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Gwendolyn Sasse comments on Brexit in Carnegie Europe

22 June 2016

Dr Gwendolyn Sasse has contributed a comment to Carnegie Europe's question of the week, on Brexit. This can be read by clicking here.

SIAS Green Impact Team goes GOLD!

16 June 2016

On Wednesday 15th June, the University’s Environmental Sustainability Team invited us all to the Blavatnik School of Government for their annual Sustainability Showcase.

We are proud to announce that the School’s Green Impact Team were presented with a Gold award – the highest accolade possible within the Green Impact scheme.

The Showcase is an opportunity to distribute awards to the numerous Green Impact teams and others involved in sustainability practices for their achievements over the past year and this year’s event was described by Professor William James, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Resources) as “the biggest celebration of social and environmental actions…at Oxford University ever” joining together the Sustainability Awards and the Social Impact Awards for the very first time.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson said “There really is an extraordinary amount of work taking place in the University, both within the Departments and most particularly across them, which is really very exciting.”

The evening itself not only gave us the chance to celebrate our achievements, but also to take part in a tour of the recently opened Blavatnik School of Government at the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter. The building was designed and built with energy efficiency and sustainability targets at the fore and is expected to consume 49% less energy in comparison to existing UK buildings of the same size and usage. It has received a “BREEAM Excellent”* rating and incorporates a multitude of environmental systems in its design.

After the awards, we were all able to celebrate with a glass of sparkling wine and canapes from a local sustainable menu.

We would like to express our great thanks to the Environmental Sustainability Team for all of their support in helping us and other Green Impact teams achieve our goals over the past year and for organising such a wonderful event; we can’t wait to start again next term!

If you are a member of the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, staff or student, and would be interested in finding out more about the initiative or being part of the team, please contact us for details:



Dan Healey writes for BBC Russia to mark the third anniversary of Russia's "gay propaganda" law

14 June 2016

Professor Dan Healey has written a blog piece for the BBC Russian Service on Margaret Thatcher's "gay propaganda" law (Section 28). This year marks the third anniversary of Russia's "gay propaganda" law. To read the blog, please click here.

Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre joins "War and Peace at Oxford"

25 May 2016

The Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre has joined the University of Oxford's War and Peace at Oxford webpage. War and Peace at Oxford works to highlight the research done at Oxford in the areas of war and peace, across the world. Of particular note for RESC's contribution is the work of Professor Roy Allison, Professor Dan Healey, and Professor Paul Chaisty. You can read more about the RESC entry here, and the overall project page can be found by clicking here.

Dr Anna Pleshakova presents findings and gives lectures in Poland and China

23 May 2016

On the 18th-19th of May 2016, Dr Anna Pleshakova gave a research talk 'Viewpoint in Russian TV news: Multimodal Analysis via Conceptual Blending' and a lecture on cognitive approaches to media discourse analysis at the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology' at the University of Warsaw, Poland.

On the 1st-4th of June 2016, Dr Anna Pleshakova will present the findings of her research project on multimodal analysis of Russian TV news at the Seventh International Conference on Language, Culture and Mind at Hunan University, Changsha, China.

Samuel Ramani, REES MPhil Student, publishes on Putin

19 May 2016

Samuel Ramani, a Russian and East European MPhil student, has published an article titled "Why Vladimir Putin Wants Destabilization, Not Peace in Nagorno-Karabakh". This is available online by clicking either the title, or clicking here.

Gwendolyn Sasse publishes on Eurovision in Carnegie Europe

17 May 2016

Professor Gwendolyn Sasse has commented on this year's Eurovision in a Carnegie Europe article, titled "The Crimean Tartars and the Politics of Eurovision". You can access it by clicking the title, or here.

Professor Roy Allison publishes a paper with The European Leadership Network

20 April 2016

Professor Roy Allison has authored a paper,  ‘Contested understandings of sovereignty, the use of force and the wider international legal order: the political context’ for The European Leadership Network. The European Leadership Network, in cooperation with the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), facilitated a workshop bringing together leading European and Russian political scientists and legal experts.

Access the full report and a series of papers submitted to inform the workshop here.

Prof Gwen Sasse writes on the Minsk process

2 March 2016

Prof Gwen Sasse's analysis of the Minsk process aimed at resolving the conflict in Ukraine has just gone live. Prof Sasse also answers a new question from Judy Dempsey on the foreign and security policy challenges shaping Europe's role in the world.   


Prof Dan Healey discusses Russian studies in the UK with journalists from Russia

9 February 2016

On 25 January Professor Dan Healey, Dr Julie Newton, and REES students discussed the state of Russian studies in the UK with a group of visiting Russian journalists. The journalists were in in the UK for a week-long seminar held by Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Department of Politics and International Relations. Speaking in the library of the Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre, St. Antony’s College, the journalists from across all fields of journalism in Russia were keen to hear from those teaching and studying in REES.

Photos with thanks to Elina Levina.

Carnegie Europe Blog: Five Regional Assessments of the Refugee Crisis

10 November 2015

The EU summit will will focus specifically on the question of migration from Africa. In October 2015 alone, a record 218,000 refugees and migrants crossed the Mediterranean.

Strategic Europe asked five Carnegie Europe scholars, including Professor Gwendolyn Sasse , each with expertise on a particular region, to respond to a specific question about how the refugee crisis is affecting different parts of the globe.

This accompanies the Valletta Summit on Refugees 11-12 November, and this piece was featured in the influential POLITICO Brussels Playbook on 11 November 2015.


After Ukraine’s Local Elections: Early Misinterpretations

27 October 2015

Prof Gwen Sasse on the Ukrainian local elections has just gone live via Carnegie Europe.  



