Civic protests in Russia
This past summer I was in Yekaterinburg for five weeks doing an intensive Russian language course thanks to the generous support of the REES language tuition grant. One of the biggest cities in Russia, Yekaterinburg has a rich history, being both the place where the Tsar Nicholas II and his family were assassinated, and Yeltsin's hometown. The picture I have included is of me outside the Yeltsin Museum, which I thoroughly recommend, even though city residents consider it quite controversial in its portrayal of twentieth century Russian and Soviet history.
Since my research focuses on civic protests in Russia, it was very interesting to be in a city where there have recently been protests around the use of public space, when it was announced that space in a city park would be used to build a church. The project has since been halted. My research requires me to rely extensively on Russian-language sources, mostly on news reports and documents from Russia's national legislature. I am exploring questions of accountability, stability, and policy-making in hybrid regimes (specifically Russia), looking at the conditions under which local, civic issues are raised at the level of the national legislature. I look forward to put my improved Russian skills to good use in my dissertation.