Aleksandra Sznajder Lee is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Richmond. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Richmond she was a post-doctoral fellow at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute, a lecturer at Yale University’s Department of Political Science, American Council of Learned Societies Dissertation Fellow in East European Studies, and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Her work has appeared in American Journal of Sociology, Studies in Comparative International Development, Europe-Asia Studies, and Industrielle Beziehungen. She is a member of the editorial board of Emecon: Employment and Economy in Central and Eastern Europe.

Project Summary

Her Wilson Center project is a book manuscript that examines the evolution of a capitalist system dominated by foreign ownership in the biggest steel producers to join the European Union following the fall of communism: Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia. It analyzes the relationship between successive governments, the state, and managerial and labor interests on the one hand, and external pressures on the other. The central argument is that the pathways countries followed to foreign-dominated capitalism entailed different dominant external pressures, and these pathways were determined by the level of state capacity.

Major Publications


“After the Party, the After-Parties? The Effect of Communist Successor Parties on Economic Reform in Central and Eastern Europe,” Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 63, No. 9 (2011), pp. 1697-1718

“Between Apprehension and Support: Social Dialogue, Democracy, and Industrial Restructuring in Central and Eastern Europe,” Studies in Comparative International Development, Vol. 45, No. 1 (2010), pp. 30-56

“The State-Led Transition to Liberal Capitalism: Neoclassical, Organizational, World Systems, and Social Structural Explanations of Poland’s Economic Success” (with Lawrence P. King), American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 112, No. 3 (2006), pp. 751-801