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PhD Candidate, Politics, University of Oxford

I am a third-year DPhil student in Politics at the University of Oxford, working on authoritarianism and legislative speech.
My research interests include Authoritarianism and Democratic Backsliding, Legislative Behaviour, Nationalism, post-Soviet Politics, Text-as-Data, and Comparative Party Politics. My work studies legislative speech in authoritarian and backsliding regimes and seeks to understand the functions of legislative speech in constrained scenarios. In doing so, I seek to answer, where do democratic and authoritarian parliaments diverge?

My dissertation – provisionally entitled, Deliberation in the Russian State Duma: The Uses and Abuses of Legislative Speech in an Authoritarian Regime – studies when legislators speak, what they speak about, and why they speak in backsliding and authoritarian parliaments. Why do authoritarian and hybrid-regimes allow discussions on the parliamentary floor? Why do individual legislators decide to debate policies which are all but assured? How do these speeches in these parliaments differ from democracies?
I answer these questions by constructing a novel time-series dataset of legislators' contributions to the State Duma from 1994 to 2021, including data on their parties, regions, sectors, voting behaviour, electoral type, and sociodemogrpahics. Focusing on legislators' agency – rather than executive actors – provides a novel look into the day-to-day functioning of authoritarianism. A bottom-up theory fills in crucial gaps in the literature regarding the micro-logics of authoritarian parliaments and the development of legislative behaviour in constrained scenarios.

These questions strike at the heart of a comparative legislatures’ research agenda on the extent to which speech and behaviours matter. By analysing legislative speech over time through different regime types in a within-case study, I illuminate how and why legislative speeches matter in authoritarian regimes, and how they develop between regime types.

I currently produce a podcast series for the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right.


  • –present
    PhD researcher in politics, University of Oxford