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Eastern Europe & Russia

About

The V-Dem Regional Center for Eastern Europe and Russia was founded in May 2015 as the first regional research center within the worldwide V-Dem network. Its mission is to conduct research on democracy and democratization in the post-communist world focusing on the V-Dem database. The Center is supported by a Personal Research Grant (PUT) awarded by the Estonian Research Council to Vello Pettai, Professor of Comparative Politics at the Institute of Government and Politics. The Center holds an annual October conference on V-Dem research related to Eastern Europe and Russia. The center invites scholars to contact with their work on V-Dem to promote its dissemination within the regional academic community. For more information, please visit: http://vdem.ut.ee .

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People 

Vello Pettai is Head of the V-Dem Regional Center, Regional V-Dem Manager for the Baltic states and Professor of Comparative Politics at the Institute of Government and Politics, University of Tartu. Since working as a journalist in Estonia in 1990 and later becoming an academic, he has studied the process of democratic change in the Baltic region for more than 25 years. 
Andrey Makarychev is Country Coordinator for Russia within the V-Dem network, and Guest Professor at the Institute of Government and Politics, University of Tartu. His research interests include Russian foreign policy discourses, international security and regionalism in the EU–Russia common neighborhood. 
Lukas Pukelis is Country Coordinator for Lithuania within the V-Dem network. He is a PhD candidate in political science at the Institute of Government and Politics, University of Tartu. A native of Lithuania, he completed his BA studies at Vilnius University and later an MA in Baltic Sea Region Studies at the University of Tartu.
Martin Mölder is a PhD candidate in political science at the Central European University in Budapest. His interest in democracy indices began during his undergraduate studies at the University of Tartu, when he wrote his thesis on comparing existing democracy measures such as Polyarchy, Freedom House and Polity IV. His current research focuses on how we can best think of and measure political differences between parties. 

Research 

The V-Dem Regional Center conducts research on democracy and democratization in Eastern Europe and Russia, focusing on the Varieties of Democracy dataset. For scholars of Eastern Europe and Russia, the V-Dem database offers unprecedented opportunities to study democracy and democratization in these regions. In addition to time-series analyses of democratic change from 1900 to 2012, we can also drill down into individual components of democracy and examine constellations of democracy in particular countries or regions. Because the V-Dem database encompasses the entire world, we can also conduct cross-regional comparisons in order to better flesh out the particularities of Eastern Europe and Russia. 

At the V-Dem Regional Center for Eastern Europe and Russia, current focus is on the analysis of democratic development in the Baltic region during both the interwar period and following re-independence in 1991. Preliminary research results will be presented during the annual October conference.