Second Year REES MPhil student publishes in the Washington Post

27 October 2015

This article focuses on the rationale for Putin's recent military escalation in Syria and long-standing alliance with Assad, which has persisted despite considerable costs to Russia's economy and diplomatic relations with Sunni-majority states in the Arab world. My explanation focuses on Russia's international identity, which is anti-Western in nature, and I examine two main normative principles driving Russian conduct. These are national sovereignty and multilateralism. Russia believes that Syrian sovereignty is best retained by allowing Bashar Al-Assad to retain power, as he is the legitimate leader of Syria in the eyes of the Kremlin. Russia is also keen to avoid a Western regime change mission reminiscent of Libya 2011 from occurring in Syria, as Putin believes these regime change missions are aimed at advancing American hegemony under the guise of spreading democracy. Multilateralism is also an important factor as Russia sees its anti-ISIS campaign, pro-Assad and hawkishly counter-terrorist, as a credible rival to the US-led mission. Russia hopes that its emphasis on stability in Syria, will cause other countries in the Middle East and Europe, to accept a limited transition role for Assad. So far, the progress towards this objective has been uneven, but its undeniable that Putin is trying hard to make Russia an indispensable player in the Syrian quagmire and the Middle East in general. See article here.


Prof Gwendolyn Sasse talks about Ukraine on German radio

23 October 2015

Prof Gwendolyn Sasse gave an interview on German public radio (ARD-SWR) yesterday morning about the situation in Ukraine ahead of the local elections this Sunday. Click here to listen.

In addition, her latest Carnegie Europe blog looking more specifically at the elections has just gone live too.


Prof Robert Service's new book on BBC's Today Programme and reviewed in the Guardian

21 October 2015

Robert Service discusses his new book and its relevance to the present day on the BBC's Today Programme, Wednesday 13th October:

The clip starts at 2 hours 45.48 minutes of the thread.

Additionally, The Guardian review of his book can be found here.

Second Year MPhil in REES Student writes an article for the Moscow Times.

13 October 2015

Second year MPhil in REES student, Sam Ramani, provides a counter-argument to Russia's current policy of conducting airstrikes to bolster Assad against ISIS in Syria, by arguing that ISIS can only be durably undermined through trilateral diplomacy involving Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Russia is in a unique position as it has developed favourable relations with both Iran and the Saudis. The strategic benefits it gains from acting as a potential mediator between both countries greatly outweigh what it loses by withdrawing its unconditional support for Assad as the legitimate leader of all of Syria.

As the ISIS threat is a concern to both, Russia might even be able to appeal to Saudi pragmatism by allowing Assad to stay on as the leader of an Alawite rump state. Unfortunately, Putin's UN speech and recent Russian military activities in Syria indicate that the Kremlin is ignoring the potential for diplomacy, in a way that is damaging for Russia's international stature and for regional security.

The article can be found here: Can Russia Unite Iran, Saudi Arabia on Syria?

House of World Cultures

5 October 2015

Prof Gwen Sasse was part of a transdisciplinary discussion at the House of World Cultures in Berlin on 3 October where she gave a lecture in reaction to the work by the artistic collective Slavs and Tatars. The discussion touched on issues such as the perception of time, identity, ‘the self vs. the other’, Russia, Ukraine, Crimea, Orientalism, Slavophiles etc.  The event called ‘Time’s Attack on the Rest of Life: Imagination’ formed part of a four-day opening of the House of World Cultures’ new three-year research agenda ‘100 years Now’.

 More details on the event, a podcast and more information on the event series/programme can be found here:

ASEEES Convention 2015

5 October 2015

ASEEES confers the 2015 Distinguished Contributions to Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies Award to Professors Archie Brown (Oxford University) and Alexander Rabinowitch(Indiana University). You can read their citations in NewsNet or here:   Congratulations to Professors Brown and Rabinowitch!  They will be recognized at the award ceremony during the ASEEES Convention.

Prof Gwen Sasse comments on Judy Dempsey’s question of the week on the Carnegie Europe site

30 September 2015

 Prof Sasse comments on Judy Dempsey’s question of the week on the Carnegie Europe site:

Article by Paul Chaisty and Stephen Whitefield

29 April 2015

'Attitudes towards the environment: are post-Communist societies (still) different?'

Available here


Dr Makovicky receives Fell Fund Award

22 April 2015

Congratulations to Dr Makovicky on receiving a John Fell Fund Award for her project ‘Ecologies of Citizenship: Reviving Pastoralism in the Polish Carpathians’.                                                   

Remember Crimea? A Year Later

13 April 2015

Prof Gwen Sasse's comments: Remember Crimea? A Year Later

The Harry Shukman Scholarship 2015-16

23 March 2015

The Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre is pleased to offer a scholarship to students of the Master's programme in Russian and East European Studies who are based at St Antony's. A preference will be given to students studying the Caucasus and/or an Islamic theme. A preference will also be given to students from the Russian Federation. The scholarship will be awarded according to merit and need. 

Those interested in an award for the academic year 2015-2016 should send their letter of application to Richard Ramage, Administrator of the Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre, by Friday 12 June 2015. The letter should include details of research topic and academic progress (300-500 words); it should also itemise any circumstances of financial hardship. Applicants should ask their supervisors to send a reference directly to Richard Ramage. Electronic applications and references are welcomed, to

Crossing boundaries: taking a cognitive scientific perspective on Slavic languages and linguistics

19 March 2015

We are pleased to announce that the Slavic Cognitive Linguistics Association (SCLA) will hold its 14th annual conference in the UK from Wednesday December 9 to Sunday December 13 2015. The event will take place on the campuses of the Universities of Oxford and Sheffield.

