Paulina Pospieszna is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland. She received her Ph.D. (2010) in Political Science from the University of Alabama and worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Konstanz and the University of Mannheim, Germany.

Her main research interests are democracy promotion, democratic innovations, instruments of deliberative democracy (e.g. citizens’ assemblies), democratization and democracy backsliding, civil society, advocacy groups, NGOs, civic participation (especially youth activism), aid and sanctions as foreign policy tools. Geographically, she mainly focuses on Central and Eastern Europe. In her research she combines quantitative and qualitative approaches. She has published articles in Democratization, Europe-Asia Studies, Journal of International Relations & Development, International Interactions, Journal of Peace Research, Problems of Post-Communism, amongst others. She has published a book on entitled Democracy Assistance Bypassing Governments in Recipient Countries Supporting the “Next Generation” (Routledge). She is also an author of Democracy Assistance from the Third Wave: Polish Engagement in Belarus and Ukraine (University of Pittsburgh Press PITT Series in Russian and East European Studies).

She is a member of the editorial team of Communist and Post-Communist Studies (CPCS).

She was a principal investigator of two projects funded by the Polish National Science Center (NCN) on democracy promotion and EU sanctions (with University of Konstanz, co-funded by DFG), and a coordinator in the international project analyzing the condition of civil society in post-communist region 30 years after transition led by Jagiellonian University and also funded by NCN. She participated in other international research projects, including Comparative Interest Group Survey, and two project on mediation in civil conflicts funded by Fritz Thyssen Stiftung and Folke Bernadotte Academy. She also contributed to EU Tempus funded HEART (Higher Education Action for Rights Teaching) to develop courses and programmes in Human Rights at Universities in five countries in the Western Balkans in cooperation with EU Universities. She was a member of COST Action European Network of Conflict Research (ENCoRe), and Disaster Bioethics.

Currently, she acts as country coordinator at Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) and is involved in the EU-funded project ValEUs -Research & Education Network on Contestations to EU Foreign Policy (ERASMUS-JMO-2023-NETWORKS, Project ID: 101127800). Within this project it is aimed to promote inter alia a new role for universities as responsible actors, as laboratories for democracy and committed partners to endangered regions, such as Ukraine. ValEUs convenes 21 partner institutions from 18 countries and five continents.

Paulina Pospieszna leads Democratic Innovations research group and is a PI of two research projects:


Download CV here.