Alumni Profiles

Through dissertation workshops, a wide variety of fellowships, and support for innovative teaching, the Social Science Research Council has played a unique and significant role in the career development of hundreds of scholars and graduate students focusing on Eurasian studies. The accomplishments of our alumni highlight the critical role of the Council in building the intellectual infrastructure for informed and active engagement with the Eurasian region.

All alumni are strongly encouraged to notify the Council of their activities and achievements eurasia@ssrc.org.


February 3, 2013
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Bruce Grant: SSRC Workshop Participant and former Eurasia Selection and Advisory Committee Chair

Bruce Grant is Professor of Anthropology at New York University with affiliations in the Program in Near Eastern Studies as well as Russian and Slavic Studies. A specialist on cultural politics in the former Soviet Union, he has done fieldwork in both Siberia and the Caucasus. He has been the recipient of grants from the SSRC, the American Philosophical Society, ACLS, NCEEER, NEH, NSF, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. He is a recent past president of the Society for Cultural Anthropology, interdisciplinary wing of the American Anthropological Association (2007-2009); and ASEEES, the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (2011).

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January 16, 2013
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SSRC 1998 Dissertation Fellow Anna Krylova

Anna Krylova is Associate Professor of Modern Russian History. Her research and teaching interests are in twentieth-century Russian history, state and society in contemporary Russia, World War II and mechanization of warfare, transnational communist movements, Marxism, and problematics of historical interpretation in gender and cultural history. In addition to numerous academic lectures and presentations, she has delivered public talks on peculiarities of Russia’s capitalism, failing democracy, and radical political movements. In 2009-2010, she participated in a CBC six-hour documentary series on World War II, which was broadcasted in Canada and France in May of 2010. Most recently, she has been a co-organizer with Tani Barlow (Rice University) of the 2012-2015 Duke-Rice International Workshop Series “Communist Legacies and Post-Communist Realities in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries” which brings together an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars and public intellectuals.

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February 3, 2013
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SSRC 1998 Dissertation Fellow Adrienne Edgar

Adrienne Edgar is an associate professor of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara. After receiving her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1999, she spent one year on a post-doctoral fellowship at the Davis Center for Russian Studies at Harvard University before taking up her current position. Edgar is the author of Tribal Nation: The Making of Soviet Turkmenistan (Princeton University Press, 2004), and a number of articles on ethnicity, nationality, and gender in Soviet Central Asia. Her awards have included fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, IREX, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany) and an article prize from the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians.

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February 3, 2013
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SSRC 2010 Dissertation Fellow Jordan Gans-Morse

Dr. Gans-Morse joined the Northwestern University Department of Political Science in 2011 after completing his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley. He teaches courses in Comparative Politics, Political Economy, and Post-Soviet Politics.

His current research examines the political foundations of property rights in post-communist countries. He has additionally published articles on the interaction between economic reforms and democracy, the history of neo-liberal economic reforms, and theories of political transitions. Recent publications have appeared in Comparative Political Studies, Post-Soviet Affairs, and Studies in International Comparative Development. His primary regional expertise is the former Soviet Union. Prior to his doctoral studies, he was a Junior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC, a recipient of two US State Department fellowships to Moscow, and a Resident Director for the American Councils for International Education’s student exchange program in St. Petersburg, Russia.

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February 3, 2013
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SSRC 2010 Dissertation Fellow Michael Dennis

Michael Dennis received his Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin in 2011. His dissertation explores the relationship between displaced communities and the support for political violence and insurgent activity. Dennis spent nearly three years conducting fieldwork in Chechen refugee communities in The Republic of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Poland, and Belgium. His work has been funded by the Social Science Research Council, Fulbright, Fulbright-Hays, FLAS, and IREX. Prior to entering university, Dennis was a member of the United State Marine Corps and served on expeditionary campaigns in Somalia and Rwanda. In his spare time he plays rugby for the Austin All-Blacks.

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February 5, 2013
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SSRC Fellow Scott Gehlbach

A recipient of a SSRC Eurasia Program Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship, Gehlbach works on issues of economic development and political stability in the countries of the former Soviet Bloc, adding unique insights into the complex relationships between economic and political stability. In addition to his research, he is actively involved in collaborative projects with Russian research organizations, such as CIFER (of the New Economic School), which contribute to the strength of non-state institutions in the Russian Federation. As a professor at a leading University, he is actively engaged in the development and mentoring of future Eurasia area scholars.

Gehlbach is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is also a research associate of CEFIR in Moscow, where he spent the 2007–2008 academic year as a Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellow. He is the author of Representation through Taxation: Revenue, Politics, and Development in Postcommunist States (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics). Based on his dissertation on the political economy of taxation in postcommunist states, which won the Mancur Olson Award for the best dissertation in the field of political economy, this monograph was awarded an honorable mention for the AAASS Davis Center Book Prize in Political and Social Studies. Gelbach has also authored numerous articles in various journals, including the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, and the Journal of Politics. Professor Gehlbach received his Ph.D. in political science and economics from the University of California – Berkeley. By uncovering approaches and reactions to taxation schemes, Gehlbach’s work informs the ways in which post-communist states relate to their citizens, raise revenue, and seek to establish political and economic stability.

Social scientists teach that politicians favor groups that are organized over those that are not. Representation through Taxation challenges this conventional wisdom. Emphasizing that there are limits to what organized interests can credibly promise in return for favorable treatment, he show that politicians may instead give preference to groups – organized or not – that by their nature happen to take actions that are politically valuable. Gehlbach develop this argument in the context of the post communist experience, focusing on the incentive of politicians to promote sectors that are naturally more tax compliant, regardless of their organization. In the former Soviet Union, tax systems were structured around familiar revenue sources, magnifying this incentive and helping to prejudice policy against new private enterprise. In Eastern Europe, in contrast, tax systems were created to cast the revenue net more widely, encouraging politicians to provide the collective goods necessary for new firms to flourish.

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February 3, 2013
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SSRC 1994 Dissertation & 1998 Post-Doctoral Fellow Timothy Frye

Timothy Frye is the Marshall D. Shulman Professor of Post-Soviet Foreign Policy at Columbia University, the Director of The Harriman Institute, and Academic Supervisor of the Center for the Study of Institutions and Development at State Research University-Higher Economics School, Moscow. He received a B.A. in Russian language and literature from Middlebury College in 1986, an M.A. from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in 1992, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University in 1997. He is the author of Brokers and Bureaucrats: Building Markets in Russia, (Michigan Press 2000), which won the 2001 Hewett Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, and Building States and Markets after Communism: The Perils of Polarized Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2010) which won the 2011 Hewett Prize from the Association for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies. Among other projects, he is working on a book manuscript, Property Rights and Property Wrongs: Institutions and Economic Development in Russia. He has worked as a consultant for the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

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