The theme of the conference is Crossing boundaries: taking a cognitive scientific perspective on Slavic languages and linguistics.

The conference is co-sponsored by CEELBAS

Comment on Ukraine: Gwendolyn Sasse

2 March 2015

Article in The Conversation available here


New publication: Dr Gwendolyn Sasse and Amar K. Ahmadov

2 March 2015

'Migrants' regional allegiances in homeland elections: evidence on voting by Poles and Ukrainians'

Routledge, December 2014

Full text available here

New Publication: Dr Paul Chaisty and Dr Svitlana Chernykh 'Coalitional presidentialism and legislative control in post-Soviet Ukraine'

14 January 2015

 Currently available on-line. Free access to the first 50 downloads.

Research Excellence Framework: Area Studies

18 December 2014

SIAS and Oriental Studies are delighted to note that our REF2014 submission was the largest made to the Area Studies panel by a considerable margin. 

Moreover it was rated as the most impressive in terms of volume of material that was judged to be world leading (4*) - again by a considerable margin.  These results confirm the position of scholars in Oriental Studies and SIAS as being pre-eminent among those working in area studies in the UK.  They demonstrate the significance of our contribution to the understanding of the world beyond Europe and North America and to the global status of Oxford University.

Bjarke Frellesvig, Chair of the Oriental Studies Faculty Board
Ian Neary, Head of SIAS


British Academy for the humanities & social sciences

26 November 2014

Contested Approaches to Conflict, Stability and Security: Rethinking State Fragility

The EU, Russia and Ukraine: Lessons Learned

26 November 2014

LSE experts debated what the EU got right and what it got wrong in the political crisis that followed Ukraine’s refusal to sign the Association Agreement in November 2013. Click here for article and audio link.

Russian Economy and Economic Sanctions – The Hague

26 November 2014

On 22 November Prof. Chris Davis, Reader in Command and Transition Economies, made a presentation on “The Russian Economy and Economic Sanctions Related to the Ukraine Conflict: Recent Developments and Prospects” to the members of the Economics and Security Committee of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. The contents of the talk included: concepts related to the Russian economy and economic sanctions; a review of Western economic warfare and sanctions directed against the USSR during 1917-1991 and Soviet countermeasures; the nature of current economic sanctions and their impacts on the Russian economy in 2014; and prospects for the Russian economy. Most of the audience was made up of elected members of the parliaments from the many NATO countries across a range of party affiliations (from left to right). A question and answer session followed the formal talk. The slides from the presentation have been uploaded to the REES WebLearn site and are available to students and academic staff from REES.

Professor Sasse - Troubles on the EU's Borders: The Ukraine Crisis

20 November 2014

Troubles on the EU's Borders: The Ukraine Crisis

This panel discussion is part of the CES Director's Seminar Series, devoted to examining various European topics from different disciplinary perspectives. The theme of this year's series is "Troubles on the EU Borders." The first panel discussion will focus on the Ukraine crisis and is co-sponsored with the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute.

The video of this event is available on the CES YouTube

EU-Russia Relations: Now in Permanent Crisis?

20 November 2014

Professor Gwen Sasse will be part of a debate in Brussels November 27th

Click here for info.

Professor Gwen Sasse's latest Carnegie blog

10 November 2014

please click here to read article.

New publication from Prof Paul Chaisty. “Presidential dynamics and legislative velocity in Russia, 1994–2007”

10 November 2014

Please click here for downloads.

Full Studentship for REES MPhil through to DPhil studies available for entry October 2015

10 November 2014

Click here for details.

Prof Gwen Sasse interviewed on German Radio

10 November 2014

Professor Sasse was interviewed for the programme 'Journal am Morgen' by the public radio station ARD-SWR2 (a prominent programme aired by one of the regional branches of the main radio station which can be accessed throughout Germany).

Carnegie Europe. Judy Asks: Will Elections Help or Hinder Ukraine?

10 November 2014

Prof Gwen Sasse's  latest contribution to Carnegie Europe on Ukraine (as one of the experts asked this week’s Question of the week)

The EU, Russia and Ukraine: Lessons Learned

10 November 2014

Click here for feature.

New article in Carnegie Europe by Prof Gwen Sasse.

8 October 2014

 'Parliamentary Elections Will Deepen Divisions in Ukraine'.

A successful SIAS MacMillan Coffee Morning - raising a total of £134.70

29 September 2014

On Friday 27th September the SIAS Green Impact team held a very successful Coffee Morning in aid of MacMillan.

A fantastic selection of delicious cakes were donated with a variety of art and handmade gifts for sale.

Thank you for all the generous donations and to everyone who came to the event!



Professor Gwen Sasse joins Carnegie Europe as a non-resident senior associate.

22 September 2014

Prof Sasse's more permanent affiliation with Carnegie Europe grew out of the various blogs she writes for them on Ukraine-related matters.

Carnegie won the European Think Tank of the Year Award 2014 and is routinely in the two two/three think-tanks worldwide in various rankings.

‘Russia, the Ukraine Conflict and Economic Sanctions: Implications for the Economies of Europe and Asia’.

19 September 2014

Prof Chris Davis has been invited to Korea Institute for International Economic Policy to deliver a seminar talk on  ‘Russia, the Ukraine Conflict and Economic Sanctions: Implications for the Economies of Europe and Asia’.

Putin's Enablers. By Gwen Sasse

12 September 2014

Prof. Gwen Sasse on the Ukraine focusing on Putin and the role of international institutions.

