Areas of Expertise: Elections, Institutions, Democratization, Eastern Europe
Degrees: BA, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, History, 1980
MS, Florida State University, Political Science, 1997
PhD, Florida State University,Political Science, 2000
My research and teaching interests include political institutions with a special emphasis on electoral systems and reform, East European democratic transition, and comparative environmental policies. I have been the recipient of several grants, among which are the American Political Science Small Research Grant (2002) for field research on the Balkans and a Fellowship Program award from the German Marshall Fund of the United States (2003-2004) for assessment of the success of European environmental agreements. My book, Bulgaria 1879-1946: The Challenge of Choice (Columbia University Press), explores Bulgarian parliamentary elections, party strategies, and voter behavior. Other publications include book chapters on political representation, and journal articles in American Journal of Political Science, Electoral Studies, Journal of Peace Research, European Journal of Political Research, Political Research Quarterly, Party Politics, and Europe-Asia Studies. I have conducted field research in Bulgaria, Serbia, and Macedonia. My professional associations include the American Political Science Association, the Midwest Political Science Association, and the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies.
My primary teaching area is comparative politics. The courses I have developed for undergraduates are: the lower level “Introduction to Comparative Politics” and the upper level “Russian Politics,” “Politics of Eastern Europe,” “Comparative Electoral Behavior,” and “Presidents and Assemblies of the World.” These courses are closely related to my geographic area of specialization and to my research. Having lived many of the changes in Eastern Europe, I use examples from my personal experiences and bring my unique perspective to the students. In addition, I have also designed and taught “Introduction to Political Economy” and “Research Methods in Political Science.” At the graduate level, I teach four courses. The “Seminar in Comparative Politics” is a core requirement that introduces students to the development and the achievements of the subfield. “Comparative Institutional Choice” deals with the importance of political institutions, and “Democratic Transitions” explores the complex and often contradictory character of the transformation from authoritarianism to democracy. “Teaching Political Science” is a course created for first-year graduate students and introduces them to the challenges of instruction in political science.
My most recent article on the effects of corruption on voters, “Abstain or Rebel: Corruption Perceptions and Voting in East European Elections,” just came out in the August issue of Politics & Policy.