This research cluster provides a space for comparative political analysis within and across regions. The cluster was formed in 2004 to advance the common interests of Politics staff and postgraduates whose research is wholly or partly concerned with political change in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and East Asia. Since 2010 it has widened its concerns to include broader processes of transformation, including but not limited to Latin America.

Research topics

  • Russian elite formation and the Putin succession (ESRC funding)
  • Russia's electoral authoritarianism (ESRC funding)
  • Managed democracy (ESRC and Leverhulme funding)
  • The sociology of constitutions, including those in Central Europe and the Former Soviet Union
  • Civil-military relations in postcommunist Russia (ESRC studentship)
  • Ihe internet and politics in post-Soviet space, and more generally (ESRC, British Academy and Carnegie Trust funding)
  • Media reporting of China’s health reforms (Adam Smith Research Foundation funding)
  • The role of human rights in everyday life in Russia
  • Women’s access to and use of rights in Russia (Adam Smith Research Foundation Funding)
  • The politics of violence in Central America

Members of the cluster edit the Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics (Routledge) and coedit the Journal of Eurasian Studies (SAGE Publishing) and Politics (Blackwell).

Members of the cluster organise seminars each semester, and smaller group meetings to discuss matters of common interest including early versions of academic papers and grant applications. We seek to generate at least one application for external research funding each semester.




  • Bill Miller

Research staff

  • Tania Biletskaya

Research students

  • Kari Pries
  • Sam Robertshaw
  • Hua Wang
  • Aofei Lv


  • Daniel Hammond
  • Tom Johnson
  • Valentina Feklyunina (University of Newcastle upon Tyne)
  • Katsuto Furusawa
  • Caroline Hoy (Edinburgh)
  • Derek Hutcheson (Dublin)
  • Elena Korosteleva (Aberystwyth)
  • Yulia Korosteleva (London)
  • Chris Lamont
  • Wang Guohui
  • Kenneth Wilson (Seoul)