Ukraine's deoligarchization process and the fight for the rule of law
On July 1, I took part in an event co-organized by Chatham House and the Bertelsmann Foundation on Ukraine's crony capitalism. Instead of my usual role as a commentator on Ukrainian judicial reform, I brought in a comparative perspective from Romania and Bulgaria's anticorruption campaigns. I cited ...
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Chair's article wins a prize
Our 2020 article with Daniel Beers, “No Revolution of Dignity for Ukraine’s Judges” received the American Association of Ukrainian Studies Article Prize, awarded for the best article-length work in the field of Ukrainian history, politics, language, literature and culture published in English...
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The 2021 Bulgarian election: A ‘QAnon turn’ for Eastern European politics?
I wrote a blogpost, with Prof Nikolay Marinov from University of Houston, for LSE’s EUROPP Blog on the April 2021 Bulgarian parliamentary elections. This was the most unexpected and interesting election in 20 years—read our analysis here....
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Navalny's defamation prosecution
The Kremlin is transparent in its use of the courts as a PR tool. Alexei Navalny's latest indictment on charges of criminal libel accuses him of insulting a 96 year-old veteran of the Great Patriotic War. The message that this case seeks to communicate to the Russian public is that Navalny doesn't r...
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Short article on Ukrainian judicial reform
Maria Popova and Mykhailo Zhernakov from Ukraine's DEJURE Foundation published an assessment on judicial reforms under Poroshenko for the German policy outlet, Ukraine-Analysen. Thanks to Fabian Burkhardt for the invitation to share our analysis with a German audience! https://www.laender-analysen.d...
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Eastern European governments tackling COVID
It’s been six months since the avalanche of Covid-spurred school closings, shelter-at-home, and lockdown orders. In March, no one would have predicted that Eastern European governments would be doing as well as they have at tackling the virus. But they have: A) All Eastern Europeans flattened the ...
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The criminal case against university student Yegor Zhukov
I recently gave an interview to the independent radio station Ekho Moskvy, on the recently concluded criminal case against university student, Yegor Zhukov. 21-year-old Zhukov attracted significant international attention with the closing statement he delivered at his trial on charges that he incite...
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My grandfather and the Communists
Today is the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. We think of 1989 as one of the most abrupt divides in history. We see the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe as unanticipated, lightening-swift and comprehensive. The images of Germans pushing down the Wall and spilling through the h...
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Prof Popova takes part in Ditchley Foundation event on the Future of the EU
The three-day conference brought together policy-makers and policy analysts from the EU and the UK to discuss the challenges of Brexit to European integration and to UK domestic politics and standing on the international scene. As the lone academic, as a Canadian and an Eastern European, I found mys...
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German Ambassador to Canada, Hon. Sabine Sparwasser delivers a lecture in POLI 331: Politics of East Central Europe
Students in Prof Popova's class have been learning about the rise of populism and rule of law backsliding processes in the region, which undermine the process of Europeanization. What a treat it was for them to hear from none other than the Ambassador of a major EU member state, Germany, about how h...
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About me

Maria Popova (PhD, Harvard 2006) conducts research on the rule of law, judicial reform, political corruption, populist parties and legal repression of dissent across the post-Communist region. She teaches classes on European politics and research methods.

Contact me

Jean Monnet Chair EUROL
McGill University
855 Sherbrooke St. W.
Montréal, Quebec
H3A 2T7
maria.popova [at]
Copyright © 2021 Elizabeth Chrun. All Rights Reserved.