Nicholas James

Research Topic:

Deliberation in the Russian State Duma: The Uses and Abuses of Legislative Speech in an Authoritarian Regime
Government and Politics Network
St Antony's College
DPhil Politics

Nicholas is a DPhil candidate researching the differences in legislative debates between democratic, authoritarian, and backsliding regimes. He focuses on the Russian Duma (1996-2021) as a case study, examining the development of formal and informal mechanisms that restrict or facilitate floor time, as well as the growing dissimilarity in speechmaking incentives between government and opposition and between leaders and backbenchers.


His primary research interests include:

  • Authoritarian politics
  • Legislative politics
  • Post-Soviet states
  • Text-as-data methods
  • Nationalism


His teaching assistant and tutorial duties have included:

  • Internet Technologies and Regulations, Oxford Internet Institute
  • The Politics of Russia and the Former Soviet Union, DPIR

He holds a Master of Science in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Russian/East-European/Eurasian Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.


Conference Presentations:

  • Deliberation in the Russian Duma: Legislative Speeches in a Hybrid-
    Regime, APSA 2021
  • Varieties of Nationalism in Post-Soviet Europe: National Identity and the Structuring of Political
    Attitudes, Nations and Nationalisms: Theories, Practices, and Methods 2018
  • Sociopolitical Dynamics of Nationhood: Identity Formation, Remembrance, and Nation-Building in Ukraine, University of Virginia Slavic Forum 2017