Posts by Maria Popova

Maria Popova 03-09-2015
(The Monkey Cage/WP) After Boris Nemtsov’s brazen assassination a stone’s throw from the Kremlin, Secretary of State John Kerry called on the Russian authorities to “to act expeditiously to investigate and bring to justice those responsible.”  Act expeditiously they did.  The same day, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman announced that the president was taking the investigation under his “personal control.”  But will there be a “full, rapid, and...
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Maria Popova 10-23-2014
(Monkey Cage) In the last 18 month, voters in Bulgaria have been to the polls three times, including two national elections and one election for the European Parliament (EP). With highly fragmented results, the recent national legislative elections have the potential to destabilize the political system of the country. Bulgaria’s legislative election was conducted using an “open list proportional representation” system, introduced in May 2014 for the EP...
Maria Popova 04-18-2014
(Foreign Affairs) Ukraine has struggled with the law since its independence. Its judiciary is plagued by two main problems: political dependence and corruption. Political subservience extends from the district courts all the way up to the country’s constitutional court and Supreme Court. During deposed President Viktor Yanukovych’s rule, for example, courts were often merely tools for punishing political opponents and increasing Yanukovych’s own power....
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Maria Popova 04-10-2014
(Co-authored by Vincent Post) The idea of lustration is gaining momentum in Ukraine. A recent survey shows that nearly 80 percent of respondents support the policy. Lustration (from the Latin verb lustrare, to ceremonially purify) refers to a policy that seeks to cleanse a new regime from the remnants of the past. The process involves screening new officials (elected or appointed) for involvement in the former regime and sets some consequences if they are...
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Maria Popova 03-20-2014
When he resurfaced in Russia, Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovych claimed he had been the victim of a coup. Was his removal from power by the Verkhovna Rada unconstitutional? As with many statutory questions, the devil is in the details. The new Rada majority was in a challenging constitutional situation by the disintegration of the Yanukovych government. The Rada made the best attempt to resolve the conundrum while in a limited timeframe and with no independent...
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Maria Popova 03-13-2014
(Foreign Policy) (By Maria Popova and Oxana Shevel) If it survives the current crisis in one piece, Kiev will have a new lease on its democratic future. Ukraine's territorial integrity currently hangs in the balance. With Russian troops occupying Crimea and a referendum on secession scheduled for March 16, the former Soviet republic may not emerge from the current crisis territorially intact. If it does, however, Ukraine will have a new lease on its...
Maria Popova 07-22-2013
(The Monkey Cage) On July 18th, Russia’s best known oppositionist, anti-corruption blogger Aleksei Navalny was convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to 5 years in prison. His co-defendant, Pyotr Ofitserov received 4 years. After Judge Blinov from Kirov’s Leninskii District Court finished reading the verdicts, the convicted were taken into custody and sent to jail, where they would await the results of their appeals. Few were surprised by the guilty...
Maria Popova 10-01-2012
(Journal Article) Bulgaria's experience with the prosecution of political corruption suggests that increasing the power and institutional independence of the courts in new democracies does not guarantee that judges will be committed to upholding the rule of law. See the article by Maria Popova | © M. E. Sharpe, Inc. Problems of Post-Communism
September-October 2012
Vol. 59 No. 05
 
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About the author

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science
McGill University, Montreal