Lankina, Tomila

Professor Tomila Lankina  


Position held

Professor of International Relations


Experience keywords:

Russia and Eurasia domestic politics and foreign policy; democratization; regionalism, federalism, sub-national governance in Russia, India, and China; the legacies of colonialism and empire; transnational influences on sub-national democracy and development

Research summary > [Click to expand]

Current research focuses on the dynamics of popular protest in Russia and Ukraine; and on historical influences on sub-national democracy and authoritarianism in Russia and other states. In particular, Dr Lankina explores the imperial and colonial human capital legacies and their developmental and democracy effects in these settings by analysing sub-national data that she has gathered. She has also conducted research into external influences, such as those of the Council of Europe and EU, on sub-national democracy in post-communist settings. Recent publications include articles in the American Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, British Journal of Political Science, World Politics, Post-Soviet Affairs, Europe-Asia Studies, and other journals. She has also published two books: Governing the Locals: Local Self-Government and Ethnic Mobilization in Russia (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2006); and Local Governance in Central and Eastern Europe, co-authored with Anneke Hudalla and Hellmut Wollmann (Palgrave and University of Oxford St. Antony's Series, 2008).

In 2015, the British Academy awarded Tomila Lankina a one-year Mid-Career Fellowship to analyse popular mobilization in the context of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. For this project, she is gathering data on protest and studying the media’s role in manipulating street discontent, and in furthering the political elite’s domestic and foreign policy objectives.

Sectors and industries to which research relates:

Public Administration

Countries and regions to which research relates:

China; Eurasia; India; Russia


French [Spoken: Intermediate, Written: Basic]; German [Spoken: Fluent, Written: Intermediate]; Russian [Spoken: Fluent, Written: Fluent]; Urdu [Spoken: Intermediate, Written: Intermediate]

Contact Points

LSE phone number:

020 7107 5239



Lankina, Tomila V. and Libman, Alexander (2019) Soviet legacies of economic development, oligarchic rule and electoral quality in Eastern Europe’s partial democracies: the case of Ukraine Comparative Politics. ISSN 0010-4159 (In Press)


Lankina, Tomila V. (2018) Boris Nemtsov and the reproduction of regional intelligentsia In: Makarychev, Andrey and Yatsyk, Alexandra, (eds.) Boris Nemtsov and Russian Politics: Power and Resistance. Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society, 181. Ibidem, Stuttgart, Germany, 61-86. ISBN 9783838211220

Tertytchnaya, Katerina and Lankina, Tomila V. (2018) Electoral protests and political attitudes under electoral authoritarianism Journal of Politics. ISSN 0022-3816 (In Press)


Lankina, Tomila (2017) Russians are protesting! Part 8: young Russians are joining in, against expectations The Washington Post: The Monkey Cage (31 Mar 2017) Blog entry

Lankina, Tomila V. (2017) It's not all negative: Russian media's flexible coverage of protest as regime survival strategy In: Russia's New Domestic Scene: Economy, Nationalism, Power, Opposition. PONARS Eurasia Policy Perspectives. PONARS Eurasia, The George Washington University, Washington, USA, 21-27.

Lankina, Tomila V. (2017) Managing regional elections in Russia Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS), 23 (20 Sep 2017) Blog entry

Baev, Pavel and Omelicheva, Mariya and Robertson, Graeme and Lankina, Tomila V. and Makarychev, Andrey (2017) New wave of protests in Russia (the old and the new) PONARS Eurasia (19 Jun 2017) Blog entry

Lankina, Tomila V. and Watanabe, Kohei (2017) ‘Russian Spring’ or ‘Spring betrayal’? The media as a mirror of Putin’s evolving strategy in Ukraine Europe-Asia Studies, 69 (10). 1526-1556. ISSN 0966-8136

Lankina, Tomila V. and Skovoroda, Rodion (2017) Regional protest and electoral fraud: evidence from analysis of new data on Russian protest East European Politics, 33 (2). 253-274. ISSN 2159-9165

Lankina, Tomila and Gordon, Claire and Slava, Svitlana (2017) Regional development in Ukraine: priority actions in terms of decentralization 10.2863/872975. Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg. ISBN 9789289509107


Lankina, Tomila V. (2016) It’s not all negative: Russian media’s flexible coverage of protest as a regime survival strategy PONARS Eurasia, Washington, DC, USA.

