Claremont, Calif. (April 29, 2013) — Pitzer College Assistant Dean of Faculty Barbara Junisbai has been selected as a country expert on Kazakhstan for the Varieties of Democracy Project (V-Dem), a team of social scientists devoted to creating a better understanding of democracy and the factors necessary for creating representative governments.
In her role as a Kazakhstan country expert, Junisbai will focus on both national and local elections, political parties and electoral systems, the executive and legislative branches, and the process of political deliberation.
V-Dem is a team of 15 social scientists led by University of Notre Dame Professor of Political Michael Coppedge, Boston University Professor of Political Science John Gerring and Staffan I. Lindberg, associate professor of political science at the University of Florida and the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.
“The goal of V-Dem is to better conceptualize and measure democracy by taking a systematic, historical, and more nuanced look at democracy than existing measures allow,” Junisbai said.
Junisbai has done extensive research in Kazakhstan and other post-Soviet autocracies, focusing political opposition, authoritarianism and patronage politics. Her research has been funded by numerous grants, including the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad program, the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.