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The Results of Russia’s 2021 Parliamentary Elections: How Should we Understand them?

Join us for another virtual meeting of the New York-Russia Public Policy Seminar. This panel is co-hosted by Columbia University’s Harriman Institute and the New York University Jordan Center for...

Join us for another virtual meeting of the New York-Russia Public Policy Seminar. This panel is co-hosted by Columbia University’s Harriman Institute and the New York University Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia.

Please join us for our first annual meeting of the Columbia-NYU Russia Public Policy series to discuss the results and importance of Russia’s Duma elections for parliament that were held on September 19,2021. The ruling United Russia party is widely expected to maintain its majority in Parliament, even though it is was polling at its lowest level of support among Russian voters in over a decade prior to the vote. At the same time, the Russian government has been accused of cracking down on prominent members of the political opposition– including anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny and members of his network– as well as weakening the capacity of domestic watchdogs to monitor the election. A cross-professional panel of leading scholars of Russian domestic politics and journalists will discuss these controversies and likely repercussions of the vote.

This event is supported by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Register for the Zoom webinar or watch the event on the YouTube livestream


Jake Cordell, Business Reporter, The Moscow Times

Felix Light, Reporter, The Moscow Times

Gulnaz Sharafutdinova, Professor of Political Science, Russia Institute, King's College London

Regina Smyth, Professor of Political Science, Indiana University

David Szakonyi, Assistant Professor of Political Science, George Washington University

Moderated by

Alexander Cooley, Director of the Harriman Institute, Columbia University

Joshua Tucker, Director of the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, New York University


Jake Cordell is a reporter covering the Russian economy and business world for The Moscow Times. Originally from the U.K., he previously worked in London as an economics correspondent, and in Prague for an organization supporting independent media and civil society across the former Soviet Union. Twitter: @JakeCordell

Felix Light is a reporter covering politics, culture and society in Russia and the former Soviet Union for The Moscow Times. Outside work, he enjoys history, languages and yoga. Twitter: @felix_light

Gulnaz Sharafutdinova is Professor of Political Science at Russia Institute, King’s College London. She pursues research on issues of post-communist political economy, authoritarianism and social psychology with a specific focus on Russia. She has previously worked at Miami University, Ohio. She is the author of The Red Mirror: Putin’s Leadership and Russia’s Insecure Identity (2020) and Political Consequences of Crony Capitalism Inside Russia (2010). Sharafutdinova is currently working on a new book, The Afterlife of the ‘Soviet Man’: Rethinking Homo Sovieticus.

Regina Smyth is Professor of Political Science at Indiana University. Her primary research interest is in the dynamics of state-society relations in transitional and electoral authoritarian regimes. She has written extensively on political development in the Russian Federation, including her recent book Elections, Protest, and Authoritarian Regime Stability: Russia 2008–2020 (Cambridge University Press, 2020). Her research, largely based on original data collection and analysis, has been funded by the National Science Foundation, International Research and Exchanges Board, US – Russia Foundation, National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, the National Security Education Program, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and the Russian and East European Center, Ostrom Workshop, Department of Political Science, and College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University. At Indiana University she teaches graduate and undergraduate classes on comparative politics, protest movements, and Russian politics.

David Szakonyi is Assistant Professor of Political Science at George Washington University and co-founder of the Anti-Corruption Data Collective. His academic research focuses on corruption, clientelism, and political economy in Russia, Western Europe, and the United States. He has led numerous investigations into political corruption and opacity in the private equity and real estate industries, which have been published in the Washington PostForeign Policy, the Daily Beast, and the Miami Herald, among other outlets. In addition, he is a Research Fellow at the International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow.

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