Jessica Pisano


Associate Professor, New School for Social Research

Center Associate
Borderlands ethnography in Russia and Ukraine
post-socialist property and political economy
informal institutions and bureaucratic behavior
the politics of concepts in social research and critical alternatives to analytic vocabularies in comparative politics
beginnings and ends of regimes
20th century rural history in Eastern Europe.
Current Project
Imitatsiia: Political Theater and the Materiality of Coercion in Russia and Ukraine
Foreign Language


Dr. habil.
, Political Science
, Yale University
Selected Publications

"Pokazukha and Cardiologist Khrenov: Soviet legacies, legacy theatre, and usable pasts," in The Historical Legacies of Communism, ed. Mark Beissinger and Stephen Kotkin (Cambridge UP, 2014).

"Social contracts and authoritarian projects in post-Soviet space: The use of administrative resource," Communist and Post-Communist Studies, 43:4 (2010).

"From Iron Curtain to Golden Curtain: Remaking Identity in the European Union Borderlands," East European Politics and Societies 23, no. 2 (May 2009): 266–290.

"How to Tell an Axe Murderer: An Essay on Ethnography, Truth, and Lies," in Edward Schatz (ed.), Political Ethnography: What Immersion Contributes to the Study of Power, University of Chicago Press (2009).

The Post-Soviet Potemkin Village: Politics and Property Rights in the Black Earth, Cambridge UP (2008).

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