CDDRL Visiting Scholar, 2023
Associate Professor of International Business, University of South Carolina
Associate, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University

Stan Markus is an Associate Professor of International Business at the University of South Carolina and an Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard. He received his Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University and his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Professor Markus works on state-business relations and is broadly interested in the political economy of development. His projects explore property rights protection, oligarchs, corporate social responsibility, lobbying, corruption, state capacity, and institution building.

His book — Property, Predation, and Protection: Piranha Capitalism in Russia and Ukraine (Cambridge University Press, 2015) — was awarded the Stein Rokkan Prize for Comparative Social Science Research. His research has also been published in the leading peer-reviewed journals in management (e.g. Academy of Management Review), political science (e.g. Comparative Political Studies), development studies (e.g. Studies in Comparative International Development), economic sociology (e.g. Socio-Economic Review), and general interest (e.g. Daedalus). It has also been recognized through many awards, including the Wilson Center Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in D.C.; the Harvard Academy Fellowship from the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies; the Jean Monnet Fellowship from the European University Institute; the Academy of Management Best Paper Award; and the Best Article in Comparative Politics Award from APSA.

Prof. Markus has lived in Russia, Ukraine, China, and several West European countries. He has native fluency in Russian and German, proficiency in French and Ukrainian, and a conversational understanding of Mandarin.

His commentary has been featured in media outlets, including CNN, BBC, New York Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg, Forbes, Fortune, CNBC, NPR, Vox, and Voice of America, among others.

Evan Mawarire
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The Leadership Network for Change (LNC) is an expansive group that encompasses over 2,100 up-and-coming leaders and change-makers from all corners of the globe. This diverse and widespread network is comprised of alumni of three practitioner programs based at the Stanford Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL): the Draper Hills Summer Fellows Program, Leadership Academy for Development, and the Strengthening Ukrainian Democracy and Development Program (formerly the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program). These practitioner-based training programs engage emerging civic leaders and social entrepreneurs who are working to achieve or deepen democracy and social justice in some of the most challenging environments around the world.

Reunions are always marked by the distinct nostalgia of your most memorable moments with people whom you shared lengths of time with. No doubt that the Leadership Network for Change reunion held this past summer at Stanford was one such event for me. Right from walking back into Munger residence, I immediately remembered how, with newly made friends in the Draper Hills class of 2018, we chatted as we walked back and forth to our classes or spent many hours sitting on the benches talking about global events or sharing personal stories – almost always with a bottle of wine (the famous room 555 of the class of 2018 comes to mind). For most of the people I spoke to during this reunion, there was a shared sense despite our different cohorts, of how ‘not long ago’ it was since leaving (not even the occurrence of the pandemic made it seem like it was a long time ago). It felt like we’d just been there months earlier. It speaks to how impactful our time together was and the deep connections made in and out of class experiences. 

Seeing the familiar faces of Larry Diamond, Francis Fukuyama, Michael McFaul, Kathryn Stoner, and Erik Jensen reminded me how fortunate I was to have had access to legendary global democracy shaping minds. What is always humbling, however, is when they each tell you that it is an honor for them to meet us.

Over a weekend of thought-provoking panels and lectures, we had tough conversations about the global state of democracy since COVID and more recently since Russian troops had attacked Ukraine. With the depressing reality of rising authoritarianism staring us in the face, one could only marvel at the moments of inspiration that brewed during this reunion. There was a spontaneous and very somber time when during one of the sessions fellows stood up and celebrated the alumni (by name) who were no longer with us and some who languish in prisons under the grip of dictatorships. Michael McFaul followed that by asking us to share stories of hope from our regions — igniting a crackling bonfire of hope with both tears and laughter that lifted our spirits.

Honoring the life and work of Carl Gershman, the former president of the National Endowment for Democracy, at this reunion was a moment to reflect on my own journey. Carl is a giant of his era and as he recounted his years of service in support of global democracy, it felt like a challenge to serve humanity’s fragile freedom with strategy, determination, and whatever resources are at our disposal. And that, in my humble opinion, is the enduring legacy of the CDDRL Draper Hills Summer Fellows Program. It was good to be back again.

Applications for the 2023 Draper Hills Summer Fellows Program and the Strengthening Ukrainian Democracy and Development Program are open now through 5:00 pm PT on January 15, 2023. Visit each program's web page to learn more and apply.