Lankina, Tomila and Libman, Alexander and Obydenkova, Anastassia (2016) Authoritarian and democratic diffusion in post-communist regions Comparative Political Studies, 49 (12). 1599-1629. ISSN 0010-4140

Lankina, Tomila (2016) Boris Nemtsov and the reproduction of the regional intelligentsia Demokratizatsiya: the Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization, 24 (1). 45-68. ISSN 1074-6846

Lankina, Tomila V. and Libman, Alexander and Obydenkova, Anastassia (2016) Appropriation and subversion: pre-communist literacy, communist party saturation, and post-communist democratic outcomes World Politics, 68 (2). 229-274. ISSN 0043-8871

Skovoroda, Rodion and Lankina, Tomila V. (2016) Fabricating votes for Putin: new tests of fraud and electoral manipulations from Russia Post-Soviet Affairs. 1-24. ISSN 1060-586X


Lankina, Tomila V. and Voznaya, Alisa (2015) New data on protest trends in Russia's regions Europe-Asia Studies, 67 (2). 327-342. ISSN 0966-8136

Gordon, Claire E and Lankina, Tomila V. (2015) The place of local and regional self-government in eastern partnership policy-making and delivery EU Committee of the Regions, European Union, Europa. ISBN 9789289508278

Lankina, Tomila V. and Niemczyk, Kinga (2015) Russia's foreign policy and soft power In: Cadier, David and Light, Margot, (eds.) Russia's Foreign Policy:Ideas, Domestic Politics and External Relations. Palgrave Studies in International Relations. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK. ISBN 9781137468871

Lankina, Tomila V. (2015) Russian citizens owe it to Boris Nemtsov to keep the hope of democracy in Russia alive LSE European Politics and Policy (EUROPP) Blog (2 Mar 2015) Blog entry

Lankina, Tomila V. (2015) The dynamics of regional and national contentious politics in Russia: evidence from a new dataset Problems of Post-Communism, 62 (1). 26-44. ISSN 1075-8216


Lankina, Tomila V. (2014) Daring to protest: when, why, and how Russia's citizens engage in street protest PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo, George Washington University, Washington, DC.

Lankina, Tomila V. (2014) “Trends in Within-Legacy and Cross-Legacy Analysis of Democracy and Development.” In Colonialism and Democratization, eds. Matthew D. Fails and Jonathan Krieckhaus American Political Science Association Comparative Democratization Newsletter, 12 (1). 7-11.

Lankina, Tomila V. and Niemczyk, Kinga (2014) What Putin gets about soft power The Monkey Cage (15 Apr 2014) Website

Lankina, Tomila (2014) Leicester city report In: Widmer, Céline and Kübler, Daniel, (eds.) Regenerating urban neighbourhoods in Europe: eight case Studies in six European countries. Aarau: Working Paper Series of the Aarau Centre for Democracy Studies at the University of Zurich. Centre for Democracy Studies Aarau, Aarau, Switzerland, 27-44. ISBN 9783952422823

Lankina, Tomila V. (2014) Why Crimea might be worse off under Russian rule The Monkey Cage (9 Mar 2014) Website

Lankina, Tomila V. and Lankin, Vladimir (2014) The Russia-India relationship: a shadow of past ties? South Asia @ LSE (18 Aug 2014) blog

Brown, Chris and Sasse, Gwendolyn and Economides, Spyros and Lankina, Tomila V. and Hughes, Jim and Knott, Ellie (2014) Crimea referendum – our experts react LSE European Politics and Policy (EUROPP) Blog (17 Mar 2014) Blog entry


Lankina, Tomila V. (2013) Globalisation: Many Indias, many Russias South Asia @ LSE (5 Aug 2013) Blog entry

Lankina, Tomila and Getachew, Lullit (2013) Replication data for: Mission or Empire, Word or Sword? The Human Capital Legacy in Post-Colonial Democratic Development

Lankina, Tomila V. and Getachew, Lullit (2013) Competitive religious entrepreneurs: Christian missionaries and female education in colonial and post-colonial India British Journal of Political Science, 43 (1). 103-131. ISSN 0007-1234

Lankina, Tomila V. and Getachew, Lullit (2012) Mission or empire?: The impact of Christian missionaries on India’s democratic development South Asia @ LSE (7 Sep 2012) Blog entry

