I study the Comparative Democratization of Eastern Europe and Latin America. Primarily, I am interested in the micro foundations of protest mobilization in democratizing contexts. More broadly, I research what drives political behaviour (engagement in protests, elections, activism, social movement and civil society organization), public opinion, ethnic identity, and migration.
My work is comparative (across space and time) and is both intra-regional and inter-regional in nature. I employ mixed methods in my research. I have lead several large survey projects and have conducted extensive field and language based research (with over 500 interviews and over 30 focus groups conducted). Below you can read about the ongoing and past research projects that I lead/have led.
MICRO-FOUNDATIONS OF MASS PROTEST & OUT-MIGRATION
I am the UK PI and overall project leader of MOBILISE (2019 – 2022). Our project asks: When there is discontent, why do some people protest while others cross borders? Connecting theoretical expectations from the migration and protest literatures, we examine: a) whether similar factors drive the choice to migrate and/or protest at the individual level; b) how context affects this mobilization; c) whether these choices are independent of each other or mutually reinforcing/ undermining. MOBILISE employs a multi-method (nationally representative face-to-face panel surveys, online migrant surveys, protest participant surveys, focus groups, life-history interviews, social media analysis) and a multi-sited research design. It covers Ukraine, Poland, Morocco and Brazil, which have recently witnessed large-scale emigration and protests. It follows migrants from these countries to Germany, the UK and Spain.
PROTEST AND ACTIVISM IN UKRAINE
I have extensively researched contemporary activism and protest in Ukraine. Findings from my research on Ukrainian activism and protest have been published as a monograph, book chapters and several peer-reviewed journal articles. My research was the first to demonstrate the historical connectivity between waves of mass mobilization (since 1920, including The Revolution on The Granite and Ukraine without Kuchma). Tracing the historical role of ideas, actors, and institutions, my research identified continuity and connectivity between different protest waves over time and space in Ukraine.
Between 2011 – 2014, I was PI of the British Academy Funded Ukrainian Protest Project. As part of this research – I conducted the first on-site surveys, interviews, and focus groups of protest participants in Kyiv in 2013-2014. This research specifically examined the role of social media as motivating and social networks as mobilizing factors in the EuroMaidan mass protests. Based on this research I developed a theory of the ‘protestorate’ in post-communist contexts. This research also contributed to understandings of cross-cleavage coalitions underpinning mass mobilization. I am currently working on a book monograph focusing on the EuroMaidan Mass-Mobilization.
PROTEST, ELECTIONS & IDENTITY, IN TIMES OF CONFLICT
Between May 2014 and January 2015 I was co-PI (with Prof. Henry Hale (George Washington), Prof. Timothy Colton (Harvard) and Dr. Nadiya Kravets (Harvard )), of the National Science Foundation funded ‘Ukraine Crisis Election Panel Survey‘ – a three-wave nationally representative panel survey of the Ukrainian population. Our study explored: the drivers of protest participation in polarized societies, the effects of conflict on voting behavior, how to best measure and capturing ethnolinguistic identity in social surveys research, blame attribution in times of crises, and role of geographic region in driving public attitudes.
PROTESTS AND ELECTIONS IN LATIN AMERICA
In Argentina, I am investigating how political parties motivate and mobilize citizens to vote? Data and findings stemming from this project have been published in book chapters and are forthcoming in peer-reviewed journal articles. This research builds on previous data collection projects focusing on the 2001 Mass Mobilization (Argentinazo), published as a book manuscript.
In Venezuela, I am exploring the role of socio-economic inequality and partisanship as drivers of mass protest. I am specifically focusing on the 2014 and 2017 mass protests.
In Mexico, I have investigated the role of civic duty in post-election protest mobilization. This research was the basis for a formal model of the ‘civic duty to protest.’