Politics and International Relations

Affiliation: Politics

Post: Professor in Comparative Politics, Professorial Fellow, Nuffield College, Harassment Officer

E-mail:  gwendolyn.sasse [AT] nuffield.ox.ac.uk

Phone Number:  (01865) 288689

College: Nuffield College

Office Address:  Nuffield College, New Road, Oxford OX1 1NF, UK

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Prof. Gwendolyn Sasse (MSc PhD (LSE))

Post: Professor in Comparative Politics, Professorial Fellow, Nuffield College, Harassment Officer

Research Areas and Interests

Post-Communist Transitions, Comparative Democratisation; Ethnic Conflicts; Minority Rights; EU Eastward Enlargement; EU Conditionality; Migration in Europe, Diaspora Politics; Contemporary Art and Politics

Recent activities: 1. Large-scale survey of Ukrainian diaspora members/migrants; 2. Focus groups with Bosnian refugees who stayed in the UK and Bosnian refugees who returned to Bosnia; focus groups with Polish migrants in the UK and Polish migrants who have returned to Poland from the UK; 3. Large-scale survey of Polish migrants in the UK


Oxford University Teaching Excellence Award (Category 'Outstanding teaching and commitment to teaching'), 2009

Alexander Nove Prize (Annual Book Prize awarded by the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies, BASEES) for 'The Crimea Question: Identity, Transition, and Conflict', HUP 2007), awarded at the BASEES Annual Conference in Cambridge, 29 March 2009.

Robert McKenzie Prize for the best PhD dissertation, London School of Economics, 1999

Research Awards:

Leverhulme Trust, Large Grant: 'Political Remittances: Understanding the Political Impact of Migrants' (£190,682; 2013-2016)

ESRC Knowledge Transfer Award for a Workshop on 'Linkage and Leverage: The External Actors in Post-Soviet Conflicts' (Workshop held on 11 May 2012)

John Fell Fund OUP Research Fund, Small Awards Scheme: 'Drawing Inferences from Migrant Voters to Migrants' (2011-2013)

John Fell Fund OUP Research Fund, Small Awards Scheme: 'Engaging with the Homeland: A Survey of Ukrainian Migrants' (2010-2011)

British Academy Small Research Grant: 'Understanding Political Voices from Abroad: Polish Migrants in the UK' (2010-12)

John Fell Fund OUP Research Fund, Small Awards Scheme: 'Migration and the Politics of Time: What is Temporary Migration? What are its Implications' (2009-2010); see http://www.politics.ox.ac.uk/news/story.asp?n=407

Partner in EU Framework Six Project (Specific Targeted Project): 'Human and Minority Rights in the Life Cycle of Ethnic Conflicts in the Western Balkans (2006-08; see http://www.eurac.edu/Org/Minorities/MIRICO/index.htm)

Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship: ‘Minorities in the “New” Europe’ (2003-05)

LSE STICERD Grant (2003-04)

One of three principal researchers on the ESRC project 'Elites and Regional and Local Governance in Eastern Europe', ESRC  Programme 'One Europe or Several?' (1999-2003; see www.regard.ac.uk for details regarding output).

Visiting Fellowships/Professorships:

Visiting Professorship, Sciences-Po, Paris (April/May 2010)

Visiting Fellowship, Robert Schuman Centre, European University Institute (September-December 2009)

Jean Monnet Fellowship, Robert Schuman Centre, European University Insitute (2003-04)

Visiting Fellowship, Free University Berlin, Institute for East European Studies (2002-03)

Consultancy, International Organisations, Think-Tanks etc.:


Member of the Advisory Council of the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) (since 2010)


Member of the Sub-Board of the Open Society Institute's Think-Tank Fund (2008-2012)

Deputy Editor of the UNDP Newsletter 'Develpment and Transition'; http://www.developmentandtransition.net/ (2005-2011)

Region Head (Eastern Europe), Oxford Analytica (2007-2011)