Lankina, Tomila V. (2012) Unbroken links?: from imperial human capital to post-communist modernisation Europe-Asia Studies, 64 (4). 623-643. ISSN 0966-8136

Lankina, Tomila V. (2012) Religious influences on human capital variations in imperial Russia Journal of Eurasian Studies, 3 (1). 10-19. ISSN 1879-3665

Lankina, Tomila V. and Getachew, Lullit (2012) Mission or empire, word or sword?: the human capital legacy in postcolonial democratic development American Journal of Political Science, 56 (2). 465-483. ISSN 0092-5853


Lankina, Tomila V. (2011) Local government In: Gill, Graeme and Young, James, (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Russian Politics and Society. Routledge, London, UK, 164-174. ISBN 9780415576277


Lankina, Tomila V. (2010) Explaining European Union aid to Russia In: Newton, Julie and Tompson, William, (eds.) Institutions, Ideas and Leadership in Russian Politics. St Antony's series. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK, 218-241. ISBN 9780230551473

Lankina, Tomila V. (2010) Regional democracy variations and the forgotten legacies of western engagement In: Gel'man, Vladimir and Ross, Cameron, (eds.) The Politics of Subnational Authoritarianism in Russia. Post-Soviet politics. Ashgate, Farnham, UK, 39-66. ISBN 9780754678885


Lankina, Tomila V. (2009) Book review: Russia and globalization: identity, security, and society in an era of change Democratization, 16 (3). 633-634. ISSN 1351-0347

Lankina, Tomila V. and Savrasov, Alexey (2009) Growing social protest in Russia Russian Analytical Digest, 60. 6-12. ISSN 1863-0421

Lankina, Tomila V. (2009) Regional developments in Russia: territorial fragmentation in a consolidating authoritarian state Social Research, 76 (1). 225-256. ISSN 0037-783X

Lankina, Tomila V. and Phillips, Michael (2009) The house of lords: the working of the electoral process in the 1999 act of parliament Political Quarterly, 80 (1). 42-48. ISSN 0032-3179


Lankina, Tomila V. (2008) Special issue: conservation and society Conservation and Society, 6 (1). 1-104. ISSN 0972-4923

Lankina, Tomila (2008) Cross-cutting literature review on the drivers of local council accountability and performance Social deveolpment working papers, local governance & accountability series, The World Bank, Washington, DC, USA.

Pratchett, Lawrence and Lankina, Tomila V. and Wingfield, Melvin and Leduka, Clement and Mapetla, Matseliso and Kebede, Teferi and Letsiel, Moiporie (2008) Local democracy in Lesotho: current strengths and challenges De Montfort University, Leicester, UK and Maseru.

Lankina, Tomila V. (2008) 'Fragmented belonging' on Russia's forested western frontier Conservation and Society, 6 (1). 24-34. ISSN 0972-4923

Gel'man, Vladimir and Lankina, Tomila V. (2008) Authoritarian versus democratic diffusions: explaining institutional choices in Russia's local government Post-Soviet Affairs, 24 (1). 40-62. ISSN 1060-586X

Lankina, Tomila V. and Getachew, Lullit (2008) The virtuous circles of western exposure in Russian regions: a case for micro-polity analysis of democratic change Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, 24 (3). 338-364. ISSN 1352-3279

Lankina, Tomila V. and Hudalla, Anneke and Wollmann, Hellmut (2008) Local governance in central and eastern Europe: comparing performance in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Russia St Antony's series. Palgrave, Basingstoke, UK. ISBN 9780230500365

Ribot, Jesse C. and Chhatre, Ashwini and Lankina, Tomila (2008) Introduction: institutional choice and recognition in the formation and consolidation of local democracy Conservation and Society, 6 (1). 1-11. ISSN 0972-4923


Lankina, Tomila V. (2007) Book review: Margaret Paxon, Solovyovo: the story of memory in a Russian village Europe-Asia Studies, 59 (7). 1231-1232. ISSN 1465-3427

Lankina, Tomila (2007) ‘Fragmented belonging’ on Russia’s western frontier and local government development in Karelia Representation, equity and environment working paper series, World Resources Institute.

