I am the Herbert J. Ellison Associate Professor of Russian and Eurasian Studies in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. I work on the post-Soviet region, covering topics such as protests, authoritarianism, informal networks, and identity.
My book, Weapons of the Wealthy: Predatory Regimes and Elite-Led Protests in Central Asia, was published by Cornell University Press in 2010. Articles have appeared in journals including Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, British Journal of Political Science, Journal of Democracy, Political Geography, Political Communication, and Post-Soviet Affairs. Policy commentary has appeared in Foreign Policy, The National Interest, The Guardian, Slate, and the Monkey Cage/Washington Post blog.
My forthcoming book is tentatively titled, Insidious Schemes: The Politics of Conspiracy in Russia and the Post-Soviet Region. It investigates why politicians in the region promote conspiratorial claims and what effects that has. Another ongoing project investigates state-building and informal networks over two decades in Georgia. I am also interested in how attitudes and identities change in Central Asia and the Caucasus, for which I employ surveys, focus groups, and experimental methodologies.
I am an associate editor of Communist and Post-Communist Studies, a member of the Program on New Approaches to Research and Security (PONARS) in Eurasia, and a member of the Advisory Council of the Kennan Institute.
I teach the following courses: States, Markets, and Societies; Contemporary Central Asian Politics; Post-Soviet Security; Interdisciplinary Survey of Eurasia; Failed States; Research Design and Methods; and Social Movements and Revolutions.