Oxana Shevel

Board President Candidate

Oxana Shevel is Associate Professor of Comparative Politics in the Department of Political Science at Tufts University and the Director of the Tufts International Relations program. Shevel holds a PhD in Government from Harvard University (2002), an MPhil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge (1993), and a BA in English and French Philology from Kyiv State University (1992). Competent in five Slavic languages (native speaker of Ukrainian and Russian, university study of Czech in the US and the Czech Republic, and reading competency in Belarusian and Polish), she has conducted field research in Ukraine, Russia, the Czech Republic, and Poland. Shevel has been ASEEES/AAASS member since the late 1990s, and within ASEEES served as a member and chair of the ASEEES First Book Subvention Committee (2017-2019), and as the ASEEES Program Committee Chair (2024). 

Shevel’s comparative and empirically grounded approach informs her research on nation building and identity politics in Ukraine and Russia, memory politics in Ukraine and comparatively, and citizenship and refugee policies in the post-communist region. She is the author of two books and over 25 scholarly articles and book chapters. Her most recent book (co-authored with Maria Popova) – Russia and Ukraine: Entangled Histories, Diverging States (Polity, 2024) – examines the root causes of the Russo-Ukrainian war and locates them in the growing domestic political divergence between Russia and Ukraine post-1991. Shevel’s earlier scholarship includes an article in Slavic Review (2011) comparing memory politics in Ukraine and Spain and a book that examines how the politics of national identity and strategies of the UNHCR shape refugee admission policies in the post-Communist region Migration, Refugee Policy, and State Building in Postcommunist Europe (Cambridge, 2011), both of which won American Association of Ukrainian Studies prizes for best publications in the fields of Ukrainian history, politics, language, literature, and culture.  

Shevel has taught courses on contemporary Ukraine, Soviet and post-Soviet Politics, and Nationalism and Nation-Building in Eurasia. In her teaching, she believes in integrating the study of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet region into mainstream political science as well and does so in her classes on introductory comparative politics, and on migration, and refugee and citizenship policies in the global world. She also believes in disseminating scholarly expertise in Slavic, East European and Eurasian studies to broader audiences, including the policymaking community, the media, and the general public. She has served as a consultant for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and for the US Department of State, has provided expert testimony on applications for asylum in US courts, and since the start of Russia’s war against Ukraine has frequently commented in the media and published policy-oriented articles and op-eds on the war. 

If elected to the ASEEES Presidency, Shevel will bring previous experience from multiple professional leadership roles: President (2018-2022) and Vice President (2022-) of the American Association for Ukrainian Studies (AAUS), Vice President and Board of Directors (2018 -) of the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN), Board of Directors (2022-) of the Shevchenko Scientific Society (NTShA), and Executive Committee (2011-2014) of the PONARS Eurasia scholarly network. Shevel is also on the international selection committee (2017-) of the annual Danyliw Research Seminar on Contemporary Ukraine and a country expert on Ukraine for the Global Citizenship Observatory (GLOBALCIT). She is committed to upholding ASEEES’s principles of diversity and inclusion, interdisciplinarity, and support of young scholars. She believes in centering marginalized voices and in inclusive, open, and honest discussions about the process of decolonization in our field.