Putin's Enablers.

Dr Paul Chaisty awarded funding from the John Fell OUP Research Fund to support research on Nationalism and State-Building at a Crucial Turning Point: Democracy, Authoritarianism and Political Mobilisation in Ukraine and Russia.

25 July 2014

Dr Paul Chaisty has been awarded funding from the University’s John Fell OUP Research Fund to support research on Nationalism and State-Building at a Crucial Turning Point: Democracy, Authoritarianism and Political Mobilisation in Ukraine and Russia

Together with Stephen Whitefield and Tomila Lankina (London School of Economics), he will investigate how political and national identities and preferences are changing in Russia and Ukraine, with particular emphasis on Ukraine's varied regions including Crimea. In particular, the project will consider how national identities and mobilised political activity connect with mass and elite support for democratic or authoritarian government (and their institutional forms) and with attitudes towards European integration. The research questions will be addressed through national surveys of citizens in both countries, supplemented by content analysis of media sources to map shifting elite framing of nationalism and states.

MSc student Stephanie Cohen to present thesis at Interdisciplinary Approaches to International Studies conference in the US

9 July 2014

REES MSc graduate Stephanie Cohen has been accepted to present her dissertation at the International Studies Association Western Conference in September 2014. The theme of the conference is 'Interdisciplinary Approaches to International Studies' and she will be presenting her work on a panel on Elites and Identity.

Stephanie is very excited for this opportunity and would like to thank her advisor Dr Nicolette Makovicky for her support and guidance.

Well done Stephanie!

Dr Sasse - Kick-Starting Ukrainian-Russian Relations?

4 July 2014

Dr Gwen Sasse's article on Russian-Ukrainian relations went live on the Carnegie Europe site, 4th July 2014.

Quo vadis Postelection Ukraine? Dr Gwen Sasse

30 May 2014

Dr Gwen Sasse's latest piece on the Ukranian elections for Carnegie Europe

Click here to read.

Dr Sasse interview in Christian Science Monitor

27 May 2014

Dr Gwen Sasse was interviewed and quoted by the Christian Science Monitor on 25 May 2014.

Confused about whats at stake in Ukraines elections? Here are five things to know


Valor Economico

27 May 2014

The Brazilian economic newspaper Valor Economico interviewed and quote extensively Dr Gwen Sasse. This was published on 22nd May 2014.

BBC 3 Free Thinking – Arts and Ideas

15 May 2014

Dr Gwen Sasse was a studio guest on 'Free Thinking – Arts and Ideas' on BBC3 on 14th May. Discussion is about culture and politics in Central and Eastern Europe. Click here to listen.

The Only Chance to Rebuild Ukraine by Dr Gwen Sasse

6 May 2014

Dr Gwen Sasse's latest piece in Carnegie Europe.


31 March 2014

Dr Gwen Sasse's piece in the German political magazine Cicero  (a monthly publication) has just been published – in the April edition.

Revolutionens vogtere

31 March 2014

Here is an article published in one of the main Danish weeklies 'Weekendavisen' on 28 March which quotes from an interview with Dr Gwen Sasse.

Dr Sasse was invited to write a piece for the Carnegie Endowment - which was also published on 28 March


Ukraine and its Place in the World

24 March 2014

Dr Gwen Sasse was part of panel discussion 'Ukraine and its Place in the World' – this year's Elliot Lecture at St. Antony's College on 14 March. The panelists were Aleksander Kwasniewski, former President of Poland, Javier Solana, former Secretary General of NATO and former EU High Representative and Dr Sasse – the discussion was moderated by Chris Patten, Chancellor of the University of Oxford. The podcast can be found here.

The Crimea crisis should mark the beginning of a federal state for Ukraine

24 March 2014

'Quartz', an important business outlet in the US, picked up the story written by Dr Gwen Sasse for New America. Read the article here.

Discussion in the German daily Die Welt on Dr Sasse's archival work on the transfer of Crimea from the RSFSR to the Ukrainian Socialist Republic.

24 March 2014

The German daily 'Die Welt' discusses Dr Gwen Sasse's archival work on the transfer of Crimea from the RSFSR to the Ukrainian Socialist Republic as a 'more detailed analysis than any other publication' and sums up her findings on Khrushchev's role and the underlying motivations for the transfer.

The Case for the United States of Ukraine

24 March 2014

A piece by Dr Gwen Sasse for the US think tank New America Foundation

Europe Pulls Punches With Limited Sanctions, Wary Of Backfire

20 March 2014

Dr Gwen Sasse was on the NPR show 'All Things Considered' on 17 March - the clip and transcript are here.

Crimea: What's Next? by Greg Myre

20 March 2014

Crimea appears to be on the fast track for joining up with Russia after Sunday's referendum vote in favor of union with Moscow.

Ukraine and the West are adamantly opposed to the Russian annexation of Crimea, but what are they prepared to do about it? Here's a look at the major players and the choices they face in the Crimea crisis.

Neoliberalism, Personhood, and Postsocialism Enterprising Selves in Changing Economies. Edited by Nicolette Makovicky, University of Oxford, UK

19 March 2014

Available at Customers buying the book through will automatically receive a 10% discount. 

Despite a growing literature debating the consequences of neo-liberal political and economic policy in the former Eastern bloc, the idea of neo-liberal personhood has so far received limited attention from scholars of the region. Presenting a range of ethnographic studies, this book lays the groundwork for a new disciplinary agenda by critically examining novel technologies of self-government which have appeared in the wake of political and economic liberalization.

