Tomila Lankina’s work has recently featured in LSE’s Research Highlights showcasing cutting-edge research conducted at LSE

Click here to see Dr. Lankina’s research featured in a post on LSE Research Highlights in which she discusses the importance of analysing media as a tool for understanding the “black box” of Russia’s domestic and foreign policy making:

As Russia has pursued an increasingly aggressive foreign policy in recent years, a new study argues that media monitoring can shed light on the Kremlin’s opaque decision-making and help explain Russian president Vladimir Putin’s tight grip on power, despite his domestic economic woes.

Forthcoming paper on news bias in ITAR-TASS’s coverage of the Ukraine crisis

Kohei Watanabe’s research paper titled “Measuring News Bias: Russia’s Official News Agency ITAR-TASS’s Coverage of the Ukraine Crisis will be published in the European Journal of Communication.
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New PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo on Russian media

Lankina, Tomila V. (2016) It’s Not All Negative: Russian Media’s Flexible Coverage of Protest as a Regime Survival Strategy, No. 449. PONARS Eurasia, Washington, DC, USA.

Pundits continue to debate whether economic shocks, public discontent at home, and isolation abroad will shake President Vladimir Putin’s regime. Much of the commentary on Putin’s survival strategies has focused on repression and aggressive military posturing. This somewhat obscures another important strategy: being highly sensitive to the public mood, deftly reacting to public sentiment, and effecting rapid policy shifts to moderate public dissent.

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Tomila Lankina on BBC Radio 4

Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis are joined by Sarah Kendall, Ellie Taylor, Luke Kempner, Pippa Evans and Dr. Tomila Lankina to present the news via topical stand up and sketches on BBC Radio 4. Some of the topics up for discussion in this week’s episode: US election result;, Trump; the soothing powers of the word of the year; Putin; and puppets.
Audio file is available on the PONARS Eurasia website.

Whom do Russian protesters blame (and why it matters)?

Katerina Tertytchnaya and Tomila Lankina, 20 September 2016

In recent years, economic hardship in Russia has led to an increase in industrial and socioeconomic protest activity across regions. Protests over wage arrears, strikes and hunger strikes were particularly prominent in the first 8 months of the current year. And although the Russian Communist Party (KPRF) is particularly active in coordinating protest events across Russia’s regions, many protest events are spontaneous and grass-roots based. Overall, beyond labor protests, Russians appear very concerned about housing issues and the increase in prices for services such as transport. In this post we analyze variation in protest activity over time and across types of protests to study whom protesters pursuing various causes blame. We do so by studying where protest events take place (for example, whether they take place in front of the local town hall or regional parliament), the slogans and expressions protesters use, the images and text on their placards and posters, as well as journalistic descriptions of the events. Protest data for this analysis are harvested from namarsh.ru. Focusing on blame attribution during protest events in order to understand public opinion has several advantages over employing more abstract concepts like economic voting patterns. (On the question and analysis of Russian protests in recent years, see a report by CEPR). The protest categories we employ here further allow us to study patterns of blame attribution depending on the causes advanced in each of the events.

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Presentation of research at APSA

Tomila Lankina and Katerina Tertytchnaya have presented their work on the effects of regional protests on public opinion at the 112th Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association which took place on 1-4 September 2016 in Philadelphia.The paper analyzes the extent to which the 2011-2012 sub-national electoral protests in Russia swayed public opinion towards the protesters’ demands. An earlier version of this paper had been also presented at the Annual Meeting of the European Political Science Association (EPSA) in Brussels in June 2016. The paper is available here: Tertytchnaya_Lankina_APSA_Paper_and_Appendix