Gulnaz Sharafutdinova is a Reader at King's Russia Institute (King's College London). Her research interests focus on Russian politics and political economy, center-regional relations and federalism, and political psychology of post-Soviet transition.

Project Summary

This project seeks to analyze political factors playing into the reproduction of the Soviet mentality in current-day Russia. It seeks to explore whether and how the political regime constructed under president Vladimir Putin relied on Soviet values, methods and institutions reinforcing and regenerating specific attitudes, predispositions and practices associated with the Soviet era. The larger puzzle inspiring this study is the failure of new democratic institutions introduced after the collapse of oppressive governments. The working hypothesis is that path-dependence can take a cognitive form and shared cognitive structures or thinking patterns inherited from previous system can constrain institution-building. The project seeks to integrate recent findings from cognitive sciences about the importance of contextual factors for the development of socially-shared cognition.

Major Publications

  • Political Consequences of Crony Capitalism Inside Russia (University of Notre Dame Press, 2010) 
  • “The Politics of Federal Transfers in Putin’s Russia: Regional Competition, Lobbying and Federal Priorities” (co-authored with Rostislav Turovsky), Post-Soviet Affairs, March 2016.
  • “Federal Governance in Russia: How Putin Changed the Contract with His Agents and the Problems It Created for Medvedev” Publius: Journal of Federalism 40 (4), 2010