Vladimir Gel’man

Associate Researcher at YCIE

Candidate of Political Sciences, Professor at the University of Helsinki

Research interests: politics and governance in Russia and Eurasia in theoretical and comparative perspective

Born in 1965 in Leningrad, graduated in 1988 with honors from the Leningrad Polytechnic Institute (mechanical engineer). Candidate of Political Sciences (1998, St.Petersburg State University). Since 1996, he worked at the European University in St.Petersburg. Since 2012 – Professor at the Aleksanteri Institute of the University of Helsinki. He has taught various courses in political science. Scholarly interests are related to the study of politics and governance in Russia and Eurasia. Author and/or editor of more than 20 scholarly books. Author of more than 150 academic
articles published in the journals Democratization, East European Politics, Europe-Asia Studies, International Political Science Review, Problems of Post-Communism, Post-Soviet Affairs, as well as in other journals and edited volumes. He was a visiting professor at the University of Texas at
Austin, Pennsylvania State University, Sciences Po Bordeaux, and the New Economic School (Moscow). Principal investigator and/or head of collective projects supported by the European Commission (INTAS and TEMPUS programs), the Volkswagen Foundation, the Academy of Finland, Kone Foundation, the Russian Science Foundation for Humanities and other organizations. Winner of book awards of the Russian Association of Political Sciences (2002, 2007, 2013). Short- listed for the Enlightener Prize (2022).


  • Gel’man V. The Politics of Bad Governance in Cotemporary Russia Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2022
  • Гельман В. Авторитарная Россия: бегство от свободы, или почему у нас не приживается демократия М.: Говард Рорк, 2021
  • Travin D., Gel’man V., Marganiya O. The Russian Path: Ideas, Interests, Institutions, Illusions Stuttgart: Ibidem Verlag, 2020
  • Гельман В. Недостойное правление: политика в современной России СПб: издательство Европейского университета в Санкт-Петербурге, 2019
  • Травин Д., Гельман В., Заостровцев А. Российский путь: идеи, интересы, институты, иллюзии СПб: издательство Европейского университета в Санкт-Петербурге, 2017
  • Gel’man V. (ed.), Authoritarian Modernization in Russia: Ideas, Institutions, and Policies Abingdon: Routledge, 2016
  • Gel’man V. Authoritarian Russia: Analyzing Post-Soviet Regime Changes Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015
  • Gel’man V., Travin D., Marganiya O. Reexamining Economic and Political Reforms in Russia, 1985-2000: Generations, Ideas, and Changes Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2014
  • Гельман В. Из огня да в полымя: российская политика после СССР СПб: BHV-Петербург, 2013.
  • Gel’man V., Ross C. (eds.) The Politics of Sub-National Authoritarianism in Russia Farham: Ashgate, 2010.
  • Gel’man V., Marganiya O. (eds.), Resource Curse and Post-Soviet Eurasia: Oil, Gas, and Modernization Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010
  • Гельман В., Рыженков С., Белокурова Е., Борисова Н. Реформа местной власти в городах России, 1991-2006 СПб: Норма, 2008.
  • Гельман В. (ред.), Третий электоральный цикл в России, 2003-2004. СПб: издательство Европейского университета в Санкт-Петербурге, 2007
  • Gel’man V., Golosov G., Meleshkina E. (eds.) The 1999-2000 National Elections in Russia: Analyses, Documents, and Data. Berlin: edition Sigma, 2005
  • Evans A., Gel’man V. (eds.) The Politics of Local Government in Russia Lanham, MD: Rowman
    and Littlefield, 2004.
  • Steen A., Gel’man V. (eds.) Elites and Democratic Development in Russia London: Routledge, 2003
  • Gel’man V., Ryzhenkov S., Brie M. Making and Breaking Democratic Transitions: The Comparative Politics of Russia’s Regions Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2003
  • Гельман В., Голосов Г., Мелешкина Е. (ред.) Второй электоральный цикл в России, 1999- 2000. М.: Весь мир, 2002
  • Гельман В., Рыженков С., Бри М. (ред.). Россия регионов: трансформация политических режимов. М.: Весь мир, 2000.
  • Гельман В., Голосов Г., Мелешкина Е. (ред.) Первый электоральный цикл в России, 1993- 1996. М.: Весь мир, 2000
  • Gel’man V., Golosov G. (eds.) Elections in Russia, 1993-1996: Analyses, Documents, and Data. Berlin: edition Sigma, 1999
  • Гельман В. Трансформация в России: политический режим и демократическая оппозиция. М.: МОНФ, 1999.