Enterprise LSE, Regular Contributor to Eastern Europe Today (Emerging Markets Analysis) (1997-2009)

International Scholar, Academic Fellowship Program, Open Society Institute (incl. attachment to two Political Science/IR departments in Bulgaria, advice on curriculum development, professional development of young academics etc.)  (2006-09)

Economist Intelligence Unit, Regular Contributor to the Quarterly Reports and Country Forecasts on Ukraine (2000-06)

Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), Researcher on Eastern Europe and Eurasia (1995-97)

Membership of Editorial Boards:

Journal of European Public Policy

East European Politics (formerly Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics)

Nationalities Papers

Engagement in the Arts:

Co-chair of the Nuffield College Art Committee; incl. acquisitions, curating display and events; for more information see http://www.nuffield.ox.ac.uk/About/Art/Pages/Home.aspx

Co-curator of the show 'Conflicted Memory' (with Helen Waters) at the Alan Cristea Gallery, 31 Cork Street, London, 27 April - 1 June 2013. For more details on the show see http://www.alancristea.com/exhibition-112-Conflicted-Memory ; for information on a related panel discussion on 'Conflicted Societies, Memory and the Visual Arts' at the London School of Economics on 29 April 2013 see http://www2.lse.ac.uk/publicEvents/events/2013/04/20130429t1800vHKT.aspx

Modern Art Oxford: Public tour of Roman Ondak exhibition, 9 April 2011; Organiser and Moderator of 'Revolutionary Moments. Film Screening and a Conversation about the Ukrainian artist collectives R.E.P. and SOKA with Jerzy Onuch, Director of the Polish Cultural Institute, New York, and Dr. Olga Onuch, University of Toronto on 17 June 2011

TATE: Volunteer Guide at Tate Modern and Tate Britain since 2005

London School of Economics: 'What's What'. An Evening with Bernard Shaw, 25 & 26 April 2007. This multi-media promenade performance bringing to life Shaw's wit, life and links to the LSE was a collaboration with the artist Heather Barnett. I staged excerpts from plays and other texts by Shaw, involving professional actors as well as LSE students and staff; Heather filmed one of the monologues and curated an exhibition about Shaw as a photographer, drawing on previously unseen images from the LSE archives. The event was part of the series 'ReCollect - a creative exploration of LSE'. I subsequently took the performance at the heart of the evening, the staging of an exchange of letters between Shaw and the Webbs, to Bernard Shaw's house, now a National Trust property, and to Conway Hall, London.

Selected recent lectures, papers, talks:

1. 'Explaining the Momentum behind the Council of Europe's Norm Entrepreneurship', Paper presented at the Workshop 'The Evolution of International Norms and "Norm Entrepreneurship": The Council of Europe in Comparative Perspective', Wolfson College, 11 January 2012 (Workshop co-organised with Anne Deighton)

2.'An End to Patience? The 2008 Global Financial Crisis and Political Protest in Eastern Europe' (co-authored with Mark Beissinger', Paper presnted at the Oxford-Princeton Conference 'Popular Reactions to the Economic Crisis', Nuffield College, Oxford, 25-26 June 2011

3. 'Calling Home: Perceptions, Identities and Political Engagement of Ukrainian Migrants', talk given at the International Migration Institute, University of Oxford, 15 June 2011

4. 'Tony Judt and Varietes of Europe', talk given in the series 'European Provocations' organised by the LSE European Forum for Philosophy at the Institut Francais, London, 18 November 2010

5. Annual Nations and Nationalism Debate 2010, Panelist, Debate about Henry Hale's book 'The Foundations of Ethnic Politics' (CUP 2008), London School of Economics, 10 November 2010

6. 'Mobilisation, Memory and Moderation: Elite Pacts in Southern Europe, Latin America and Eastern Europe', Paper presented at the OCSID Workshop 'Comparing Transitions across Regions', Nuffield College, Oxford, 6 November 2010 (workshop organised by me)

