Speaker Biographies


Professor Richard Sakwa

Richard Sakwa is Professor of Russian and European Politics at the University of Kent. His research interests focus on domestic developments in Russia, the nature of post-Communism, global challenges facing the post-Communist region, and problems of European and global order. Sakwa has written extensively on Russian foreign policy and the dynamics of the Russia-West relationship. He is the author of numerous books, including Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands, Putin Redux: Power and Contradiction in Contemporary Russia, and the Crisis of Russian Democracy. His book Russia against the Rest: The Post-Cold War Crisis of World Order is due out with CUP in late 2017.

Professor Alexander Lukin
Professor Alexander Lukin is the Head of the Department of International Relations at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow and Director of the Center for East Asian and SCO Studies at MGIMO University in Moscow. Lukin’s research focuses on Russian foreign policy, with a particular emphasis on Russia’s relationships with the Asia-Pacific region, Sino-Russian relations and Russia’s challenges to the US-led world order. He is the author of numerous books on these subjects, his most recent in 2016 entitled The Pivot to Asia: Russia’s Foreign Policy enters the Twenty-First Century. 


Ian Bond
Ian Bond joined the Centre for European Reform (CER) as Director of foreign policy in April 2013. At the CER, he focuses on Russia and the former Soviet Union; European foreign policy; Europe-Asia relations and US foreign policy. Prior to joining the CER, he was a member of the British diplomatic service for 28 years, and served as British Ambassador to Latvia from 2005-07 He has also worked in Vienna as deputy head of the UK delegation to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) from 2000-04, working on human rights and democracy in the OSCE area, and on conflict prevention and resolution in the Balkans and the former Soviet Union. 

Professor Rosemary Foot
Rosemary Foot is a Professor and Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations. She is also an associate of the China Centre, and an Emeritus Fellow of St Antony’s College. Her research interests include security issues in the Asia-Pacific, human rights diplomacy, Chinese foreign policy and US-China relations. She is the author of numerous books and articles on the Asia-Pacific. Her most recent book publication is the co-authored 2011 volume entitled China, the United States and Global Order.

Professor Neil MacFarlane
Neil MacFarlane is Lester B. Pearson Professor of International Relations at Oxford, and was head of Oxford’s Department of Politics and International Relations from 2005 to 2010. His research interests include, at the level of theory, issues surrounding security, sovereignty, intervention, self-determination, and international order. His current work addresses Russian foreign and security policy, the development of the former Soviet space, and the international relations of the Caucasus. He has published in journals such as World Politics, International Security, International Affairs, Survival, and Security Studies. He is the chair of the Board of the Center for Social Sciences in Tbilisi, Georgia, and was a trustee of the University of Oxford. He is the secretary of the international board of the Georgian National Science Foundation and holds a doctorate honoris causa from Tbilisi State University.


Dr. James Henderson
Dr. James Henderson is the director of the Natural Gas Research Program at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. Henderson has been an analyst Russian oil and gas industry for the past 20 years. He previously served as Head of Energy for Wood Mackenzie Consultants; Head of Oil & Gas Research and Equity Research for Renaissance Capital in Moscow; and as head of Russia for the UK-based Lambert Energy Advisory firm. In addition to his work at the Oxford Energy Institute, Henderson is a BP Professor of Energy at the Skolkovo Management School in Moscow; and the author of numerous published works on the Russian oil and gas sector, including a 2010 book entitled Non-Gazprom Gas Producers in Russia.

Dr. Natasha Kuhrt
Dr. Natasha Kuhrt is a Lecturer at the Department of War Studies at King’s College, London. Her research interests focus on Russian foreign policy, with an emphasis Russia’s relationships with China and Japan; regional security complexes; nationalism; identity and sovereignty. In 2009, she established the British International Studies Association Working Group on Russian and Eurasian Security and serves as co-convenor with Valentina Feklyunina of the Working Group. Dr. Kuhrt is author of numerous published works on Russia’s international conduct, international law and Russia’s Asia-Pacific strategy as well as her 2011 book entitled Russian Policy Towards China and Japan.

Dr. David Lewis
Dr. David Lewis is a Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Exeter. His research focuses primarily on government responses to armed violence and the politics of authoritarian states. He is a specialist on the politics of the post-Soviet region, with a particular focus on Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus. During 2012-2016 he was co-investigator on an ESRC-funded research project on Rising Powers and Conflict Management in Central Asia that studied the response of Russia and China to armed violence in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Among previous positions, he worked as Director of the International Crisis Group’s Central Asia Project.


Professor Roy Allison
Professor Roy Allison is a Professor of Russian and Eurasian International Relations at the Russian and East European Studies Department based out of St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford. He previously held a Readership in International Relations at the London School of Economics; and served as the head of the Russia and Eurasia Program at Chatham House from 1993-2005 I joined the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies (SIAS). His research focuses on the foreign and security policies of Russia and Eurasia, and he is the author of numerous published works, his most recent book being his 2013 volume entitled Russia, the West and Military Intervention.

Dr. Alisher Ilkhamov
Dr. Ilkhamov is a Research Associate at the Center of Contemporary Central Asia and the Caucasus at SOAS. His research focuses on Islamic movements, the politics of Uzbekistan, and nation-state building in Central Asia. He previously served as a program officer in the Eurasia Program at Open Society Foundations, and has executive director of the foundation’s office in Uzbekistan.

