals with the decarbonization of the electric grid, the theory and practice of Soviet energy planning, as well as early Soviet ecological thought.

My main areas of interest include:

Global historical sociology of the environment, resources, and energy

Electric Grids, Energy Transitions and Decarbonization

Environmental and Energy History in Russia and Eastern Europe

Historical Epistemology & Sociology of Science and Technology

Historical Materialism and Critical Theory

Professional career

  • 02/2024 - 04/2024
    Fellow in the program on 'Technology, the Environment, and the Future of Europe' at the Remarque Institute for the Study of Europe, New York University
  • 11/2019 - 09/2022
    Post-Doc at the Department of Sociology, University of Toronto
  • 10/2017 - 10/2019
    Researcher in the Graduate School on 'World Politics', University of Bielefeld
  • 04/2016 - 06/2016
    Doctoral Fellow at the German Historical Institute, Moscow
  • 02/2014 - 09/2017
    Junior Researcher at the Department for Science Studies, Forum Internationale Wissenschaft, University of Bonn
  • 10/2011 - 01/2014
    Student Assistant, Berlin Social Science Center


  • 10/2016 - 04/2017
    Fulbright Fellow at Columbia University, New York City
  • 10/2007 - 12/2013
    Undergraduate and Graduate Studies in Social Sciences and Slavic Languages in Berlin and Belgrade
  • Ruß, D. S.
    'Socialism is not just Built for a Hundred Years': Renewable Energy and Planetary Thought in the Early Soviet Union (1917-1945)
    Contemporary European history. 2022. 31 (4). pp. 491–508.
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  • Ruß, D. S.
    Energetika: Gleb Krzhizhanovskii’s Conception of the Nature–Society Metabolism
    Historical Materialism. 2021. 29 (2). pp. 188–218.
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  • Ruß, D. S.
    Produktivistische Ökologie: Der Energiebegriff der klassischen Moderne und seine Implikationen für eine kritische Soziologie
    Berliner Journal für Soziologie. 2023.
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more publications

Research fields

Philosophy, Sociology, Historical science

Contact for media inquiries

Phone: +49 341 97 - 37866