My research interests span the fields of comparative politics and international relations with a focus on: ethnic politics and implicit attitudes; hybrid regimes and democratization; and informal institutions and corruption. I specialize in the area of post-Soviet Eurasia and the South Caucasus, and use methods ranging from elite interviews to field experiments.
In the doctoral dissertation, I investigated the efforts of the Georgian government following the Rose Revolution to integrate two borderland regions, one populated by Armenians (Javakheti) and the other by Azerbaijanis (Kvemo Kartli). In order to shed light on these nation-building processes, I held elite interviews and implemented a matched-guise experiment among respondents in the capital of Tbilisi and in the two borderlands (n = 2019). Findings from this research project were given the Best Doctoral Student Paper Award (Category: Caucasus-Russia-Ukraine) at the 2014 ASN conference.
In my postdoc project, which runs from January 2017 through December 2019, I use a mixture of elite interviews and field experiments to examine if Russian minorities in northeastern Estonia's Ida-Viru district and in southern Ukraine's Odessa district are integrating into - or separating from - their host societies. This undertaking is financed by the Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (SYLFF) Program, and carried out in cooperation with the University of Tartu and Odessa National University.
My articles have appeared in journals such as Nationalities Papers, Caucasus Survey, Journal of Language and Social Psychology, and Demokratizatsiya. I have written reports for Foreign Policy magazine, and contributed with chapters to several edited books. I have earlier worked as a consultant with the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, been a visiting scholar at the George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, and a visiting researcher at Ilia State University and the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies.