My dissertation examines citizen approaches toward state-run consultative platforms in a non-democratic context (the Russian Federation), understanding the calculus of why and when citizens appeal/reach out to the Russian state and how this engagement impacts individuals' political attitudes. I additionally work on projects related to authoritarian states as international and regional actors and their impact upon democratic development.
Melissa Samarin is a graduate student in Comparative Politics and International Relations at the University of California, Berkeley. My research interests include the politics of Russia and post-Soviet region, the politics of authoritarian regimes, and institutionalized citizen-state interactions within non-democracies. I also work on projects related to democracy promotion, comparative regionalism, and impact of emerging non-democratic donor countries.
Prior to coming to Berkeley, Melissa received her B.A. in International Relations and History from Whittier College and M.Sc. in Russian and East European Studies at the University of Oxford.