Neoliberalism, Personhood, and Postsocialism explores the formation of subjectivities in newly marketized or marketizing societies across the former Eastern Bloc, documenting the rise of the neo-liberal discourse of the ‘enterprising’ self in government policy, corporate management and education, as well as examining the shifts in forms of capital amongst marginal capitalists and entrepreneurs working in the grey zone between the formal and informal economies.

A rich investigation of the tools of neo-liberal governance and the responses of entrepreneurs and families in changing societies, this book reveals the full complexity of the relationship between historically and socially embedded economic practices, and the increasing influence of libertarian political and economic thought on public policy, institutional reform, and civil society initiatives. As such, it will appeal to anthropologists, sociologists and geographers with interests in political discourse, identity, entrepreneurship and organizations in post-socialist societies.

This timely volume builds on current debates regarding post-socialism and neoliberalism and, offering detailed ethnographic observation, makes a convincing case for the value of nuanced, empirically grounded approaches to neoliberalism and some of its key concepts. Eschewing the simplistic and the abstract, it shows what neoliberalism means for particular people, in particular places and times.’ Victoria Goddard, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

Post-Crimea Vote: The West Vs. Russia?

19 March 2014

Dr Gwen Sasse was on the NPR programme 'On Point' on 18th March 2014. This is an hour-long show, this time in the company of former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul and Eugene Rumer. (Dr Sasse comes in about 20mins into the show)

What We'll Learn From Crimea's Vote.

14 March 2014

This is a piece written by Dr Gwen Sasse for the New America Foundation on the referendum in Crimea on Sunday 16th March 2014.

What We’ll Learn From Crimea’s Vote

Crimean autonomy: A viable alternative to war?

4 March 2014

Dr Gwen Sasse has written a piece on the current situation in Crimea which has been published in the Washington Post on 3rd March 2014.

What does Ukraine’s #Euromaidan teach us about protest?

28 February 2014

Dr Gwen Sasse and Dr Olga Onuch wrote a piece for the Washington Post Blog on the Ukrainian protests. Click on this link to read the article.


The Power of the Presidents. Paul Chaisty, Nic Cheeseman and Timothy Power win prize for the global comparison of presidential systems

12 February 2014

On which pillars does presidential power depend? Which factors ensure (in)stability? Paul Chaisty, Nic Cheeseman and Timothy Power from the University of Oxford have compared different presidential systems in the world regions of Africa, Latin America and the former Soviet Union. For their work, the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies has awarded the three scholars with the Comparative Area Studies (CAS) Award.

This is the first time the GIGA has awarded the prize. With the CAS Award, the GIGA wants to promote the development of this young and innovative field of research. From the first-class entries received, the international jury consisting of Scott Gates (editor-of-chief of International Area Studies Review), Sean Yom (Temple University) and Andreas Mehler (GIGA) selected the article “Rethinking the ‘presidentialism debate’: Conceptualizing coalitional politics in cross-regional perspective” first published online 2012 and now in Democratization,  Vol. 21, Iss. 1, 2014.

“The authors have taken excellent advantage of the opportunities offered by comparative area studies: context sensitivity, generalisation to broader empirical base, but also concretisation. What matters where and how much?”, said Andreas Mehler in explaining the jury’s decision. “Chaisty, Cheeseman and Power have not only investigated the interplay of diverse possibilities of presidents’ influence, they have also – and that is the decisive progress – given weight to local factors: history, culture, development paths.”

The three researchers distinguished themselves with their political scientific expertise as well as their knowledge about each world region: Paul Chaisty is an expert on the former Soviet Union, Nic Cheeseman on Africa and Timothy Power on Latin America. “For their paper, they have looked beyond the borders of their area”, said Mehler. “As a result, they gathered new insights into the study of political systems.”

The ceremony for the GIGA CAS Award will be held on 10 April 2014 in Hamburg at the international conference “Adapting Institutions: A Comparative Area Studies Perspective”, which will mark the GIGA’s 50th anniversary.

For more information on comparative area studies:

Karen Hewitt appointed MBE

7 January 2014

Congratulations to Karen Hewitt, Tutor in the Department for Continuing Education, who was appointed MBE for services to building academic and cultural understanding between the UK and Russia.

Ms Hewitt said: 'I was thrilled to receive the MBE for work which would not have been possible without the support of many colleagues at the Department for Continuing Education and throughout the University. I first taught in a Russian university in 1989 and realised how difficult it was for intelligent and thoughtful Soviet university teachers to understand western societies and culture. They needed books and explanations and academic opportunities as their country was undergoing an agonising transformation. I was able to pioneer schemes which were supported by the Department for Continuing Education, by the University’s agreement with Perm State University, and later by St Antony’s College's Russian Centre. In recent years, thanks to the Oxford Russia Fund, I’ve been able to bring thousands of books, especially of contemporary literature, to teachers and students all over Russia. The experience has been fascinating and academically absorbing.'

Interview on BBC World Service.

9 December 2013

Dr. Olga Onuch (Research Fellow, Nuffield College University of Oxford) gave interviews to the BBC World Service on Monday 2nd December.

Dr Onuch has been conducting research on protests and election in Argentina and Ukraine over the last several years. When the recent mass-protest erupted in Ukraine she quickly set up a survey of protest participants. Dr. Onuch has a team of 20 Canvassers taking turns interviewing and surveying protest participants. 

They have already completed 668 surveys (which are on-going) and they have 5 focus groups set up with approximately 8-10 participants in each. Dr. Onuch's goal is to expand the survey to other regional cities.

The main preliminary finding is that "social networks and NOT social media" seem to be central in mobilizing and connecting protest participants, and most certainly facilitating 'Ordinary Citizens'  to join-in the protests.  This is significant because the media and analysts are focusing on the "power of Facebook and Hashtags".

