How the Past Shapes Democracy in Russia's Regions: The Effect of Pre-Communist Literacy and Communist Party Recruitment Patterns

Monday 23 November, 2015
4 - 5:30pm, $0

Columbia University, International Affairs
420 West 118 Street, Room 1201

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Twenty-five years after the collapse of communism in Europe, few scholars disagree that the past continues to shape post-communist states' democratic trajectories. Scholars have found that pre-communist education levels have ostensibly helped to foster resistance to communism. To explain varying degrees of democracy in Russia's regions, Lankina proposes a different causal mechanism. Her project highlights the Leninist regimes' successful appropriation of the literate strata of the Tsarist-era, through recruitment into the communist party in Russia's regions. Party saturation had a dampening effect on the otherwise positive effects of pre-communist education on post-communist democracy. Tomila Lankina is an associate professor in the International Relations Department of the London School of Economics and Political Science. She holds a BA from the Tashkent Institute of Oriental Studies in Uzbekistan; an MA in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Massachusetts; and a D.Phil. in politics from the University of Oxford. Her recent research has focused on comparative sub-national democracy and authoritarianism; on mass protests; and on historical patterns of human capital and democratic reproduction in India, Russia, and other states. She has published articles in World Politics, American Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, Post-Soviet Affairs, Problems of Post-Communism, Europe-Asia Studies, and other journals. She has also published two books Governing the Locals Local Self-Government and Ethnic Mobilization in Russia (Lanham Rowman amp; Littlefield, 2006); and Local Governance in Central and Eastern Europe , co-authored with Anneke Hudalla and Hellmut Wollmann (Palgrave and University of Oxford St. Antony's Series, 2008).

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