Sofie Bedford

Researcher, Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies; Affiliated researcher, Swedish Research Institute, Istanbul

Visiting Fellow
(September 2017 – February 2018)

Project:

Building Sustainable Opposition in Electoral Authoritarian Regimes

My project problematizes the concept of ‘opposition’ in electoral authoritarian regimes. It does so through an in-depth comparative study of Belarus and Azerbaijan, where the ‘opposition’ is often described as ‘failed’ and as such rarely attracts scholarly attention. Focusing on the dynamics of resistance, my project theoretically elaborates on how to build a ‘sustainable’ opposition in this political context. I also contribute to a project striving to better understand the security situation in the South Caucasus by investigating the mindsets of key actors in these societies. I focus on Azerbaijan, particularly on the securitization of religion and elite perceptions of neighboring states.