One interview was pre-recorded and will appear on-line soon, the second was during a debate on BBC World Service "World Have Your Say"

This research is linked to and will be referenced in a book that is forthcoming with Palgrave.

Revolutionary Moments and Movements: Understanding Mass Mobilization in Argentina (2001) and Ukraine (2004). Palgrave MacMillan.

Dr Gwen Sasse participates in a one-hour radio show on NPR to talk about the protests in Ukraine.

5 December 2013

Dr Gwen Sasse participted in a one-hour show on NPR called 'On-Point' hosted by Tom Ashbrook in the USA. Click on the link to listen to the discussions about the current protests in the Ukraine.

Ukraine Splits Over East-West Economic Rivalry.


Call for Participants: CEELBAS Research Training Workshop

20 November 2013

Using the British Library's Slavonic and East European Collections Thursday 20th-Friday 21st March 2014 at the British Library and UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies

Call for Participants: CEELBAS Research Training Workshop; Using the British Library's Slavonic and East European Collections

Thursday 20th-Friday 21st March 2014 at the British Library and UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies

The Centre for East European Language-Based Area Studies (CEELBAS) invites Research Masters and PhD students to register for a two-day research training event offering a practical introduction to the British Library’s extensive Slavonic and East European Collections – the largest research resource in the field of Slavonic, East European and Soviet Studies in the UK.

The event is open to Research Masters and Doctoral students at any of the CEELBAS network universities: Bath, Birmingham, Cambridge, Kent, Manchester, Oxford, Sheffield, Warwick, the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, and UCL.

The programme (see attached) includes:

  • an introductory session at the British Library;
  • a networking drinks reception for participants and BL and curators at UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies;
  • small group ‘show and tell’ sessions; an opportunity for independent exploration of the BL’s collections;
  • a chance to receive personalised and research-specific help and advice from the BL’s team of experts.

Ideal for those at the start of Master’s or Doctoral research, the workshop will provide practical research skills and highlight the breadth and diversity of the materials available in the UK for language-based research on Russia, Central and Eastern Europe.

A limited number of travel and accommodation bursaries (up to £100) are available for those coming from outside London.

To register for a place, e-mail by 16th December, confirming:

  • Your name;
  • Your university and programme of study;
  • Whether you would like to request a travel/accommodation bursary;
  • Your main research interests (key-words);
  • and which of the British Library’s Slavonic and East European collections (view list) you would be most interested in exploring.

Places and travel bursaries will be allocated on a ‘first come first served basis’. To enable the British Library’s experts to prepare the training sessions, participants will be required to provide a fuller outline of their research, indicating the areas of the collections that they are most interested in, one month in advance of the workshop.

For all queries about the workshop, please e-mail the CEELBAS Administrator:

The Centre for East European Language-Based Area Studies (CEELBAS)


CEELBAS is a network of leading UK universities established to promote the study of all the countries of Central, Eastern, South-Eastern Europe and the Baltics, Russia, as well as Turkey and the Black Sea, Central Asia and the Caucasus.

Postgraduate and early-career researchers facebook group:   

Twitter: @CEELBAS1

Post-Soviet Affairs

10 October 2013

Forward to democracy or back to authoritarianism? The attitudinal bases of mass support for the Russian election protests of 2011–2012
Paul Chaisty & Stephen Whitefield. Department of Politics and International Relations , University of Oxford
Published online: 18 Jun 2013.

CPP team visit to HSE in Moscow, Russia

4 October 2013

On October 4th 2013, the CPP team visited the National University Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow, Russia, where it debated the early results of the project along with faculty and students of the Department of Comparative Politics. Among others, the event was attended by Andrei Melville (Head of the Department of Comparative Politics) and Mikhail Ilyin (Deputy Dean for Research).

Pictured (left to right): Mikhail Ilyin (HSE), Dmitry Efimov (HSE), Timothy Power, Zlata Sergeeva (HSE), Nic Cheeseman and Svitlana Chernykh.

CPP workshop in Ukraine

2 October 2013

On 2nd October, 2013 the CPP held its second regional workshop at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (NaUKMA) in Ukraine. The Oxford team debated the early results of the project along with representatives of the National Institute for Strategic Studies, the Agency for Legislative Initiatives and the Academy of Public Administration under the Office of the President of Ukraine (Department for Parliamentarism) as well as the students and faculty of NaUKMA.


The CEELBAS Language Repository

25 September 2013

The CEELBAS Language Repository is an open access resource for teachers and students of the languages of Central and Eastern Europe and Russia.

CPP present at Department of Political Science, University of São Paulo (USP)

23 September 2013

On 23rd September 2013, the Oxford team presented the CPP project to the Department of Political Science, University of São Paulo (USP). Discussants included Fernando Limongi (Professor and Chair, USP) Argelina Figueiredo (IESP, Rio de Janeiro), and George Avelino (Fundação Getúlio Vargas, São Paulo).

Pictured (left to right): Germán Bidegain Ponte (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile), Andréa Freitas (CEBRAP), Svitlana Chernykh, Fernando Limongi (USP), Paul Chaisty, Timothy Power, George Avelino (FGV), Nic Cheeseman, and Santiago Basabe-Serrano (FLACSO Ecuador and GIGA, Hamburg).

CPP team visit Feseral University of Parana

20 September 2013

On 20th September 2013, the CPP team visited the Federal University of Paraná in Curitiba, Brazil, where a symposium on comparative presidentialism was sponsored jointly by the graduate programs in Law and Political Science. The event was organized by UFPR professors Fabrício Tomio (Law) and Luciana Veiga and Renato Perissonotto (Social Sciences). 

