UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)

Dr Irina Petrova

Dr Irina Petrova

Lecturer in the Politics of Eurasia



Joined UCL
1st Sep 2021

Research summary

My research focuses on the intersection of domestic and international politics of Eurasia, including in particular two strands of research. First, I develop a novel approach of resilience-based self-governance anchored in local preferences, resources and practices. This conceptualization of resilience draws on complexity-thinking and aims to contribute to the Complex International Relations (CIR) theory. The focus here is on rethinking international affairs to imagine a new future world system, where ‘many worlds fit’, and where diversity is not subdued but recognized and nurtured. 

Second, I conduct comparative analysis of the European Union and Russian foreign policies in the region of their shared neighbourhood (Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia) and analyse the reception of these foreign policies on the ground. I am particularly interested in the interplay of different types of power (e.g. coercive, institutional, structural and productive), as well as their perceptions and internalization in the region. My research was published in Journal of Common Market Studies, Contemporary Security Policy, International Politics, Journal of Eurasian Studies, European Foreign Affairs Review, Мировая Экономика и Международные Отношения etc.

Teaching summary

  • SEES0094: Governance in the Era of Global Complexity: Eurasia and Beyond (BA & MA)
  • SEES0085: Russian Politics (MA)
  • SESS0050: The Crisis of 1989 and the New Global Revolutions (BA)

Modules taught previously: 

  • SESS0034: Researching Politics and Society (BA)


Prior to joining SSEES, I worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the GCRF COMPASS project at the School of Politics and International Relations (University of Kent). I taught a range of courses on History and Politics of the European Union, Europe and Eurasia, International Relations and research methods at the University of Kent, KU Leuven and Vesalius College (Vrije Universiteit Brussel). Over the past decade, I contributed to several international research projects, including GCRF AGRE, Horizon-2020 UPTAKE project, Jean Monnet Networks C3EU, EUinDepth, ANTERO, NORTIA etc.