|Welcome! I'm an associate professor of political science
at the University of Toronto. My work examines how international forces
like war and globalization shape democracy and domestic reforms. I was born in Russia and received my Ph.D.
from Columbia University.
of my work has appeared in International Organization, International
Theory, and Perspectives on Politics. I've also written for the Washington Post's Monkey Cage, The American Interest, Toronto Globe & Mail, and others. See CV or Quick Links to the right.
Current & Ongoing Research
Descriptions and downloads of working papers. See RESEARCH section for publications, abstracts, paper downloads, & more info.
Democratic Waves in Historical Perspective. There have been a number of distinct bursts of democratization since the late 18th century (thirteen, by my count). How do we compare them to each other, and what lessons can they offer about the evolution of democracy? Paper under review.
Competing Visions of Parsimony in IR Theory. The topic seems abstract but the issue is fundamental: why do we expect good theories to be simple? I examine some bad anwers to that question, and some good ones, and argue that the concept of parsimony contains three distinct and often conflated meanings. Paper under review.
American IR and Russian Foreign Policy. With Andrei Tsygankov. We examine some common (and in our view, flawed) assumptions about Russian foreign policy. We argue that it's a mistake to reduce Russia's motivations to Putin's pathologies or to the country's domesic autocracy. Russian foreign policy is driven largely by pragmatism and geopolitical paranoia. Paper under review.
Great Powers and Norm Cascades in Global Politics. How does the rise and fall of great powers shape the evolution of global norms? I argue that international norms involving sovereignty and democracy promotion are often shaped not by bottom-up activism or moral beliefs, but by direct and indirect effects of hegemonic shifts. Working paper. [Rough Draft]
Fascism. "These are the three reasons fascism spread in 1930s America — and might spread again today." (Washington Post, Monkey
Cage Aug 2017; previous pieces for them here.) Twitter thread.
December 1, 2017. Review of my book in Ny Tid (Modern Times Review) [in Norwegian].
November 28, 2017. I have a piece in a new ISQ symposium: "Comparing International Systems in World History."
October 23, 2017. I will be on a panel at NYU on Trump-Russia, with Tim Frye, Julia Ioffe, Joshua Tucker, and Andrei Soldatov.
September 28, 2017. TV interview, The Agenda with Steve Paikin.
CLIP 1 | CLIP 2 | ENTIRE
September 20, 2017. Radio interview with Steele & Ungar, Sirius XM.
CLIP 1 | CLIP 2 | ENTIRE
August 25, 2017. A profile of my recent work on the Trump-Russia money links, in Haaretz. [in Hebrew]
August 24, 2017. "The Lost Leviathan." My review of Perry Anderson's new book on hegemony, in The American Interest. [PDF]
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