The proceedings were streamed life on YouTube and the video is archived HERE

Pictured: Timothy J. Power, Renato Perissonotto.

CPP workshop in Brazil

19 September 2013

On 19th September, 2013 the CPP held its first regional workshop at the Federal Senate of Brazil in Brasília. The event was jointly opened by Senators Cyro Miranda, Flexa Ribeiro, and Lídice da Mata, by the Ambassador of the United Kingdom, HE Alex Ellis, and by the Director of the Brazilian Legislative Institute Helder Rebouças. The CPP team was joined by the researchers from Federal Senate of Brazil and the University of Brasilia. The event was attended by over 150 people and broadcast on TV in the Senate and online. 

Pictured (left to right) are Paul Chaisty, Leany Lemos (Federal Senate of Brazil) João Henrique Pederiva (Interlegis), Germán Bidegain Ponte (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile), Svitlana Chernykh (University of Oxford), Timothy J. Power, Santiago Basabe-Serrano (FLACSO-Ecuador and GIGA, Hamburg) and Nic Cheeseman

Paul Chaisty, Nic Cheeseman, Svitlana Chernykh and Timothy Power present cross-regional findings

16 September 2013

On 16th September 2013, Paul Chaisty, Nic Cheeseman, Svitlana Chernykh and Timothy Power presented cross-regional findings from the Coalitional Presidentialism Project.

They presented to an audience of graduate students and faculty at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFGM), Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

The events was opened by Antonio Mitre (Director of the Center for Latin American Studies); Josè Angelo Machado (chair of the Department of Political Science), Claudia Feres (coordinator of the Political Science Postgraduate Program), Jorge Neves (dean of Philosophy and Human Sciences FAFICH), and Magna Inácio (Centre of Leislative Studies).

Pictured (left to right) are Nic Cheeseman, Svitlana Chernykh, Paul Chaisty and Magna Inácio.

CPP team at international workshop on Coalition Management

13 September 2013

On 13th September 2013, The CPP team participated in an international workshop on “Coalition Management in Comparative Perspective” at EBAPE (Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration), Fundação Getúlio Vargas, Rio de Janeiro. Other participants in the event included Carlos Pereira, Octavio Amorim Neto, and Greg Michener (all of EBAPE), Marcus Melo (UFPE), Sérgio Praça (UFABC), Acir Almeida (IPEA), Marcelo Vieira (UFMG), and David Samuels (University of Minnesota).

Pictured: Nic Cheeseman

SIAS twitter feed launch

3 September 2013

SIAS is on twitter (@SIASOxford). Please follow us to get notified about news and events from across the school.

Timothy Power keynote speaker at AMECIP

26 August 2013

On 26th August 2013, Timothy J. Power was the evening keynote speaker at the First International Congress of the Mexican Political Science Association (AMECIP) held at the University of Guanajuato. He presented some of the initial findings of the Coalitional Presidentialism Project to an audience of over 500 people on the first day of the conference. 

St Cross Scholarship for an MPhil in 2014-15

17 July 2013

St Cross College will be inviting Scholarship applications for MPhil in Social Sciences for entry in 2014-2015. This includes the MPhil in Russian and East European Studies.

Dr Nicolette Makovicky's research features on the BBC website

12 July 2013

Dr Nicolette Makovicky's work based on the CEELBAS Languages of Infomality project has recently featured on the BBC website.

New Publiction: Dr Roy Allison 'Russia, the West and Military Intervention'

24 May 2013

This interdisciplinary study explores the persistent differences between Russian and Western leaders about most Western-led military campaigns and about Russia's own use of force in the CIS region. What does this tell us about emerging norms on the use of force in humanitarian crises?

How and why has there been such controversy over the legal justifications for these military operations? Has greater consensus been possible over force in global counterterrorism? What do all these controversies tell us about international rule-making? More specifically, how can we understand Russian political and diplomatic responses during international crises around major interventions? This book argues that Russia has been influential in these debates on norms and law as a permanent United Nations Security Council member and as a major military power. Moscow's approach to these questions has reflected distinctive and quite entrenched attitudes to international order and sovereignty, as well as a preoccupation with its own status. The book draws deeply on Russian sources to show how these attitudes are expressed among the Russian leadership and the political elite. This raises challenging questions about the ability of Russia and Western states to cooperate in emerging crises, in Syria, Iran, or elsewhere and about Russia's role in international society

Dr Paul Chaisty publishes article in 'Europe-Asia Studies'

8 May 2013

The Preponderance and Effects of Sectoral Ties in the State Duma, Dr Paul Chaisty.

Europe-Asia Studies
Publication details and subscription information

Dr Timothy Power and Dr Mariana Llanos on New Directions in Comparative Presidentialism

15 March 2013

Dr Timothy Power and Dr Mariana Llanos (German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg) co-directed a workshop on “New Directions in Comparative Presidentialism”.

The workshop ran from 11-15 March 2013 at the 41st ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops, Johannes Gutenberg Universität, Mainz, Germany.

Dr Power and Dr Svitlana Chernykh presented a co-authored paper using early CPP data on how Chilean, Ecuadorean and Brazilian legislators perceive the practice of coalitional presidentialism.

