Maria Snegovaya is a Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University and a Research Associate at the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland. She is a comparative politics, international relations and statistical methods specialist.
The key focus of Ms. Snegovaya's research is the democratic backsliding and the spread of populist and radical right actors across Europe. Her dissertation explains the success of these parties in the region as a function of the economic policy choices made by the left parties of the post-Communist era. Based on extensive field research in the Czech Republic and Hungary, she argues that when post-Communist left parties shifted toward economically centrist policies in the wake of the market transition, they created a political opening for populist and radical right parties that successfully used redistributionist appeals to attract former left party supporters. Her results go in line with the existing scholarship on other regions, such as Latin America and Western Europe, which suggests that reforms adopted by leftist leaders were programmatically dealigning for party systems and contributed to rising electoral instability and emergence of populist political actors in the aftermath of the reform process.
Ms. Snegovaya's research also explores the domestic and international factors behind Russia’s ability to successfully deploy targeted political strategies and disinformation campaigns in Europe and the U.S.
While pursuing her doctorate, Ms. Snegovaya was the recipient of research/scholarly funding from several entities, including the Harriman Institute at Columbia University, the Free Russia Foundation, the Institute for Humane Studies, and the Higher School of Economics.
Ms. Snegovaya has presented research at professional meetings and published the results of her analysis in various publications, including the Washington Post’s political science blog the Monkey Cage, policy papers, book chapters, and in peer-reviewed journals. Her publications have been included as required reading for courses at Science-Po, Syracuse University, and the Harriman Institute at Columbia University.