About this project

Aim of the project

The project investigates the dynamics of popular mobilization in Russia and the other post-Soviet countries and explores wider questions of national and sub-national democracy, authoritarianism, and geopolitical orientations in the post-Soviet space. The project is led by Tomila Lankina, Professor of Politics and International Relations at the LSE’s International Relations Department. At its various stages, the research received generous financial support from the British Academy; LSE Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD); LSE Centre for International Studies (CIS); LSE Seed Corn Fund; LSE International Relations Department (IRD) Research Infrastructure Investment Fund (RIIF); LSE Ideas; and the LSE IRD Seed Corn Fund. Most recently, the British Academy has awarded Tomila Lankina a Mid-Career Fellowship (2015-2016) to analyse popular mobilization in the context of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. For this project, a laboratory has been set up to gather data on protest and to study the media’s role in driving or suppressing street discontent; and in furthering the political elite’s domestic and foreign policy objectives.

Project Participants

Project Leader: Professor Tomila Lankina, DPhil (T.Lankina@lse.ac.uk)


Tomila Lankina teaches Russian and Eurasian politics and foreign policy in the LSE’s International Relations Department. She holds a DPhil (PhD) from the University of Oxford (Balliol and St. Antony’s Colleges), and she has been a research fellow at Stanford University and at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. Her recent research has focused on comparative sub-national democracy and authoritarianism; on mass protests; and on historical patterns of human capital and democratic reproduction in Russia and other states. Her current research into protests and political mobilization in Russia and Ukraine is funded by a British Academy Mid-career Fellowship. She has published articles in World Politics, American Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, Post-Soviet Affairs, Problems of Post-Communism, Europe-Asia Studies, and other journals. She has also published two books: Governing the Locals: Local Self-Government and Ethnic Mobilization in Russia (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2006); and Local Governance in Central and Eastern Europe, co-authored with Anneke Hudalla and Hellmut Wollmann (Palgrave and University of Oxford St. Antony’s Series, 2008). She is also the Editorial Board member for the journals Russian Politics and Regional and Federal Studies.

Project Team:

Dr Kohei Watanabe (K.Watanabe1@lse.ac.uk)

Kohei.jpgKohei Watanabe is an assistant professor at the Institute for Advanced Study of Waseda University. He holds a PhD in Social Research Methodology from the LSE and an MA in Political Science from the Central European University. His main research interest is measuring media biases using computerized text analysis methods. Kohei has developed an innovative technique for longitudinal media data analysis, which he has leveraged to produce a Russian media protest framing dataset. He also possesses advanced knowledge of online data collection techniques, and has put together a number of large media corpora for several other international projects. Further information about his latest research is available from his personal website, which can be accessed here Kohei Watanabe@LSE.

Dr Yulia Netesova (julianetesova@gmail.com)


Yulia Netesova holds a PhD in political science from the Moscow State Institute of International Affairs. Her dissertation, which she completed under the supervision of Yevgeny Primakov, analysed the correlation between the development of the doctrine of Jihad in the Muslim world and the activities of the radical segment of the Muslim communities in Europe. The book manuscript, based on Yulia’s doctoral research, will be published by the Russian publisher Ladomir. Currently, Yulia is a visiting research fellow with the Centre for International Studies (CIS) at LSE where is pursuing a research project “Russian Protest Movement in 2011-2012: The Interaction Between the Movement and The Russian State.” The project analyses the first phases of the Russian protest movement in 2011-2012 with the use of both qualitative (field interviews with representatives of the government and the political opposition) and quantitative methods (protest event analysis). Yulia also works as a journalist covering foreign affairs for Russia’s various independent news agencies.

Katerina Tertytchnaya (katerina.tertytchnaya@stx.ox.ac.uk)

KaterinaKaterina Tertytchnaya is a DPhil (PhD) candidate in Comparative Politics at the University of Oxford (St Cross College). Her dissertation uses quantitative methods to study the stability of contemporary electoral authoritarian regimes, illustrating arguments with the case of Russia. Other research interests concern regional contentious politics and how policy interventions affect public support for non-democratic forms of government. Katerina holds an MPhil in Russian and Eastern European Studies from the University of Oxford (St Antony’s College).