My Wellesley
Igor Logvinenko

Igor Logvinenko

Assistant Professor of Political Science

Igor Logvinenko specializes in international & comparative political economy, politics & foreign policy of Russia & other post-communist states.

Dr. Logvinenko explores the nexus of economic globalization and political development in low and middle-income countries. He is especially interested in the consequences of financial globalization for authoritarianism, democratization, and capital flight in Russia. Currently, he is working on a book-length study tentatively titled "Open Economies, Closed Polities: Financial Openness and Authoritarian Politics."

Before coming to Wellesley, he spent a year as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Harriman Institute for Russian, Eurasian, and Eastern European Studies at Columbia University. He received his Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University in 2015.

He offers the introductory "World Politics" course, "Politics of Russia and Eurasia," "Topics in International Political Economy" and a First-Year Seminar "Authoritarianism in the Age of Globalization." More information about his research and teaching can be found on his web page:

Here is how Dr. Logvinenko explains how his work relates to the Freedom Project:

In my research, I explore political outcomes in the context of national and global markets. My experience of growing up in Kyrgyzstan during the tumultuous years of Soviet breakdown and economic transition has deeply shaped my academic interests in the relationship between markets and politics. As it turns out, the links between the two are innumerable and complex. My current work focuses on the nexus of global financial markets and political development, particularly in Russia. I am completing a book manuscript about the connections between open financial borders and politics of asset control in Russia since the start of the transition from communism in the late 1980s. My other work explores the role of redistributive institutions in autocracies and the nature of pluralism in low-income countries.

My book is motivated by a curious puzzle. In the course of a few years following Vladimir Putin’s victory in the presidential elections of 2000, the Russian polity transformed into a personalist authoritarian regime with a penchant for heavy-handed state involvement in the economy. Yet, the Russian government also removed all limitations on the cross-border movement of capital. Russia’s integration into the global financial markets in the mid-2000s sets it apart not only from the Soviet Union but also from the post-reform China and even to some extent from Russia of the 1990s.

Moreover, neither the Global Financial Crisis nor the Western sanctions restrained Kremlin’s enthusiasm for deregulating cross-border finance. My book argues that during the last three decades the struggle for control over asset ownership among the powerful domestic interests fundamentally shaped the process of Russia’s integration into the global financial system.

As the country transitioned from state socialism to semi-free market capitalism, the extent to which foreign investors could access Russian assets has been determined by powerful business elites, who used financial openness policies as means of legitimizing ownership and increasing the mobility and valuation of the enterprises under their control.

Support from the Freedom Project has been helpful in completing the first full draft of the manuscript in time for a book workshop, which I held at Wellesley in October of 2017. Furthermore, as a faculty fellow of the Freedom Project, I have enjoyed participating in its various activities, including lectures by visiting speakers and fellows, discussions with other faculty, seminars with the Adam Smith fellows. I was happy to spearhead the Freedom Project podcast, in which we interview visiting fellows, faculty members, and students. My hope is for these recorded conversations to reach an audience in the college and beyond.