Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies

Current Visiting Scholars


Gokhan Alper Ataser
Ph.D. Student, Middle East Technical University, Turkey

Azerbaijani political elite in a period of multiple transformations

Gokhan Alper Ataser is a Ph.D. Student at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. His areas of interest include state-society relations, democratization, post-Soviet transitions, and the sociology of mass communication.

September 2011 – August 2012

Marianne Birthler

Coming to Terms with the East German Past

Marianne Birthler recently stepped down as Germany's federal commissioner for the former East German Secret Police (Stasi) archives. Her achievements in Germany are a model for countries around the world in dealing with the legacy of secret police organizations who abuse their powers.

October 2011 – December 2011

Rebecca Chamberlain-Creanga
Ph.D. Candidate, London School of Economics, United Kingdom

Manufacturing Separatism: Transnational Economy, Identity, and Politics on a Post-Soviet Frozen War Front

Rebecca A. Chamberlain-Creanga is finishing her PhD in Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics, specializing in industrial anthropology and the political-economy of identity and conflict. Chamberlain did participant-observation in urban heavy industry on both of Moldova's river banks, including in the secessionist Transnistrian region, for almost two years in 2004-06 for the study Cementing Modernization, supported by several Title VIII/US Department of State academic fellowships. She will continue this work at IERES, incorporating her most recent research on political change and conflict, including transnational dimensions and local-level sources of separatism.

As a former British Marshall Scholar to the United Kingdom, Chamberlain holds MSc and MA degrees from the LSE and the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (University College London). She received a BA in International Relations from Wheaton College in Massachusetts. Chamberlain worked as a US Department of State (IREX Title VIII) Embassy Policy Specialist at the US Embassy Chisinau in summer 2007. Prior to her research on the Republic of Moldova, Chamberlain investigated issues of ethnicity and conflict in Bosnia and Croatia as a Rotary Foundation Scholar.

February 2011– December 2011

Dariga Chukmaitova
Ph.D. Candidate at Claremont University

'Sector-switching' in Kazakhstan's healthcare industry

Dariga Chukmaitova is a Ph.D. candidate at Claremont Graduate University's School of Politics and Economics. While at IERES she is working on her dissertation, which examines the economic and behavioral factors influencing 'sector-switching' in Kazakhstan's health care industry; doctors switching from the national to the private system, which is not well established questioning reasons for why switch occurs. Dariga Chukmaitova received her MA in Public Administration in International Management from the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

September 2010 – December 2011

Paul Coyer
Ph.D. Candidate at the London School of Economics, United Kingdom

Paul Coyer is a PhD candidate at the London School of Economics and Political Science, writing on the role played by the Congress in the early development of Sino-American relations, 1969-1980. The working title of his dissertation is "Congress, China and the Cold War."

January 2010 – December 2011

Jacob Eder
Mellon Fellow in Contemporary History
Ph.D. Candidate, University of Pennsylvania

Dissertation topic: "Holocaust Angst: The Federal Republic of Germany and Holocaust Memory in the United States, 1977-1990"

Jacob S. Eder has been selected as a Mellon Pre-doctoral Fellow in Cold War/Post-1945 International History for the 2011-2012 academic year. Eder is currently a doctoral candidate in history at the University of Pennsylvania, working on a dissertation project about German cultural diplomacy in the United States and its relevance for the formation of transnational Holocaust memory. His research focuses on this topic from three angles: the exponentially growing interest of American society in the Holocaust and its impact on German-American relations since the late 1970s, efforts in the United States on the part of the Federal Republic to (re-)claim the power of interpretation over the history of the Holocaust, and the reception of such policies in the United States by governmental or private institutions and individuals. Eder is also an associate member of the graduate school of the Jena Center 20th Century History, Germany, and he holds M.A. degrees from Penn and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he spent an academic year on a Fulbright Scholarship. He is the recipient of numerous academic grants and fellowships, including doctoral fellowships from the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the USHMM, and the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C.

