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Professor Dorota Pietrzyk-Reeves (Jagiellonian University) – principal investigator

Dorota Pietrzyk-Reeves is Professor of Political Philosophy at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. Her research interests include normative political theory, democratic theory, civil society and democratization in Central and Eastern Europe, early modern republican tradition, parliamentary culture and political education. She published on these topics in such journals as Politics, Acta Politica, Tocqueville Review, Education, Citizenship and Social Justice, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, East European Politics and Societies, PS: Political Science and Politics, and Communist and Post-Communist Studies. Her most recent books include Polish Republican Discourse in the Sixteenth Century (Cambridge University Press, 2020) and Civil Society, Democracy and Democratization (Frankfurt am Main, 2016). She received support for her research from the European Commission under Marie Curie framework, Nuffield College at Oxford, the Foundation for Polish Science, the De Brzezie Lanckoronski Foundation, and the National Science Centre.


Professor Patrice McMahon (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) – leading foreign partner

Patrice C. McMahon is Director of the University Honors Program and Professor of Political Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is the author of two single-authored books, The NGO Game (Cornell University Press, 2017) and Taming Ethnic Hatreds Ethnic Cooperation and Transnational Networks in Eastern Europe (Syracuse University Press, 2007) and the co-editor of four other books. Her scholarly articles have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Human Rights Quarterly, Ethnopolitics, and Political Science Quarterly, and her research has been supported by funding from the U.S. Department of State, the American Council for Learned Societies (ACLS), the National Research Council (NRC), the National Council for East European and Eurasian Research (NCEEER), and the Carnegie Corporation of New York. In 2023 she is a Fulbright scholar at The Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland.


Professor Paula M. Pickering (College of William and Mary) – foreign partner

Paula M. Pickering is the Richard S. Perles Professor of Government and a Faculty Affiliate of the Global Research Institute at William & Mary. Her research focuses on the impact of aid for peacebuilding, local governance, and civic engagement in Southeastern Europe. Pickering is a co-editor with Zsuzsa Csergő and Daina Eglitis of Central and East European Politics: Changes and Challenges, 5th Ed. (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021) and the author of Peacebuilding in the Balkans (Cornell University Press, 2007). Recent co-authored articles were published in the Journal of Experimental Political Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Governance.  Her research has received support from Evidence in Politics and Governance, the US Institute of Peace, NCEEER, IREX, the Social Science Research Council, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and Fulbright-Hays.  Pickering also worked as a human rights officer for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina (1996) and as an analyst on Eastern Europe at the US Department of State (1990-1994).


Professor Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom (University of British Columbia) – foreign partner

Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom is a Professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. She is an expert on Russian politics, and her major research interests include democratization, human rights, gender issues, the politics of international democracy assistance, legal mobilization, and NGO activism in both domestic and transnational politics. Her recent books include Bringing Global Governance Home: How BRICS NGOs Engage the World (2021, co-authored with Laura A. Henry) and Courting Gender Justice: Russia, Turkey, and the European Court of Human Rights (2019, co-authored with Valerie Sperling and Melike Sayoglu), both from Oxford University Press. She has published in scholarly journals including International Organization, Global Environmental Politics, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Europe-Asia Studies, Problems of Post-Communism, Post-Soviet Affairs, and Human Rights Quarterly.


Professor Paulina Pospieszna (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań) – researcher

Paulina Pospieszna is Associate Professor of political science at The Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan. She received her Ph.D. (2010) in Political Science from the University of Alabama and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Konstanz and University of Mannheim, Germany. Her main research interests are democracy promotion, civil society, political participation, aid and sanctions as foreign policy tools, deliberative democracy and democratic innovations.  Geographically, she mainly focuses on Central and Eastern Europe. Recently, she has published a book Democracy Assistance Bypassing Governments in Recipient Countries Supporting the “Next Generation (Routledge, 2019).


Professor Laura Henry, Bowdoin College


Professor Valerie Sperling, Clark University


Dr Katarina Vrablikova, University of Bath


Ms Aleksandra Samonek, Jagiellonian University


Dr Aleksandra Monkos, Adam Mickiewicz Univeristy


Mr Mykhailo Volokhai, PhD candidate, Jagiellonian University


Ms. Hanna Gaweł, PhD candidate, Jagiellonian University