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preferred pronouns: she/her/hers

Associate Professor

Dept. of Political Science

University of Colorado, Boulder

333 UCB

Boulder, CO 80309

Office phone: 303-492-2985

Ketchum Hall, office 133


I support undocumented students, staff, and their families.

Center for Inclusion & Social Change at CU

About Me

Sarah Wilson Sokhey (Ph.D., The Ohio State University) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Colorado, the Director of Training 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 theInternational 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 Work

Check out the STUDIO Undergrad Research Lab. My article with Jeffrey Nonnemacher reviewing our experiences creating & running the lab is forthcoming in PS: Political Science & Politics.

KOA Newsradio interview on the Biden-Putin summit, June 16, 2021

Find out why Russia may NOT be a normal oil state. Watch my recent PONARS presentation (May 16, 2021) with Amanda Zadorian.

Using case studies of pension and housing reform, we can see the changing meaning of social citizenship at the heart of Russian politics. See my spring 2021 article in Russian Politics with Regina Smyth.

Read "Pandemic Politics in Eurasia: Roadmap for a New Research Subfield" out now in Problems of Post-Communism (October 2020) which includes our call for more work on pandemic politics.

Will stagnating social services & the covid-19 pandemic threaten Putin's popularity? It's a definite maybe that demands more survey work. Check out my new article in Orbis (May 2020), and watch my conversation with Professor Chris Miller and Maia Otarashvili at a virtual event with the Foreign Policy Research Institute (July 13, 2020).


2018 Co-Winner of the Ed A. Hewett Book Prize

Cambridge University Press 2017

Amazon Google books

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.