preferred pronouns: she/her/hers
Associate Professor
Department of Political Science
University of Colorado, Boulder
333 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309

Office phone: 303-492-2985
Ketchum Hall, office 133


Sarah Wilson Sokhey (Ph.D., The Ohio State University) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Colorado, a Faculty Associate at the Institute of Behavioral Science, and an Associate Fellow at the International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia. She is also a member of the PONARS Eurasia group, a network of over 100 academic experts specializing in Russia and Eurasia.

She writes about the connection between politics and economics including economic and social policy reforms and business-state relations, especially in Russia and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.  Her work has been published in various journals including Party Politics, Europe-Asia Studies, and Economics & Politics, and has received support from the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) and the Social Science Research Council (SSRC). She has also written for popular press publications including the Monkey Cage blog at the Washington Post.

Her current research focuses on social policy in a variety of contexts. With Margaret Hanson (Arizona State), she examines why authoritarian regimes invest in higher education. With Jeffrey Nonnemacher (University of Pittsburgh), she examines differences in state reported coverage of higher education in Russia and China. Finally, with Israel Marques (Higher School of Economics, Moscow), she has conducted survey and laboratory experiments to see how institutional quality (specifically for tax collection) influences individual preferences for redistribution. They find that wealthier people are sometimes supportive of higher tax rates when they can more easily evade paying taxes. In related work with Danilo Gjukovikj, she examines how institutional quality influences the manifestos of policy parties in regards to social polices like healthcare and educaition.

Recent Updates

Get the most current analysis of the response to the covid-19 pandemic in Russia and surrounding countries from the PONARS Eurasia website: Covid-19 in Eurasia: Research and Insight

Authoritarian regimes are more likely to invest in higher education when there is a larger public sector. Read my new article with Margaret Hanson in Problems of Post-Communism (published April 14, 2020).


for outstanding publication on the political economy of
Russia, Eurasia and/or Eastern Europe from the
Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies sponsored by the University of Michigan
Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

The Political Economy of Pension Policy Reversal in Post-Communist Countries (Cambridge University Press, 2017) examines the global trend in the reversal of a radical pension policy using survival analysis, survey data, and case studies of the Russian, Polish, and Hungarian experiences.