As a comparative political economy scholar, Paula Ganga uses her knowledge of advanced statistical methodologies, seven languages, and travel to over 35 countries to examine the economic outcomes of political institutions, state-market interactions, the political actors driving the process and the inequalities between the winners and losers of this process. Dr. Ganga is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Harriman Institute at Columbia University after completing her Ph.D. at Georgetown University. She is currently working on a book manuscript dealing with the political determinants of switches between privatization and nationalization. Her research bears directly on how nations view the link between democracy and market capitalism, populism, rising illiberalism in recent political transitions and state capitalism.

Project Summary

The reorientation of Eastern Europe away from the reforms of the 1990s and the breakdown of its democratic advances have come as a surprise for academics and policymakers alike. Many leaders in the region have embraced Eastern alternatives to the Western order with Russia as a main example. In this project, Paula Ganga focuses on the role Russia has played as a model for state-led economic development and democratic backsliding for would-be autocrats in Eastern Europe. Considering the global reach of state capitalist models and increasing democratic breakdown under populist pressures this project makes both academic and policy contributions to our understanding of economic and democratic reversals in Eastern Europe.