7. 'How to Study (Non-)Conflicts? A Methodological Discussion of the Critical Case in Comparative Perspective', Paper presented at the Annual ASN Convention, 15-17 April 2010

8. 'Simply Ukraine: A Nation, State and Democracy without Adjectives', 8th Annual Stasiuk Lecture, Cambridge, 26 February 2010 (see http://www.ucrainica.info/studies/docs/2010-02-26 percent208thAnnualStasiuk.pdf)

9. 'Democracy and Non-Conflict: The Importance of Institutional Flexibility', ECPR Conference, Potsdam, 10-12 September 2009

10. 'The Council of Europe as a Norm Entrepreneur: The Political Strenghts of a Weak Institution', Europe's Constitutional Mosaic Seminar Series, University of Edinburgh, Law School, 23 January 2009

11. 'The European Neighbourhood Policy and Conflict-Management: A Comparison of Moldova and the Caucasus', Workshop at the LSE, 4 October 2009

12. 'Nations, States and Non-Violence: Lessons from Democratising Countries', APSA Meeting, Boston, 28-31 August 2008

Previous Posts Held

Senior Lecturer in Comparative European Politics, European Institute & Department of Government; London School of Economics (2005-07); Lecturer, European Institute, London School of Economics (1999-2005); Assistant Professor, International Relations and European Studies Programme, Central European University, Budapest (1998-99)

Teaching Responsibilities

MPhil option 'The Politics of Transition in Central and Eastern Europe' (course provider); Research Design in Comparative Political Science; Politics Core Course and Methods Courses on the MPhil/MSc Russian and East European Studies

Doctoral supervision:


David Cashaback: Accommodating Multinationalism in Russia and Canada: A Comparative Study of Federal Design and Language in Tatarstan and Quebec (London School of Economics, Department of Government).

Cristina Parau: The Interplay between Domestic Politics and Europe: How Romanian Civil Society and Government Contested Europe Before EU Accession (London School of Economics, Department of Government)

Emelyne Cheney: The Impact of European Integration on Minority Nationalist Mobilisation in France (London School of Economics, European Institute)

Matthias Mayer: Governmental Preferences on Liberalising Economic Migration Policies at the EU Level: Germany's Domestic Politics, Foreign Policy, and Labour Market (London School of Economics, European Institute)

Olga Onuch: Revolutionary Moments, Revolutionary Movements: Comparing the Mechanisms behind Mass-Mobilisation in Argentina (2001-02) and in Ukraine (2004) (University of Oxford, Department of Politics and IR)

Danielle Granville: Diaspora Activism and the Politics of Genocide Recognition: The Holodomor Recognition Campaign and the Ukrainian Diaspora in North America and the UK (University of Oxford, DPIR)

Nadiya Kravets: Domestic Sources of Ukraine's Foreign Policy: Examinng Key Cases of Policy Towards Russia, 1991-2009 (University of Oxford, DPIR)

Michael Simecka: Exporting Post-Communist Experience: Intra-Regional Diffusion and Learning in Eastern Europe, 2003-2011 (University of Oxford, DPIR)

Kristina Mikulova: Missionary Zeal of Recent Converts: Norms and Norm Entrepreneurs in the Foreign Policy of the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, 1989-2011 (University of Oxford, DPIR)


Sarah Glatte: Political Gender Gaps and Gender Culture in Unified Germany (provisional title) (University of Oxford, DPIR)

Chantelle Kimm: International Conditionality in the the Western Balkans: Vertical and Horizontal Power Flows (provisional title) (University of Oxford, DPIR)

Felix Krawatzek: The Margins of Civil Society: Comparing Political Youth Movements in Times of Crisis (provisional title) (University of Oxford, DPIR)

Current Administrative Duties:

Senior Tutor, Nuffield College (2010-12)

Director of Graduate Studies, REES/SIAS (2010-12; 2013-14)

Harrassment Officer, DPIR (2010-12; 2013-)

Member of the General Purposes Committee (GPC) in DPIR (2012-)

Member of the Divisional Teaching Audit Committee (Social Science Division) (2012-)

Media Expertise

Postcommunist Transition, EU eastward enlargement, Ukrainian Politics, Minority issues in Central and Eastern Europe, Migration in Europe


Selected Publications:


The Crimea Question: Identity, Transition, and Conflict, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007 (awarded the Alexander Nove Prize by the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies).