Selected Journal Articles

  • Gel’man V. Obydenkova A. The Invention of Legacy: Strategic Uses of a “Good Soviet Union” in Elite Policy Preferences and Filmmaking in Russia Communist and Post-Communist Studies, online first Gel’man V. Exogenous Shock and Russian Studies Post-Soviet Affairs, 2023, vol.39, N1-2, P.1-9.
  • Gel’man V. Exceptions and Rules: Success Stories and Bad Governance in Russia Europe-Asia Studies, 2021, vol.73, N6, P.1080-1101.
  • Gel’man V., Zavadskaya M. Exploring Varieties of Governance in Russia: In Search of Theoretical Frameworks Europe-Asia Studies, 2021, vol.73, N6, P.971-988.
  • Gel’man V. Constitution, Authoritarianism, and Bad Governance: The Case of Russia Russian Politics, 2021, vol.6, N1, P.71-90.
  • Petrov K., Gel’man V. Do Elites Matter in Russian Foreign Policy: The Gap between Self-Perception and Influence Post-Soviet Affairs, 2019, vol.35, N5-6, P.450-460
  • Gel’man V. Bringing Actors Back In: Political Choices and Sources of Post-Soviet Regime Dynamics Post-Soviet Affairs, 2018, vol.34, N5, P.282-296.
  • Gel’man V. Politics versus Policy: Technocratic Traps of Russia’s Policy Reforms Russian Politics, vol.3, N2, P.282-304.
  • Gel’man V. Political Foundations of Bad Governance in Post-Soviet Eurasia: Towards a Research Agenda East European Politics, 2017, vol.33, N4, P.496-516.
  • Gel’man V. The Politics of Fear: How Russia’s Rulers Counter their Rivals Russian Politics, 2016, vol.1, N1, P.27-45.
  • Gel’man V., Starodubtsev A. Opportunities and Constraints of Authoritarian Modernisation: Russian Policy Reforms of the 2000s Europe-Asia Studies, 2016, vol.68, N1, P.97-117.
  • Gel’man V. The Vicious Circle of Post-Soviet Neopatrimonialism in Russia Post-Soviet Affairs, 2016, vol.32, N5, P.455-473.
  • Gel’man V. Political Opposition in Russia: A Troubled Transformation Europe-Asia Studies, 2015, vol.67, N2, P.177-191.
  • Gel’man V. Political Science in Russia: Scholarship without Research? European Political Science, 2015, vol.14, N1, P.28-36.
  • Gel’man V. The Rise and Decline of Electoral Authoritarianism in Russia Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization, 2014, vol.22, N4, P.503-522.
  • Gel’man V. Cracks in the Wall: Challenges to Electoral Authoritarianism in Russia Problems of Post-Communism, 2013, vol.60, N2, P.3-10.
  • Gel’man V. Subversive Institutions, Informal Governance, and Contemporary Russian Politics Communist and Post-communist Studies, 2012, vol.45, N3-4, P.295-303.
  • Gel’man V., Ryzhenkov S. Local Regimes, Sub-National Governance, and the “Power Vertical” in Contemporary Russia Europe-Asia Studies, 2011, vol.63, N3, P.449-465.
  • Gel’man V. Regime Changes despite Legitimacy Crises: Exit, Voice, and Loyalty in Post-Communist Russia Journal of Eurasian Studies, 2010, vol.1, N1, P.54-63.
  • Gel’man V. Party Politics in Russia: From Competition to Hierarchy Europe-Asia Studies, 2008, vol.60, N6, P.913-930.
  • Gel’man V. Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire? Post-Soviet Regime Changes in Comparative Perspective International Political Science Review, 2008, vol.29, N2, P.157-180.
  • Gel’man V., Lankina T. Authoritarian versus Democratic Diffusions: Explaining Institutional Choices in Russia’s Local Government Post-Soviet Affairs, 2008, vol.24, N1, P.40-62.
  • Gel’man V. From Feckless Pluralism to Dominant Power Politics: The Transformation of Russia’s Party System Democratization, 2006, vol.13, N4, P.545-561.
  • Gel’man V. Political Opposition in Russia: A Dying Species? Post-Soviet Affairs, 2005, vol.21, N3, P.226-246.
  • Gel’man V. The Unrule of Law in the Making: The Politics of Informal Institution Building in Russia Europe-Asia Studies, 2004, vol.56, N7, P.1021-1040.
  • Gel’man V. Post-Soviet Transitions and Democratization: Towards Theory-Building Democratization, 2003, vol.10, N2, P.87-104.
  • Gel’man V. In Search of Local Autonomy: The Politics of Big Cities in Russia’s Transition International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 2003, vol.27, N1, P.48-61.
  • Gel’man V. The Politics of Local Government in Russia: The Neglected Side of the Story Perspectives on European Politics and Society, 2002, vol.3, N3, P.495-508.
  • Gel’man V. Russia’s Elites in Search of Consensus: What Kind of Consolidation? Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization, 2002, vol.10, N3, P.343-361
  • Gel’man V., Tarusina I. Studies of Political Elites in Russia: Issues and Alternatives Communist and Post-Communist Studies, 2000, vol.33, N3, P.311-329
  • Gel’man V. Regime Transition, Uncertainty, and Prospects for Democratisation: The Politics of Russia’s Regions in a Comparative Perspective Europe-Asia Studies, 1999, vol.51, N6, P.939-956.
  • Gel’man V., Golosov G. Regional Party System Formation in Russia: The Deviant Case of Sverdlovsk Oblast’ The Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, 1998, vol.14, N1/2, P.31-53.

Since 2016 – Russian Politics (associate editor)

Since 2014 – Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization (member of the board)

Since 2010 – Journal of Eurasian Studies (member of the board)

С 2000 – «Полис», член редколлегии