 Dr. Anna Matveeva
Dr. Matveeva is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Department of War Studies at King’s College, London, and a member of KCL’s Russia and Eurasia Security Research Group. She has worked as an academic and practictioner specializing in conflict studies and the developmental aspects of international peace building. Her research focuses primarily on conflicts in Ukraine, the North and South Caucasus, Central Asia and Afghanistan. Before joining KCL, Dr. Matveeva was a Research Fellow at Chatham House, and an academic at the London School of Economics. She also regularly consults international organizations, like the UN, EU and OSCE on the dynamics of conflict zones; and is a board member at the Nonviolent Peaceforce.


Professor Paul Chaisty
Paul Chaisty is an Associate Professor in Russian Government at the University of Oxford’s Department of Politics and International Relations and School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies. Chaisty’s primary specializations cover legislative, party and interest group politics in post-communist Russia; political attitudes in Russia; nationalism in Russia and Ukraine; and comparative presidentialism, with a focus on the phenomenon of coalitional presidentialism. Chaisty is the author of numerous published works on these topics, including (2006) Legislative Politics and Economic Power in Russia (Palgrave) and (2017) (with Nic Cheeseman and Tim Power) Coalitional Presidentialism in Comparative Perspective: Minority Executives in Multiparty Systems (Oxford University Press).

Dr. Peter Duncan
Dr. Peter Duncan is a Senior Lecturer in Russian Politics and Society at the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSESS). At SSEES, Duncan’s research focuses on Soviet and Russian foreign policy, Russian domestic politics, the formation of state institutions, democratic transitions and the role of ethnic minorities in shaping Russian politics. Dr. Duncan is the author of numerous books on the impact of Russian domestic politics on its international conduct, including Convergence and Divergence: Russia and Eastern Europe into the Twenty-First Century; and Russian Messianism: Third Rome, Revolution, Communism and After.

Dr. Alexander Kupatadze
Dr. Kupatadze is a lecturer at King’s College’s Russia Institute and Department of European and International Studies. His research focuses primarily on the impact of organized crime on political institutions, and the public responses to criminality. His research on criminality focuses on the post-Soviet region, with special attention to Georgia and Kyrgyzstan. In addition to his research criminality, Kupatadze teaches on EU-Russia relations, and non-traditional security threats in the post-Soviet region.


Professor Christopher Davis
Christopher Davis is the Reader in Command and Transition Economies in the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies (including Russian and East European Studies) and Professorial Research Fellow in the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing. Professor Davis has written extensively about economies (especially industry), demography, health, and defence in East Europe and the USSR/post-Soviet states. He also holds a part-time research position in Moscow as Head of the Research Laboratory on the Economics of Health Reform at the Russian Presidential Academy of the National Economy and Public Administration. He has produced two recent publications of relevance to his talk: (2016) The Ukraine Conflict, Economic-Military Power Balances, and Economic Sanctions: and (2017) Russia’s Changing Economic and Military Relations with Europe and Asia from Cold War to the Ukraine Conflict: The Impacts of Power Balances, Partnerships and Economic Warfare

Dr. Sam Greene
Dr. Greene is the Director of the Russia Institute at King’s College, London, and a senior lecturer in Russian politics. Before moving to Kings College, Greene lived and worked in Moscow for 13 years, serving as the director of the Centre for the Study of New Media and Society, and the deputy director of Carnegie Moscow Center. He is the author of numerous published works on Russian politics and the Russian opposition, including his book Moscow in Movement: Power and Opposition in Putin’s Russia, which was published by Stanford University Press in 2014.

Dr. Julie Newton
Dr. Julie Newton is a Visiting Fellow at the Russian and East European Studies Center at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford. She is also an Associate Professor at the Department of International and Comparative Politics at the American University of Paris. Her current research focuses on Russia-EU relations, transatlantic cooperation and the Franco-Russian relationship. She is the author of numerous published works on these subjects, including her 2003 book entitled, Russia, France and the Idea of Europe.


Samuel Ramani
Samuel is a DPhil candidate in International Relations at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, specializing in post-1991 Russian foreign policy. He completed an MPhil in Russian and East European Studies at Oxford in June 2016, under the supervision of Professor Roy Allison. His MPhil thesis analyzed Russia’s shifting responses to popular revolutions from the mid-2000s to the crises in Ukraine and Syria. His current research interests remain focused on Russia-Middle East relations, the linkage between identity politics in Russia and Kremlin decision-making, and Russia’s escalating strategic competition with the West. Samuel is also a free-lance journalist who has written articles and policy briefings for a wide array of American and international publications. He has appeared on CNN and his work has been featured in the Washington Post, Huffington Post, Diplomat, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, The National Interest, Kyiv Post, Moscow Times, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Hudson Institute.

Nicole Grajewski
Nicole Grajewski is an MPhil candidate in Russia & East European Studies focusing on Russian-Iran relations in the Middle East and Central Asia under the supervision of Professor Roy Allison. Prior to Oxford, Nicole served in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental Scientific Affairs during the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council. Nicole has also worked for CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS and has researched Central Asian security issues at the Hudson Institute. She has received various grants and fellowships to conduct fieldwork throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. Nicole graduated with honours from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs in Security Policy and Middle East Studies. Her research interests include Russian foreign policy in Central Asia, the Arctic, and the Middle East. Her forthcoming peer-reviewed article “Russia’s Great Power Assertion: Status-Seeking in the Arctic” will be published in the St. Antony’s International Review in June 2017.