September 2011 – July 2012

Chao Fan
Ph.D. Candidate, Peking University, China

China's foreign policy toward the United States in the 1980s

Chao Fan is a Ph.D. Candidate at Peking University. His research interests include China's foreign relations, Chinese foreign policy decision-making, and especially Sino-US relations. He is particularly interested in the role that the USSR played in the Sino-US relationship. He received his M.A. in Diplomacy from the Department of Diplomacy at China Foreign Affairs University, the only institute under the auspices of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to train Chinese diplomats, and B.A. in English Literature and Linguistics from the Foreign Languages School at Yunnan University. He held an internship at the Foreign Affairs Office of the Yunnan Provincial Government. He participated in IERES' Summer Institute on Conducting Archival Research (SICAR) with the research topic: "The Cold War and the Origin of China's Foreign Aid Policy (1949-1965)."

September 2011– August 2012

Mami Hamamoto
Research Fellow, the Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, the University of Tokyo, Japan

Research topic: Tatar merchants and their relationship with the government of the Russian Empire

Mami Hamamoto specializes in the history of Russian Muslims, especially Tatars. She received her Ph.D. (2006) at Kyoto University (Japan) and audited classes at the Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow from 1999 to 2001. Her publications include: M. Hamamoto, N. Naganawa, D. Usmanova (eds.), Volgo-Ural'skii region v imperskom prostranstve. XVIII-XX vv. (The Volga-Ural region in the imperial space of the 18th to 20th centuries), Moscow: Vostochnaia Literatura, 2011; Seinaru roshia no isuramu: 17-18 seiki tatarujin no seikyou kaishu, (Islam in holy Russia: the Tatar conversion to the Russian Orthodox Church in the 17-18th centuries, in Japanese], Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 2009; and Kyousei no isuramu: Roshia no seikyoto to musurimu [Islam for harmonious coexistence: Christian- Muslim relations in Russia, in Japanese), Tokyo: Yamakawa Press, 2011.

September 2011 – September 2012

Serhiy Kudelia
IERES Post-Doctoral Fellow in Eurasian Studies

Research topics: the sources and outcomes of the constitutional changes in Ukraine under the presidencies of Kuchma, Yushchenko and Yanukovych; conflict in Western Ukraine following the Soviet take-over in 1944

September 2011 – May 2012

Evangelos Liaras
IERES Davis Post-Doctoral Fellow in European Studies
Instructor, Koc University, Istanbul

"Ballot box and Tinderbox: Can Electoral Engineering Save Multiethnic Democracy?"

Since earning his Ph.D. at MIT, Evangelos Liaras has worked as a postdoctoral fellow and instructor at Koc University in Istanbul. His primary interests are ethnic conflict and electoral politics. At IERES, he will turn his dissertation "Ballot Box and Tinderbox: Can Electoral Engineering Save Multiethnic Democracy?," which received the American Political Science Association' s Juan Linz Award, into a book. The study examined the impact of electoral reforms on conflict in four divided societies: Northern Ireland, Turkey, Sri Lanka, and Guyana.

September 2011 – May 2012

Xu Liu
Research Fellow, Hokkaido University, Japan
Fellow of the International Training Program for Young Scholars, the Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University, Japan

Russia's Energy Policy in the Far East and East Siberia

Xu Liu is a research fellow at the Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University, and is currently studying Russia's energy policy and energy cooperation in Northeast Asia. He earned two bachelor's degrees from Peking University, one in Russian Literature and the other in Economics, and has studied at Tsukuba University and Hokkaido University. Dr. Liu later received his Ph.D. from Hokkaido University. He is a regular writer for the opinion corner of the Economic Research Institute for Northeast Asia (ERINA) and has published papers related to Russia's energy policy in academic journals and industry magazines in four languages: Japanese, Chinese, Russian and English. Dr. Liu has also presented at numerous international conferences.

