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Introducing: Honorata Mazepus

Honorata Mazepus works at the research group Political Legitimacy since september 1st 2011 and studies Russia within that group.

I come from Pomerania, a region in the north of Poland, and my interest in Russia dates back to my primary school years when I started learning Russian. This was a compulsory course from the fifth grade. During high-school, I travelled to Russia for the first time and visited Veliky Novgorod, Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, and Tsarskoye Selo.  I studied for my MA at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan and there I continued to explore Russian politics, culture and history while studying International Relations with a specialization in Russian Studies. During my 5-year MA programme I received a scholarship for study at the State University of Irkutsk and studied a year at the University of Groningen. During this year in the Netherlands, I wrote a thesis on the politics of the Russian Federation. After graduating from Adam Mickiewicz University I moved to the UK and started a postgraduate course at the University of Bristol.  After about a year, I saw a perfect vacancy at Leiden University for a project on legitimacy in non-democratic states. I decided to apply.

Currently, I am working under supervision of Prof. AndrĂ© Gerrits (History/Russian Studies) and Prof. Ingrid van Biezen (Politics) on political legitimacy in nondemocratic states focusing on Russia. I am affiliated with an interdisciplinary research group on Political Legitimacy, within which we approach legitimacy from different perspectives and study the consequences of legitimacy for various types of regimes.  I investigate how legitimacy works in Russia in a domestic and  in an international setting. On the domestic level, I want to assess what constitutes legitimacy and makes Russians support the current hybrid regime. On the international level, I will analyse how Russia positions itself in world politics and trace the consequences of protecting a certain international image for the domestic support of authorities by Russian citizens.

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