Assistant Professor


  • Office Hours:

    Thursday 3:30-6:30pm
  • Role:

  • Position:

    • Assistant Professor
    • Associate Director
  • Concentration:

    • Comparative Politics
  • Department:

    • International Studies and Political Science
  • Education:

    • Ph.D, The University of Texas at Austin


  • Introduction to Comparative Politics

  • Government and Politics of Russia

    At its most extensive, the geographical scope of the former Soviet Union amounted to one-sixth of the land surface area of the Earth. It spanned 11 time zones and was comprised of greater than 100 distinct nationalities, 22 of which had populations over one million. On October 1, 1939, Winston Churchill said that Russia “is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” This course seeks to decipher the enigma by offering a broad introduction to the history of political development in Russia from the Revolution in 1917 to the present. The course will be divided into two (unequal) parts: 1) a brief, chronological overview of the Soviet period, which ended with the introduction of radical reform under Mikhail Gorbachev and the subsequent disintegration of the Soviet Union (The aim for the first section of the course is to provide essential background for those students without prior knowledge of Soviet history); and 2) the multiple challenges of state-building, democratization, and radical market reform facing the new post-Soviet Russian state. During the 1990s, Russia appeared to be moving along a path toward greater democracy and integration with the West. However, with Vladimir Putin’s ascendance in 2000, the country witnessed a dramatic backsliding of democracy and reemergence of authoritarianism in nearly all arenas of domestic life and politics. Today, Russia appears to be on a very precarious course away from communism but toward an uncertain future. This course seeks to shed light on one of the most dramatic and important political, economic, and social transformations in recent history.