July 2011 – May 2012

Nancy Meyers

Researching the role of moral shock in early 1999 Serbian protests and the 1996-97 protest in Central Serbia

July 2010 – July 2012

Victor Nemchenok
Mellon Fellow in Contemporary History
Ph.D. Candidate, University of Virginia

Dissertation topic: "A Dialogue of Power: Development, Global Civil Society, and the Third World Challenge to International Order, 1970-1988"

Victor Nemchenok has been selected as a Pre-doctoral Mellon Fellow in Contemporary History for the 2011-2012 academic year. Nemchenok is currently a doctoral candidate in the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia. His dissertation project, entitled "A Dialogue of Power: Development, Global Civil Society, and the Third World Challenge to International Order, 1970-1988," examines how the developing world's economists and intellectuals sought to use the international development agenda to mount a challenge to the power and influence of the economically advanced countries. He has conducted archival research in Egypt, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, and France for this project.

September 2011 – July 2012

Jun Niu
Professor, Peking University, China

The Origin of New China's Asia Policy in the 1980s

At Peking University, Dr. Niu teaches the courses Analysis of China's Foreign Policymaking and the Foreign Relations of the Peoples' Republic of China since 1949. His research is focused on China's foreign policymaking since 1949, US foreign policy, and the Sino-US relationship. His recent publications include: From Yan'an to the World: The Origin and Development of Chinese Communist Foreign Policy, Towards a History of Chinese Communist Foreign Relations (1920s-1960s),Lengzhan yu zhongguo (The Cold War and China).

Niu has been in residence as several well-known institutions including as a Guest Senior Fellow at the Nobel Institute, Norway and a Visiting Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Department of History and the Center of Asia Studies at Hong Kong University, the Department of History at The University of North Carolina, and the Institute of East Asian Studies at University of California, Berkeley. He received his Ph.D. from People's University of China in 1988.

August 2011 – January 2012

Margaret "Maggie" Paxson
Senior Associate, the Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

"Remembering the Good: Legacies of Rescue and Resistance in the Plateau Vivarais-Lignon"


Maggie Paxson is researching how the extraordinary rescue efforts on the Plateau Vivarais-Lignon during the Holocaust are recalled--in story and in action--by the local community. She has studied memory in rural communities for years (until now, in Russia's north and its Caucasus in the south), and has recently grown more and more drawn to the kinds of social/moral questions that deal with how communities--when surrounded by terrible circumstances (and aggressive states)--can resist the call to violence and hatred and can emerge in collective efforts towards social good. The Plateau has shown a long-term, resilient tradition of this kind of rescue and resistance: from periods of Huguenot flight from France; to periods of taking in poor urban children in the 19thcentury; to accepting refugees from the Spanish Civil war; to its singular actions during the Second World War; to the present day, as it accepts refugees from all over the world and helps integrate them into French society. In her research, she asks: How can the determined wartime rescue effort in the Plateau Vivarais-Lignon be understood not only as a cluster of individual, altruistic acts, but as a sustained group action that endured and, indeed, proved deeply resilient, during several of Europe's darkest years. Where did that resilience lie? And does it endure to this day?


This project has entailed field research in the region of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, where she has spoken with villagers about the events during the war, but also about other historical periods, focusing both on what villagers themselves remember and what stories they have heard recounted by others. In the course of this research, she also asks other, broader questions about contemporary life in the village: including learning more generally about how people conceive of a "right society"; about religion, broadly defined; about principles of "welcome" and exchange, etc. She plans future research trips to participate in local commemorations and holidays and learn how principles of "welcome" might be acted out in the village today. The Plateau is currently home to over a dozen families that are seeking refugee status in France; a key part of research will also involve understanding how these families are excepted into village life.

January 2011 – December 2011

Francisco Javier Rodriguez Jimenez
Fulbright Scholar; the University of Salamanca, Spain

American cultural diplomacy after World War II

Francisco J. Rodriguez completed his Ph. D at the University of Salamanca in 2009, while working as a part-time professor and as secretary of the Historical Journal Studia Historica. Historia Contemporanea. Currently a Visiting Fulbright Scholar at IERES, his topical interests are: American studies; anti-Americanism; American high culture vs. popular culture; cultural diplomacy and soft powers of different states in a comparative approach. His book, Antidoto Contra el Antiamericanismo? American Studies en Espana, 1945-1969, was recently published.

