Professor of Political Science:
Phone: +1 401 863 2505
Linda Cook's main research interests are in the comparative politics of the Russian Federation, Eastern Europe and Eurasia, and electoral-authoritarian regimes cross-regionally. Her research focuses on domestic and international politics of welfare states and their transformation; the relationship between democratization and social welfare; comparative political representation of labor and women; NGOs, and the politics of health and welfare in contemporary electoral-authoritarian regimes.
Linda J. Cook received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1985. She is currently a professor in the political science department at Brown University, an associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University and of the Watson Institute at Brown. She has authored "The Soviet Social Contract and Why it Failed" (Harvard, 1993), "Postcommunist Welfare States: Reform Politics in Russia and Eastern Europe," (Cornell, 2007) and numerous other publications on Russian politics, comparative welfare states, labor, gender, and representation. She is currently working on a book, "Russia's Fragmented Welfare State," and a cross-regional study on the politics of welfare in electoral-authoritarian regimes.
My research is concerned with the politics, welfare and political representation in Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia, and in electoral-authoritarian regimes cross-regionally. My previous work provides an in-depth analysis of the Soviet-era welfare state, its structure and political logic. Later research on comparative post-communist welfare states focuses on how welfare state change was initiated and negotiated politically, and how it has been influenced by both domestic politics and international institutions and policy constructs. It draws on comparative welfare state literature to construct a framework for analysis of the postcommunist cases, and is based on extensive study of primary sources and interviews in the East European region. I have also conducted collaborative research with Russian colleagues on social sector non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Russian regions and their roles in building civil society and influencing social policy.
A second focus of my research is on labor, unions, and labor politics, including a monograph on labor in the Russian transition, and a later project on the effects of globalization on labor rights and regimes in postcommunist states. This research looks comparatively at the impacts of international or external organizations (i.e., the European Union, ILO, IFIs, MNC's) on the development of labor rights in several post-Soviet and East European states, and at movement toward flexibilization of work rules and regimes. It forms part of a collaborative project sponsored by the Watson Institute's Political Economy program.
A third research area is representation of women and women's interests in politics. A published study on women in the Russian Duma (legislature) focuses on the organization of women deputies, their links with societal interests and organizations, and their perceptions of their roles and responsibilities as representative, and is based on extensive interviews with current and former Duma deputies. I am currently working on a research project that looks at Russian women's understanding of their legal rights in labor relations.
Postcommunist political parties and representative institutions have also been a focus of my work, resulting in a collaborative study of left parties and social policy in postcommunist Europe, and a study of political clientelism in Eastern Europe in comparative context. Numerous articles and book chapters have also come out of these various strands of my research interests.
My current research projects are explained in the "Current Projects" section of this profile.
Ph.D., Columbia University, Political Science, 1985
Director, Seminar on Socialism and Post-socialism, Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women, Brown Univ., 2013-2014
Brown University Faculty Fellowship, Cogut Center for the Humanities, "Political Economy of Health Care in Russia: State and Market, Mothers and Migrants" Spring, 2012
Visiting Fellow, Aleksanteri Institute, Finnish Centre for Russian and East European Studies, Univ. of Helsinki,Finland Summer 2011- 2012
Nominated as Member-at-Large, Board of Directors, Association for the Study of East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) 2011
Co-recipient, COE Faculty Research Grant, Brown University, Project on
"States, NGOs, Access to Health Care in Postcommunist States." 2011-12
Pembroke Center Faculty Fellow, Seminar on "Markets and Bodies in
Transnational Perspective" Brown University (2009-2010)
National Council of Eurasian and East European Research, Principal Investigator for Grant, "Formulation of Social Policy in Russia's Regions:The Question of Civil Society's Influence." (2003-2006)
Senior Fellowship, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University (2003-2004)
National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, P.I. for
Grant, "Reforming the Safety Net? Politics of Social Welfare in the
Russian Federation" (1999-2000)
Social Science Research Council, Jt. Committee on SU and Successor
States, Professional Development Grant, Economics (1994-95)
National Council for Soviet and East European Research, Co-PI on collaborative grant, "Working Class Responses to Post-Socialist Transition in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Republics, 1992-93
Research fellowship, Russian Research Center, Harvard University, (fall 1990)
Post-doctoral fellowship, Harriman Institute for Russian Studies, Columbia University (fall 1985)
Junior Fellowship, Harriman Institute for Russian Studies, Columbia University (1983-1984)
IREX Young Scholar, Soviet Union Exchange, Dissertation Fellowship,
Moscow and Leningrad State Universities, 1981-82
Visiting Scholar, Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham, England, funded by IREX (spring 1981)
National Resource Fellowship, Columbia University (1982-1983)
National Defense Foreign Language Fellowship, Columbia University (1976-1978)
M. Phil. with Distinction, Political Science, Columbia University (1979)
President's Fellowship, Columbia University (1975-1977)
Phi Beta Kappa, Boston University (1975)
B.A., Boston University, Summa Cum Laude with Distinction in Political Science (1975)
International Advisory Board Member, Center of Excellence, Aleksanteri Institute for Russian and East European Studies, Univ. of Helsinki, Finland 2012-
Advisory Editor, Oxford Bibliographies Online, Political Science, 2010-
Advisory Board Member, "International Journal of Russian Studies,"
Editorial Collective Member, "Studies in Comparative International Development, Watson Institute, Brown University (2006-present)
Associate, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University (1993-present)
American Association for Eurasian and East European Studies (ASEEES)
American Political Science Association (APSA)
Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN)
European Social Policy Network (ESPANet)
My courses cover overviews of comparative politics theory at both the undergraduate and graduate levels; the domestic and interantional politics of Post-Soviet/ Eurasian and East European States;the comparative and global politics of welfare states, and ethnic politics and conflict.
Fellowship, Aleksanteri Institute, Finnish Centre for Russian and East European Studies, Univ. of Helsinki, Finland, 2011-12
Co-recipient, COE Faculty Research Grant, Brown University, "States,
NGOs and Access to Health Care in Postcommunist States" 2011-12
National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, principal investigator for research grant, "The Formulation of Social Policy in Russia's Regions: Is There Evidence of Civil Society's Participation?" (2003-2004; $23,000)
National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, principal investigator for research grant, "Reforming the Safety Net? The Politics of Social Welfare in the Russian Federation" (1999-2000)
Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, Wilson Center, Washington, D.C., short-term research grant ($3,000, spring 2000; $3,000, summer 1987)
Salomon Faculty Research Award, Brown University, for project, "The Politics of Social Welfare in the Russian Federation" (1998-1999)
Social Science Research Council, Joint Committee on the Soviet Union and its Successor States, faculty professional development grant (1994-1995)
National Council for Soviet and East European Research, co-prinicipal investigator in collaborative study, "Working Class Responses to the Post-Socialist Transition in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Republics" (1992-1993)
International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), short-term travel grants for research trips to Moscow (1992, 1998, 2001)
IREX Young Scholar, Soviet Union Exchange, year in residence at Moscow and Leningrad State Universities for dissertation research (1981-1982)