Gelman, Vladimir and Lankina, T. V. (2007) Politicheskiye diffusii v usloviyakh prostranstvenno-gibridnogo rejhima: institutsional noe stroitel stvo i vybory merov v gorodakh Rossii Polis, 6. 86-109. ISSN 0142-257X


Lankina, Tomila V. and Getachew, Lullit (2006) A geographic incremental theory of democratization: territory, aid, and democracy in postcommunist regions World Politics, 58 (4). 536-582. ISSN 0043-8871

Lankina, Tomila V. (2005) New system weakens municipalities Russian Regional Report, 10 (17). 1-4.

Lankina, Tomila V. (2005) Bashkortostan seeks renewed power-sharing treaty Russian Regional Report, 10 (16). 1-4.

Lankina, Tomila V. (2005) President Putin's local government reforms In: Reddaway, Peter and Orttung, Robert W., (eds.) The Dynamics of Russian Politics: Putin's Reform of Federal-Regional Relations. Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, MD, USA. ISBN 9780742526464

Lankina, Tomila V. (2005) Explaining European Union aid to Russia Post-Soviet Affairs, 21 (4). 309-334. ISSN 1060-586X


Lankina, Tomila V. (2004) Governing the locals: local self-government and ethnic mobilization in Russia Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, MD, USA. ISBN 9780742530218


Lankina, Tomila V. (2003) Managing the grassroots: Putin's reform of local government Russia and Eurasia Review, 2 (9).

Wollmann, Hellmut and Lankina, Tomila V. (2003) Local government in Poland and Hungary: from post-communist reform towards EU accession In: Baldersheim, Harald and Illner, Michael and Wollmann, Hellmut, (eds.) Local Democracy in Post-Communist Europe. Leske & Budrich, Opladen, Germany, 91-122. ISBN 9783810031921


Lankina, Tomila V. (2002) Local administration and ethno-social consensus in Russia Europe-Asia Studies, 54 (7). 1037-1053. ISSN 1465-3427

Lankina, Tomila (2002) Local self-government and titular regime control in Russia’s republics, 1991-1999 Carl Beck papers in Russian and East European studies, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, USA.


Lankina, Tomila V. (2001) Local government and ethnic and social activism in Russia In: Brown, Archie, (ed.) Contemporary Russian Politics: a Reader. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 398-414. ISBN 9780198299998

Lankina, Tomila V. (2001) Local self-government and titular control in Russia’s republics, 1991-1999 Ab Imperio, 3. ISSN 2166-4072


Lankina, Tomila V. (1999) Local self-government or government gone local?: the case of Adygeya Russian Regional Report, 4 (33). 14-16.

Lankina, Tomila V. (1999) Local self-government or local political control in Russia?: the case of Bashkortostan Russian Regional Report, 4 (28). 13-16.


Lankina, Tomila V. (1998) Showcase of manipulated democracy Transitions Online, 5. 62-64. ISSN 1214-1615


Lankina, Tomila V. (1997) Local government migration practices in the North Caucasus Forced Migration Monitor, 20 (4-5). ISSN 1092-3675


Lankina, Tomila V. (1996) The Cossacks: a guarantor of peace or a land‐mine in Russia's federalism? Nationalities Papers, 24 (4). 721-726. ISSN 1465-3923

Expert Image

Personal website


Best Article Award and Prize, Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics; Scatcherd European Scholarship, Oxford; Jowett Senior Scholarship, Balliol College, Oxford; Dulverton Scholarship, Oxford; Overseas Research Scheme Award, Oxford

Short bio >

Prior to her LSE appointment, Tomila Lankina was Reader in Politics at the Local Governance Research Unit at the Department of Public Policy, De Montfort University in Leicester; Research Associate at the World Resources Institute in Washington, DC; and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for the Social Sciences, Humboldt University in Berlin. She also held the prestigious Woodrow Wilson Fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC; and Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. She has served as consultant to the UK government, Soros Foundations, the World Bank, the European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the German Corporation for International Development. She received her MA in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Massachusetts in 1995, and a D.Phil. in politics from the University of Oxford (Balliol and St. Antony’s colleges) in 2001.

LSE Research Online|

Collection of LSE research outputs

LSE Consulting|

Service providing unique access
to LSE's expertise

Create or update your
online profile

[access restricted to staff]

Research highlights|

Short articles about LSE research