Pictured (left to right) are workshop participants Marcelo Camerlo (ICS Lisbon), Magna Inácio (UFMG), Oleh Protsyk (University of Flensburg and CPP Advisory Board member), Ana Craveiro (ICS Lisbon), Svitlana Chernykh, Timothy Power, Mariana Llanos, Cecilia Martínez-Gallardo (UNC Chapel Hill), John Ishiyama (University of North Texas and lead editor, American Political Science Review), Lucio Rennó (University of Brasília), Jack Blumenau (LSE, winner of the ECPR Wildenmann Prize for an outstanding paper presented at the 2012 Joint Workshops), Michael Widmeier (University of North Texas), Andréa Freitas (University of São Paulo), Koichi Kawamura (Institute of Developing Economies, Japan), David Doyle (Dublin City University), and Petra Schleiter (University of Oxford).

Intensive Russian Language tuition for MSc students

7 February 2013

MSc students have a unique opportunity to learn Russian language as part of their MSc in REES degree. Classes are designed, organised and taught by Dr Anna Pleshakova and cater for students starting from complete beginner through to advanced level.  No previous knowledge of Russian is required to join at beginner level. Whilst classes are optional for the MSc students, many find the acquisition of Russian language gives them the leading edge over their competitors  when applying for jobs.

What students say…

The course was very interactive and helpful in combining reading, writing and speaking skills.’ Beginner 2012-13

Great interactive materials, which are interesting and useful at the same time’. Intermediate 2011-12

'I think these lessons are a wonderful addition to the course. By providing a mixture of conversational and social science Russian, they cater to a variety of purposes and are an excellent refresher course or building block for further study'.  Beginner 2012-13

This was more than simply a Russian language course- it was an amazing, very enjoyable discussion of Russia's culture, politics and history.’ Advanced  2011-12

'I decided to take up the Russian course because I was  interested in Politics, International Relations and Security Studies, I expect  the knowledge of a new language to be helpful in conducting research in Russian. Moreover, knowledge of a second UN language will be an advantage for me. Both the active and the passive language tuition are really good and fit the needs of students.'  Beginner 2012-13

New MPhil Special Subject Option: Central Asia and the South Caucasus

30 January 2013

This term sees the start of a new MPhil Special Subject Options made available for the first time in 2012-13:

Central Asia and the South Caucasus: International Relations and Foreign Policies, taught by Dr Roy Allison, provides students with an advanced understanding of the diverse international relations and foreign policies of the eight states of the South Caucasus and Central Asia since 1991. The intention is to enable students to apply conceptual and theoretical insights introduced in the core courses. The course examines common features and differentiation in the foreign policies of states within the South Caucasus and Central Asia respectively, as well as between these two regions. The course will draw on interdisciplinary debates on contemporary history, domestic state order and political structure, nation building and energy policy, but the core disciplinary debates addressed will be those from international relations. The course will develop thematic approaches by examining domestic and regional order, national identity and state formation, regionalism and multilateralism, normative competition and the EU transformation agenda, regime and transnational security as well as regional conflict.

About our new website

1 December 2012

Welcome to our new-look website. Our goal is to improve user experience with a responsive design, built to work on mobile devices as well as desktop computers. We'd really like your feedback. Please use our contact page to tell us what you think.

Dr Svitlana Chernykh and Dr Timothy Power present the CPP project at University of Salamanca

23 November 2012

On 23rd November 2012, Dr Svitlana Chernykh and Dr Timothy Power presented the CPP project to an audience of faculty and graduate students in the Department of Political Science, University of Salamanca. USAL has a long tradition of survey research in Latin American legislatures via the Parliamentary Elites in Latin America (PELA) project, and researchers from CPP and PELA will be sharing data and insights from ongoing fieldwork. Pictured (left to right): Svitlana Chernykh, Mercedes García Montero (USAL), and Magna Inácio (Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and visiting researcher at the Latin American Centre, Oxford). Photo credit: Timothy  Power.

Applications are now open for entry in 2012/13.

7 September 2012

The application deadlines for admission in October 2013 are as follows:

Friday 16 November 2012
Friday 18 January 2013
Friday 8 March 2013

The deadline for all University scholarship schemes, as well as AHRC and ESRC studentships, is Friday 18 January 2013. Visit our course information page.

Calling Russian and East European Studies Alumni!

7 September 2012

We are updating our records and would like to hear from all REES alumni so that we can invite you to REES events and hear your news.

Please email

CEELBAS awarded new development funding by AHRC and British Academy

22 August 2012

CEELBAS has recently been awarded new funding by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the British Academy (BA) to support its development of language-based area studies.

The award - over £150k per annum, initially for two years - will enable CEELBAS, in collaboration with the other LBAS Centres, to build on the achievements and impacts of the LBAS Initiative in 2006-2011, with a particular focus on knowledge exchange and engagement with non-academic communities. The funding is awarded within the framework of the AHRC's Delivery Plan 2011-15 and the British Academy's Languages and Quantitative Skills (L&QS) Programme, and will be used to support Knowledge Exchange Partnerships and Internships; Research Workshops and International Research Exchanges; Postgraduate Research Training and Language Development Projects. Further details of planned events and initiatives will be posted on the CEELBAS website in the coming months.

Timothy Power gives inaugural lecture of a new MA programme in Legislative Studies

7 August 2012

On 7th August 2012, Dr Timothy Power gave the inaugural lecture of a new MA programme in Legislative Studies sponsored by the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies in Brasília.

The MA course, administered by the Chamber's Center for Training and Professional Development (CEFOR) is the first accredited postgraduate programme operated by a national parliament anywhere in the world. The programme will admit 12 new MA candidates per year from among the Chamber's professional staff. Continuing the public outreach of the CPP team, Dr Power's lecture addressed the politics of executive-legislative relations under coalitional presidentialism. Click HERE for more info (in Portuguese). 

Photo credit: Alexandra Martins.