Europeanization and Regionalization in the EU’s Enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe: the Myth of Conditionality, London: Palgrave, 2004 (co-authored with James Hughes and Claire Gordon).

Ethnicity and Territory in the Former Soviet Union: Regions in Conflict, London: Frank Cass, 2001 (co-edited with James Hughes).


Journal articles:

'Linkages and the Promotion of Democracy: The EU's Eastern Neighbourhood', Democratization, Vol. 20, No. 4, 2013, pp. 553-591.

'The Foundations of Ethnic Politics, or a House Built on Sand?', Nations and Nationalism Debate 2010, Nations and Nationalism, Vol. 17, No. 4, 2011.

'Ukraine: The Role of Regionalism', Journal of Democracy, Vol. 21, No. 3, July 2010, pp. 99-106.

'Stabilitaet durch Heterogenitaet: Regionale Vielfalt als Staerke der Ukraine', Osteuropa, Nos 2-4, 2010, pp. 105-122.

'The European Neighbourhood Policy and Conflict-Management: A Comparison of Moldova and Georgia', Ethnopolitics, 8, 3-4, 2009, pp. 369-386.

'The Politics of Conditionality: The Norm of Minority Protection before and after EU Accession', Journal of European Public Policy, Vol. 15, No. 6, 2008, pp. 842-860.

'Review Symposium: Kymlicka's odyssey - lured by norms into the rocks of politics', Ethnicities, Vol. 8, No. 2, 2008; pp. 265-270.

The European Neighbourhood Policy: Conditionality Revisited for the EU's Eastern Neighbours', Europe-Asia-Studies, Vol. 60, No. 2, 2008, pp. 295-316.

‘A Research Agenda for the Study of Migrants and Minorities in Europe’, Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 43, No. 4, 2005, pp. 655-71 (co-authored with Eiko Thielemann).

‘Securitization or Securing Rights? Exploring the Conceptual Foundations of Policies towards Minorities and Migrants in Europe’, Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 43, No. 4, 2005, pp. 673-93.

‘Conditionality and Compliance in the EU’s Eastward Enlargement: Regional Policy and the Reform of Sub-national Governance’, Journal of Common Market Studies, 42, 3, 2004, pp. 523-51 (co-authored with James Hughes and Claire Gordon).

'Integration mit Tiefgang? Regionalisierung in Ungarn und Polen', Osteuropa, Vol. 54, No. 5-6, 2004, pp. 180-194 (with James Hughes).

‘Monitoring the Monitors: EU Enlargement and National Minorities in Central and Eastern Europe’, Journal of Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe, 1, 2003,pp.1-38 (with James Hughes); http://www.ecmi.de/jemie/download/Focus1-2003_Hughes_Sasse.pdf

‘Conflict-Prevention in a Transition State: The Crimean Issue in Post-Soviet Ukraine’, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, Vol. 8, No. 2, 2002, pp. 1-26.

'Saying "Maybe" to the "Return to Europe": Elites and the Political Space for Euroscepticism in Central and Eastern Europe', European Union Politics, Vol. 3, No. 3, 2002, pp. 327-355 (with James Hughes and Claire Gordon).

'From Plan to Network: Urban Elites and the Postcommunist Organizational State in Russia', European Journal of Political Research, Vol. 41, No. 3, 2002, pp. 395-420 (with James Hughes and Peter John).

