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Kelly M. McMann

Kelly M. McMann – Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the International Studies Program

Research Interests

Comparative politics, democratization, political economy, local politics, political participation, corruption, political legitimacy, postcommunist politics, Russia, Central Asia.
Mather House 218
Phone: (216) 368-5565
Fax: (216) 368-4681

International Studies Program

Dr. McMann currently is conducting research on how democracy develops within countries. Once a national government has introduced civil liberties and permitted elections how do these practices diffuse within a country? Or, alternatively, how do practices in a more democratic part of a country spread to others parts until these practices are ultimately adopted by the national government? She has begun her investigation by examining contemporary cases in Africa, Asia, and the former Soviet Union and historical cases in Europe. Related to this project, McMann is also participating in the Varieties of Democracy project as the manager for subnational politics.

In a recent project on corruption, McMann explored why citizens use bribes, personal connections, and promises of political support to obtain government assistance. She drew on interviews, surveys, and observational studies she conducted in Central Asia. This research appears in Corruption as a Last Resort: Adapting to the Market in Central Asia (Cornell University Press, 2014), and early findings from this project were published in “Market Reform as a Stimulus to Particularistic Politics,” Comparative Political Studies (July 2009) and “The Shrinking of the Welfare State: Central Asians’ Assessments of Soviet and Post-Soviet Governance” in the edited volume Everyday Life in Central Asia (Indiana University Press, 2007).

In prior research, McMann investigated how citizens’ economic relationships with the state influence their willingness to engage in civic activities essential to democracy. She describes the findings from this investigation in her book Economic Autonomy and Democracy: Hybrid Regimes in Russia and Kyrgyzstan (Cambridge University Press, 2006). Related work appears in the edited volume The Transformation of Central Asia: States and Societies from Soviet Rule to Independence (Cornell University Press, 2003).

McMann’s research in Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Science Research Council, the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, and the International Research & Exchanges Board. Her courses include Introduction to Comparative Politics, Political Science Research Methods, Transitions to Democracy and Dictatorship, State-Building and State Collapse, Politics of Central Asia, Politics of Russia, and an interdisciplinary seminar entitled Evidence. Dr. McMann received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 2000 and conducted research at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University before coming to Case.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)