Maria Popova, Chair

Maria Popova (PhD, Harvard) is an Associate Professor of Political Science at McGill University and the Jean Monnet Chair . She was awarded the Jean Monnet Chair “Europe and the Rule of Law” (EUROL) in 2017.

Her research focuses on judicial reforms, the politicization of law, political corruption, and the link between rule of law and peaceful protest. Prof. Popova is the author of Politicized Justice in Emerging Democracies (Cambridge University Press 2012). She is currently completing an SSHRC and FRQSC-funded project on the prosecution of high-level political corruption in seven Eastern European states. She writes about the role of the EU in promoting judicial reform and clean government in Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Romania. Her research has won prizes by the American Political Science Association and the American Association for Ukrainian Studies and has appeared in Comparative Political Studies, Daedalus, Europe-Asia Studies, Problems of Post-Communism, Demokratizatsiya, and other journals and edited volumes. She is also an occasional contributor to the Monkey Cage Blog at the Washington Post and has written for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, VoxUkraine, the Globe and Mail and Kyiv Post.

For more information on her work, please go to RESEARCH.



  • European Politics: rule of law, populism, corruption, anti-establishment parties, EU accession, protest.
  • Comparative Judicial Politics: judicial independence, global expansion of judicial power, post-communist judicial reforms, prosecution of political corruption.
  • Post-Soviet politics: freedom of speech and elections, authoritarian consolidation, weaponization of law.