Professor Tomila Lankina

Professor Tomila Lankina

Professor of International Relations

Department of International Relations

+44 (0)20 7107 5239
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English, German, Russian
Key Expertise
Democratization, Popular Protest, Russia, Eurasia, Eastern Europe

About me

Tomila Lankina presently helps coordinate the informal LSE Taskforce that she set up together with other LSE colleagues to support students and scholars following Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine.

She has worked on democracy and authoritarianism, mass protests and historical drivers of human capital and political regime change in Russia and other countries; she has also analysed the propaganda and disinformation campaigns in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in Ukraine. Her latest research is on social structure and inequality. A short video on her latest book, which challenges the narratives of the Bolshevik Revolution as a great social watershed, can be found here.

Her publications have appeared in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, World Politics, The Journal of Politics, Comparative Politics, Demokratizatsiya, Europe-Asia Studies, Post-Soviet Affairs, Problems of Post-Communism among others. She is also author of Governing the Locals: Local Self-Government and Ethnic Mobilization in Russia (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2006); and Local Governance in Central and Eastern Europe, with Anneke Hudalla and Hellmut Wollmann (Palgrave and University of Oxford St. Antony's Series, 2008). She received her DPhil from the University of Oxford (St Antony’s and Balliol Colleges), an MA in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in America and a BA in linguistics (Urdu and Hindi) from the Tashkent Institute of Oriental Studies in Uzbekistan. She has held research appointments at the Humboldt University in Berlin, Stanford University, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC., and De Montfort University in Leicester. She has been a co-investigator and lead investigator on ESRC and British Academy funded research projects.

Her latest book The Estate Origins of Democracy in Russia: From Imperial Bourgeoisie to Post-Communist Middle Class (Cambridge University Press 2022) is on the long-term patterns of reproduction of social structure in Russia from the Tzarist times to the present and on why these legacies matter for democracy, development and social inequalities.

Professor Lankina is not taking on new PhD students for entry in 2023/24.


Expertise Details

Democratization; sub-national governance; authoritarian reproduction and resilience; Russia; Central Europe; Eurasia; India; legacies of colonialism.