Paulina Simkin M.Sc.

External PhD student
Human Geography and Transition Research
Phone: +49 821 598 2282
Visiting hours: only by appoinment via e-mail

PhD Project

Coffee and cafés are deeply rooted in Western cultures and are also a characteristic of globalisation and westernisation processes. They symbolise a western working atmosphere, are part of western leisure and lifestyle styles and play an important role in the perception of urbanity. Global media communicate these images and thereby stir up desires, needs, views and attitudes and thus new ways of consumption and behaviour.


For some years now, a trend has been observed in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, where cafés have been opening. The first opened in 2006, today there are over 40 cafés. This development is astonishing against the background that Kyrgyzstan is a "country of tea drinkers", coffee is mainly known in soluble form and Italian-created coffee products as well as visiting cafés are relatively expensive. Until 2016 Bishkek did not seem to exist on the map of global players either.

The coffee market was created by local actors who implemented knowledge from abroad. Today there are also few global café chains, but only from the post-Soviet region. The clash of global processes with local structures in Kyrgyzstan is particularly interesting in a larger scale, since after the collapse of the Soviet Union the state finds itself in a transformation of a political and economic nature as well as in a process of nationality and identity formation. This study is an important component of Central Asia research.

Globalization processes change cultural customs and have different effects in different cultural circles. The research project deals with different questions on the emergence of the market and on socio-cultural changes in Bishkek's urban life, which are primarily hypoted with the newly created space of the café. Based on the Third Place approach (Oldenburg 1999), the project investigates how this newly created space is perceived in society.

This is a place that, after the First Place, the home, and the Second Place, the workplace, represents a place to linger. Third Places are defined by different categories, above all they should be places of rest and communication where all social groups can meet. They are and were an integral part of different cultures. The most prominent examples are European cafés or coffee shops, which are mainly distributed globally by Starbucks. To simplify matters, all variations are grouped under the term café. In Bishkek, cafés offer new spaces for communication and relaxation that were not available before.

In cafés, a number of conditions established themselves such as friendly service, partly self-service, no obligation to order and free WLAN, which do not occur in this combination in other gastronomies. The initial question of this research project is to what extent urban everyday practices in society and food consumption have changed in view of the attractiveness of the seemingly dominant western lifestyle.

Research interests

  • Management of cultural life
  • Consumption, Space and Culture
  • Culture of Coffee and Cafés
  • Central Asia
  • Globalization
  • Sustainable agricultue

Teaching courses

(applied filters: semester: current | lecturers: Paulina Simkin | course types: all)
name semester type
Postkolonial Augsburg winter semester 2023/24 Forschungsgruppe


Simkin P., Schmidt M. (2019): „A cup of coffee in Bishkek: insights into the emerging coffee culture in Kyrgyzstan's capital“ In: Central Asian Survey, 38:4, 446-459, DOI: 10.1080/02634937.2019.1674782


Simkin P. (2017): "Endlich haben unsere Leute verstanden, was Kaffee ist." Einblicke in das Kaffeekonsum- und Cafébesucherverhalten in Bischkek. In: Schmidt M. [Hrsg.]: Vielfalt und Veränderung – Aktuelle Beiträge der Augsburger Humangeographie (Geographica Augustana), Band 23, 79-84


Schrödl H., Simkin P. (2014): „Bridging Economy and Ecology: a Circular Economy Approach to Sustainable Supply Chain Management”. In: Proceedings of International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS)


Schrödl H., Simkin P. (2014): “Rethinking Growth in Information Systems Research: Towards a
trans-disciplinary reconceptualization”. In: Proceedings of Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems (PACIS)


Simkin P., Schrödl H. (2014): „Environmental Management Information Systems (EMIS) revisited: Towards a Research Agenda for Energy Analytics“. In: Proceedings of International Conference on Information Resources Management (Conf-IRM)


Schrödl H., Simkin P. (2014): „Greening the Service Selection in Cloud Computing: the Case of Federated ERP solutions“. In: Proceedings of Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS)


Schrödl H., Simkin P. (2013): „Sustainable Supplier Relationship Management: A resource-based Perspective“. In: Proceedings of International Conference on Resource Efficiency in Interorganizational Networks (ResEff)


Schrödl H., Simkin P. (2013): „A SCOR perspective on Green SCM“.In Proceedings of International Conference on Information Resources Management (Conf-IRM)


Schrödl H., Geier L., Geier M., Simkin P. (2013): „Risikomodellierung in strategischen Liefernetzwerken für hybride Wertschöpfung“. In: Veröffentlichung der Internationale Tagung Wirtschaftsinformatik (WI)






„Ein neuer Raum im Alltag – Cafés und Kaffeekultur in Bischkek, Kirgisistan“ auf dem DKG Kiel in der Sitzung L1-FS-004.2 - Umbrüche und Aufbrüche: Theorien und Konzepte der Geographie im Wandel, 27.09.2019       


„Meet their needs? - Café Culture in Bishkek“,  International conference of European Society for Central Asien Studies (ESCAS), University of Exeter, Exeter, 27.-29.2019     


"Coffee: the taste of globalization? Insights of the coffee market in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan", International conference of Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS), University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, 24.-29.10.2018


"Stadtlandschaften im Globalisierungsprozess",
Environmental Humanities, Umweltstation Schneefernerhaus, Zugspitze, 19.-20.07.2018


"Kaffeekonsum im „Land der Teetrinker“ - ein Absatzmarkt ist in Bewegung" auf dem DKG Tübingen in der Sitzung LT4-P17- Ökonomischer und Sozialer Wandel, 02.10.2017


"Finally our People have learned what coffee really is": Insights into drinking coffee and visiting cafés in Bishkek, Joint international ESCAS-CESS Conference, American University of Central Asia, Bishkek, 30.06.2017


“Negative aspects of Agrobusiness – Meat production in Germany”, an Kyrgyz National Agrarian University named after K. I. Skryabin, Bishkek, (10/16)


“External effects of agriculture – resistances of antibiotics and nitrate pollution”, Vortragssprache Russisch, an Kyrgyz National Agrarian University named after K. I. Skryabin, Bishkek, (10/16)


Administration and Volunteering

Coordiation and responsible person for the modules Cultural Administration 1 and Cultural Administration 2


Member of the faculty council of the faculty of Applied Computer Science as representative of academic staff for the Institue of Geography


Initiator and staff of the Organizingteam of the Conference „Transformations after the transformation: Central Asia in focus of human geography and social sciences“, February 07‐08, 2020, University of Augsburg


Initiator and organisator of the information meeting „Jobtalk for Geographers“ with the student council for geography students and the Career Service, University of Augsburg


Responsible person, coordiation and conduct of the information day „Girls´  and Boys´ day“


Member and representative of Geography in the interdisciplinary working group „Post-colonial“ at the University of Augsburg


Member and coordination of the working group „Graffiti in the city“ in cooperation with Sebastian Streitberger, Chair of Geography Education and  Stefan Christoph, Chair of criminal law, law of criminal procedure and criminology, University of Augsburg and the office for the preservation of historical monuments, City of Augsburg



Educational and public relations work with the Unesco office Augsburg with Sebastian Streitberger, Chair of Geography Education