September 2010 – September 2012

Albert Schmidt
University of Bridgeport, United States

Town planning and architecture of provincial Russia; history of English law firms in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Albert Schmidt is Professor Emeritus in Law from Quinnipiac College of Law and Professor Emeritus in History from the University of Bridgeport. He received his BA from DePauw University and his MAand PhD are from the University of Pennsylvania. He conducted post-doctoral research at the Russian and East European Institute at Indiana University and continued at Moscow University on Intercultural Exchange in 1962. He also studied at New York University School of Law.

Olesya Tkacheva
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Rochester

New media and politics in the European Union and Eastern Europe

Olesya Tkacheva recently completed a Ph.D. in public policy and political science at the University of Michigan and then was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Rochester. At IERES, her research focuses on new media and politics in the European Union and Eastern Europe.

August 2010 – August 2012

Sufian Zhemukhov

"Diasporas, Genocide, and International Law: Russia and the Circassian Community in the Context of the Global World"

Sufian Zhemukhov is a Heyward Isham Visiting Scholar in Russian and East European Studies, working on a project entitled Diasporas, Genocide, and International Law: Russia and the Circassian Community in the Context of Global World. He defended his PhD at the Institute of Ethnology of Russian Academy of Science in 1997, and has worked in Nalchik as director of the Teacher Training Institute (2000-2004), and editor-in-chief of the newspapers Kabardino-Balkarskaia Pravda (2006-2007) and Voice of Kabarda (since 2011). He is a former Kennan-Fulbright Scholar (2005-2006) and recently received fellowships from the US Institute of International Education and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. His research interests include Islam in the North Caucasus, theory and practice of nationalities, and more specifically the problems in the Circassian world. He has published several books including - World Outlook of Khan-Girei (1997), History of Villige Kakhun (1998), The Life of Shora Nogma (2002), Philosophy of History of Shora Nogma (2007), a book of poetry Mystery of the Soul (1999) and received a Government award for his play Hajji's Dagger in 2011. He has also published many articles, including those with PONARS Eurasia, which he has been a member of since 2008. His academic interests intermix with his practical life - working on Circassian and Islamic issues, he cofounded and became a Director of NGO 2012 World Circassian Games, climbed the highest European mountain Elbrus in support of the project (2009), and performed Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca (2009).

May 2011 – December 2011

Events Combating Kremlin Disinformation about Ukraine
April 2, 2015

Party and Voter Learning in New Democracies
April 3, 2015

The First Uzbekistan Initiative Workshop
April 6, 2015

Islam and the Dynamics of Ethno-confessional Regimes in Russia, 1990-2012
April 7, 2015

Between Byzantium and Brussels: The Politics of Orthodox Churches in the European Union
April 9, 2015

Central Asia Cinema Club Film Screening: Beshkempir
April 16, 2015

Islam, Secularism and Security in Central Asia and Beyond
April 21, 2015

Do Color Revolutions Really Happen?
April 23, 2015

» All upcoming events

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Professor Marlene Laruelle authors article on US sanctions on Alexander Dugin in Foreign Affairs.

Professor Harris Mylonas publishes article on events in Greece in 2013 in the European Journal of Political Research.

Professors Marlene Laruelle draws attention to Kazakhstan's attitude toward the Eurasian Union and Sebastien Peyrouse analyzes Kyrgyzstan's prospects for accession therein in the most recent edition of the Russian Analytical Digest.

Professor Robert Orttung quoted in an article in Vice News about online tactics used by EU, NATO, and Russia.

Professor Marlene Laruelle publishes a paper on the mythmaking of Novorossiya (available on

Professor Robert Orttung and two undergraduate IERES students - Elizabeth Nelson and Anthony Livshen - write an article in the Washington Post on how Russia Today operates across different language platforms on Youtube to spread Kremlin messages about Ukraine. 

Professor Eliot Sorel to lead panel on mental health in Bucharest from June 24 to June 27 as part of an international congress integrating primary care, mental care, and public health.

Professor Robert Orttung, together with students from GWU and the University of Chicago, publish an article on Russian television and the Internet.

