Democracy and Authoritarianism in the Post-Soviet Space

Lead Analyst: Tomila Lankina

To study why the dynamics of popular mobilization and civic activism vary across space and time, we need to understand how they may be conditioned by longer-term structural and political legacies and historical trajectories of specific states and sub-national regions of the former Soviet Union. The project therefore also investigates the broader historical influences on democracy, authoritarianism, and geopolitical and normative orientations in the post-Soviet space; this research is pursued comparatively, in that it draws on parallels from other national contexts. The data on social mobilization and state responses to popular demands are leveraged here to help ascertain the longer-term drivers of the persistence of authoritarianism, or of democratic resilience. Specifically, the legacies of Imperial Russian rule in the reproduction of territorial variations in democracy are explored, as are those related to the Soviet communist experiment.

Recent Publications and Working Papers