Personal Statement


I am a first-year PhD student in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley.

My interests are centered around the interplay between different forms of organized violence and the process of state building, development, and identity formation.

In my recent work, I utilized historical data on the spread of the Bolshevik insurgency in 1917  and quasi-experimental methods to study how local economic grievances and exposure to information coming from the central government affect the fight for territorial control in post-revolutionary contexts.  My interests also include interactions between the central state and local actors and how they influence the well-being of communities, and efficiency in implementing reforms.

Methodologically, I am interested in Causal Inference and text-as-data. To build a theory of my own, I aspire to use formal theory.

I received a B.A. in Politics (with Honors) from the National Research University Higher School of Economics (2022), where I worked as a research assistant at the International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development, as well as for faculty in the Department of Economics and Politics. I was a junior data analyst at the Center for Advanced Governance (


Area Specialization
Primary Subfield
Political Economy
Secondary Subfield
Comparative Politics
Methodology & Formal Theory

Slav, M., Smyslovskikh, E., Novikov, V., Kolesnikov, I., & Korotayev, A. (2021). Deprivation, instability, and propensity to attack: how urbanization influences terrorism. International Interactions, 47(6), 1100-1130.