Dissertation Title: Protest in the Provinces: Patterns of Contentious Politics in Post-Communist Russia
Committee: Rudra Sil (Chair), Tulia Falleti, Teresa Wright (CSULB)
Fields: Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Post-Communist Area Studies
Allison Evans' research examines processes of protest and contentious politics, sub-national variation, and democratic governance. Her dissertation focuses on protest (or the lack thereof) in four provincial cities across Russia in the early post-communist years (1992-2000). For all four cities, she conducted interviews with local politicians, journalists, and civil society leaders; collected primary and secondary sources from local scholars and archives. She also spent four months in Moscow, conducting archival research at the State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF) and the Central Archive of Social Movements of Moscow (TsAODM). Her dissertation research promises to provide important theoretical and empirical contributions for an improved understanding of protest in transitional settings and local political and economic development in Russia’s provinces. Her contribution to the understanding of the interrelation between economic structure and performance, political opportunity structure, and protest represent a theoretical advance over prior work, and offers a more concrete explanation of the seemingly “scattered” protests (when viewed using aggregate data) by considering local contexts and histories, which are poorly understood in comparative politics. Her future research will explore pockets of democracy in post-communist countries that have not fully democratized, with the hope of developing a theory of local democracy in post-communist hybrid regimes. Such a project would explore the diversity of experiences of citizens and municipalities within hybrid regimes, which are frequently missed by policy makers and scholars who focus on issues at the national, aggregate level.