‘Comparing Regional and Ethnic Conflicts in Post-Soviet Transition States' and ‘Conflict and Accommodation in the FSU: The Role of Institutions and Regimes’, Regional and Federal Studies, Special Issue, Vol. 11, No. 3, Autumn 2001, pp. 1-35 and pp. 220-240 (with James Hughes), also published as introduction and conclusion in James Hughes and Gwendolyn Sasse (eds), Ethnicity and Territory in the FSU: Regions in Conflict, London: Frank Cass, 2001.

‘The “New” Ukraine: A State of Regions’, in Regional and Federal Studies, Vol. 11, No. 3, 2001, pp. 69-100.

‘Die Krim - Regionale Vielfalt im Spannungsfeld der Geschichte’, Österreichische Osthefte, Vol. 42, No. 3-4, 2000, pp. 437-456.



'An End to Patience? The Great Recession and Economic Protest in Eastern Europe', in Nancy Bermeo and Larry Bartels (eds) Mass Politics in Tough Times. Opinions, Votes and Protest in the Great Recession, Oxford University Press USA, forthcoming 2013 (with Mark Beissinger).

'The Council of Europe as a Norm Entrepreneur: The Political Strengths of a Weak International Institution', in Neil Walker, Jo Shaw & Stephen Tierney (eds), Europe's Constitutional Mosaic, Hart Publishing, 2011, pp. 171-204.

'The ENP and the EU's Eastern Neighbours: Ukraine and Moldova as Testcases', in Richard Whitman & Stefan Wolff (eds), The European Neighbourhood Policy in Perspective: Context, Implementation and Impact, Palgrave, 2010, pp. 181-205.

'The politics of EU conditionality: the norm of minority protection during and beyond EU accession', in Rachel A. Epstein & Ulrich Sedelmeier (eds), International Influence Beyond Conditionality: Postcommunist Europe after EU Enlargement, London: Routledge, 2009, pp.  (previously published as a special issue in the Journal of European Public Policy).

'Minority Protection and EU Enlargement: Tracing the Construction and Effects of EU Conditionality', in Bernd Rechel (ed), Minority Rights in Central and Eastern Europe, Routledge, 2009, pp. 17-31.

'How Deep is the Wider Europe? Elites, Europeanization, and Euroscepticism in the CEECs', in Aleks Szczerbiak & Paul Taggart (eds), Opposing Europe? The Comparative Party Politics of Euroscepticism, 2008, pp. 181-207 (with James Hughes and Claire Gordon).

‘Conditionality-lite: The European Neighbourhood Policy and the EU’s Eastern Neighbours’, in: Costanza Musu and Nicola Casarini (eds), The Road to Convergence: European Foreign Policy in an Evolving International System, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2007, pp. 163-180.

‘The Political Rights of National Minorities: Lessons from Central and Eastern Europe’, in: Wojciech Sadurski (ed), Political Rights under Stress in 21st Century Europe, Oxford: Oxford University Press (Academy of European Law Series), 2007, pp. 239-282.

‘National Minorities and EU Enlargement: External or Domestic Incentives for Accommodation?’, in John McGarry and Michael Keating (eds), European Integration and the Nationalities Question, London: Routledge, 2006, pp. 64-84.

‘Sub-National Governance in Central and Eastern Europe: Between Transition and Enlargement’, in Wojciech Sadurski et al. (eds), Spreading Democracy and the Rule of Law? The Impact of EU Enlargement on the Rule of Law, Democracy and Constitutionalism in Postcommunist Legal Orders, Springer, 2006, pp. 121-47 (with James Hughes and Claire Gordon).

‘Minority Rights and EU Enlargement: Normative Overstretch or Effective Conditionality’, chapter in Gabriel von Toggenburg (ed), Minority Protection and the EU: The Way Forward, Budapest: LGI, Open Society Institute, 2004, pp. 61-84.