Professor Marlene Laruelle writes an article on youth patriotic clubs in Russia (available on

Professor Marlene Laruelle publishes article entitled "The Ukrainian Crisis and its Impact on Transforming Russian Nationalism Landscape" in Ukraine and Russia: People, Politics, Propaganda and Perspectives.

Professor Cory Welt was quoted by the Voice of America on the implications of Ukraine’s Minsk II cease-fire agreement.

Professor Cory Welt was interviewed by Imedi, a Georgian television station, on the role of Georgian officials in Ukraine’s government.

Professor Robert Orttung is interviewed by the National Public Radio in an audio clip entitled "'Frozen Conflict' in Ukraine Opens Door for Corruption."

Professor Robert Orttung co-authors article for Foreign Policy website about how Russia uses frozen conflicts to destabilize its reform-minded neighbors.

Professor Cory Welt was quoted by Deutsche Welle on the possibility of U.S. arms provision to Ukraine. His comments on the same subject for PONARS Eurasia were published in the Washington Post’s blog The Monkey Cage.

Professor Harris Mylonas discusses the Greek financial crisis in a Voice of America article.

Professor Robert Orttung co-authors op-eds in the Washington Post about Putin's approval ratings and in the Moscow Times about Russian propaganda.

Professor Peter Rollberg, IERES director, was quoted in the New York Times' review of Andrey Zvyagintsev's new film "Leviathan." He was also interviewed in an original IERES video about his thoughts on the work.

Professor Harris Mylonas was interviewed by Bulgarian newspaper Presa about Greek elections, and he and Akis Georgakellos wrote a report on the elections as well as an analysis of the new government's attempts to re-negotiate Greece's bailout terms. These pieces are part of the Washington Post's blog The Monkey Cage, and the latter has been mentioned by other Washington Post articles and the German-language Blogumschau news forum.

Professor Marlene Laruelle published a paper in the Russian Analytical Digest on Central Asian nations' reactions to the crisis in Ukraine.

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, a visiting scholar at the Institute from 2002-2003, was recently elected president of Croatia.

Professor Henry Hale was interviewed about his new book Patronal Politics on the Scholars' Circle radio show.

Professor Harris Mylonas was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article about the political situation in Greece.

Professor Peter Rollberg, IERES director, was quoted in the New York Times' review of Andrey Zvyagintsev's new film "Leviathan."

Professor Henry Hale was interviewed by CNN on Putin's popular support.

Professor Peter Rollberg was interviewed by BuzzFeedNews about Johnson's Russia List, which is published through IERES. The article was reprinted by the Ukrainian service

Professor Robert Orttung co-authors article on increasing media censorship in Russia.

Professor Marlene Laruelle writes article on Russia's policy-drivers in the Arctic.

Professor Eliot Sorel analyzes recent presidential elections in Romania.

Professor Marlene Laruelle's paper on Russia's policy towards Central Asia published in EUCAM.

Associate Director Cory Welt analyzes the current Georgian political climate in Foreign Policy.

Professor Hope Harrison authors an article in The Washington Post about five myths surrounding the Berlin Wall and another article in The Wilson Quarterly about German perspectives on the fall of the Wall. Read the articles here and here. In addition, a German-language article of hers devoted to the fall of the Wall recently appeared in the Berlin Tagesspiegel, and she was recently filmed in a video created by the US Embassy in Germany where she explains the building and fall of the Berlin Wall.

Assistant Director Robert Orttung authors an op-ed in The Moscow Times about Ukraine's recent elections.

Assistant Director Robert Orttung authors an op-ed in The Moscow Times on the Kremlin's international propaganda practices.

Recent Mumbai water conference covered by the Times of India.

Participants in a recent conference Central Asia Program speakers quoted by Al Jazeera on Uyghur affairs.

Professor Marlene Laruelle authors an op-ed in The Moscow Times on Russian nationalism and Eastern Ukraine.

Associate Director Cory Welt was interviewed on Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, Russia, and U.S. policy. Read the transcripts here and here.

Professor Marlene Laruelle writes a policy memo for PONARS on the Kremlin's views on Russia's European identity.

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