‘EU Enlargement, Europeanisation and the Dynamics of Regionalisation in the CEECs’, in Michael Keating and James Hughes (eds), The Regional Challenge in Central and Eastern Europe: Territorial and European Integration, Brussels: Peter Lang, 2003, pp. 69-88 (with James Hughes and Claire Gordon).

‘Die Autonome Republik der Krim zwischen Einheitsstaat und Separatismus’, in: Gerd Simon (ed.), Die neue Ukraine. Gesellschaft - Wirtschaft - Politik (1991-2001), Köln: Böhlau Verlag, 2002, pp. 127-47.

‘The EU Common Strategy on Ukraine: A Response to Ukraine’s “pro-European choice”?’, in Ann Lewis (ed.), The EU and Ukraine. Neighbours, Friends, Partners?, London: Federal Trust, 2002, pp. 213-21.


Working papers:

'An End to Patience? The Great Recession and Economic Protest in Eastern Europe', Nuffield Working Paper Series in Politics, No. 1/2012 (28 April 2012) (with Mark Beissinger); http://www.nuffield.ox.ac.uk/Research/Politics%20Group/Working%20papers/Documents/Working%20papers/2012/Beissinger%20and%20Sasse_working%20paper%202012_01.pdf

'The European Neighbourhood Policy: Effective Instrument for Conflict-Management and Democratic Change in the Union's Neighbourhood?', EU FP 6 (MIRICO), Working Paper, EURAC, August 2008 (with C. Gordon); http://www.eurac.edu/NR/rdonlyres/11B31AB2-FC47-42C1-9168-84E4D4026318/0/Web_del29ENP.pdf

'EU Policies in the Stabilisation and Association Process', EU FP6 (MIRICO), Working Paper, EURAC, January 2008 (with C.Gordon & S. Sebastian); http://www.eurac.edu/NR/rdonlyres/B11246A4-097C-421F-83C2-12F570566BDE/0/24_SAP.pdf

‘EU Conditionality and Minority Rights: Translating the Copenhagen Criterion into Policy’, EUI Working Paper No. 2005/16, European University Institute, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, Florence (http://ideas.repec.org/p/erp/euirsc/p0154.html).

‘EU Enlargement  and Power Asymmetries: Conditionality and the Commission’s Role in Regionalisation in Central and Eastern Europe’, ESRC Research Programme on One Europe or Several?, Working Paper 49/03, May 2003 (with James Hughes and Claire Gordon); http://www.one-europe.ac.uk/pdf/w49hughesassgord.pdf

‘The Regional Deficit in Eastward Enlargement of the European Union: Top Down Policies and Bottom Up Reactions’, ESRC Research Programme on One Europe or Several?, Working Paper 29/2001 (with James Hughes and Claire Gordon); http://www.one-europe.ac.uk/pdf/w29gordon.pdf

Newspaper articles etc.:

UNDP newsletter 'Development and Transition' (Deputy Editor), http:  http://www.developmentandtransition.net/

‘Where did it all go wrong?’, The Guardian Unlimited, 4 August, 2006 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/ukraine/story/0,,1837596,00.html); 'The future's still orange', The Guardian Unlimited, 27 April 2006;  (http://www.guardian.co.uk/ukraine/story/0,,1740833); 'Ukraine at the brink of break-up?', The Guardian Unlimited, 30 November 2004 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/ukraine/story/0,,1362721,00html); 'So near, yet so far...', The Guardian Unlimited, 6 December 2004 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/ukraine/story/0,,1367723,00html)

‘Minority Rights in Europe: A New Policy Push from Central and Eastern Europe?’, EUI Review, European University Institute, Florence, Winter 2003, pp. 18-9.

‘Power to the Regions: Making EU Enlargement Work’, in: Issues for the Transition Economies, The EBRD Annual Meeting and Business Forum, Bucharest, 19-20 May 2002, pp. 46-48.


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