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Ukrainian flag on a blue background with SU-DD logo

CDDRL Launches Program Aimed at Strengthening Ukrainian Democracy and Development

The Strengthening Ukrainian Democracy and Development (SU-DD) Program, formerly the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program, is a 7-week training program for Ukrainian practitioners and policymakers.
CDDRL Launches Program Aimed at Strengthening Ukrainian Democracy and Development
LAD Tunisia 2018

Local Democracy in Action: Stories from the Field

CDDRL's Leadership Network for Change and the Center for International Private Enterprise awarded collaboration grants to six teams of alumni to foster cooperation and strengthen democratic development on a regional and global scale.
Local Democracy in Action: Stories from the Field
Larry Diamond, Kathryn Stoner, Erik Jensen and Francis Fukuyama at the opening session of the 2022 Draper Hills Fellows Program

Stanford summer fellowship crafts next generation of global leaders

The Draper Hills Summer Fellows Program reconvened in person for the first time, bringing budding leaders together with the world’s most influential democracy scholars.
Stanford summer fellowship crafts next generation of global leaders
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Over the weekend of August 13-15, 2022, CDDRL hosted a reunion for the LNC community on campus at Stanford. It was the first global meeting and an exciting opportunity to bring together all generations of our fellows to connect, engage, and envision ways of advancing democratic development. 2018 Draper Hills alum Evan Mawarire (Zimbabwe) reflects on the experience.


As a Research Associate, Kim Juárez is managing PovGov's research projects, including an RCT on gender-based violence in Mexico, a lab-in-the-field experiment on corruption at the US-Mexico border, and mapping organized crime presence in all of Mexico's municipalities.

Kim holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Copenhagen and a MA in Latin American Studies, Political Economy Track from Stanford University. Prior to joining POVGOV, Kim worked in the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Danish Parliament, and Transparency International.

Research Associate, Poverty, Violence, and Governance Lab

Roman Badanin is founder and editor-in-chief of Agentstvo (The Agency, in English), a collaboration of journalists who have been targeted by the Russian government for their investigative reporting into the most powerful forces in their country. 

Badanin started The Agency in the summer of 2021 after Russian authorities outlawed Proekt (The Project in English), the nonprofit investigative news organization he founded in 2018. 

The Kremlin declared Proekt an “undesirable” organization, which meant that Badanin, his colleagues, and anyone who had dealings with Proekt, including sources, could face criminal prosecution. Over the previous three years, Badanin had led his team in publishing a series of investigations into secret financial ties between major business interests and top Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin and his family. The Proekt has been recognized with several Russian and international journalism awards.  

Shortly before the designation, police had raided Badanin’s apartment as well as the apartments of his deputy and a Proekt reporter, seizing their electronic devices and work materials. Badanin left Russia and helped members of his team relocate to nearby countries and resume working on their ongoing investigations. 

As a 2022 JSK Senior International Fellow, Badanin focused on finding alternative ways to produce and distribute deep investigative reporting on Russia’s ruling elite that gets around government censorship and intimidation efforts. Agentstvo is his first effort and he envisions it as a collaborative home for Russian investigative journalists, many of whom have over the last year been declared “foreign agents” by the government. While that is a less severe action than the “undesirable” organization designation, it has led multiple journalists to quietly move their base of operations outside of the country. 

Badanin has been working as a journalist in leading independent Russian news organizations for 20 years. He previously was a deputy editor-in-chief at Gazeta.Ru, editor-in-chief at Forbes Digital (Russia), RBC news agency, and editor of Dozhd (TV Rain), an independent Russian TV channel.

Badanin created the Moscow-based Proekt during his 2018 JSK Fellowship, modeling it after the nonprofit U.S. investigative news outlet, ProPublica. It was Russia’s first nonprofit news organization.

JSK-CDDRL Visiting Fellow
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In 1999, Lyubov Sobol was a serious eleven-year-old with aspirations to be a Sherlock Holmes-style private detective. That same year, Vladimir Putin, a small-time FSB agent and mid-level cabinet member for former Leningrad mayor Anatoly Sobchak, was abruptly placed into the national spotlight by then-president Boris Yeltsin. Never in her wildest dreams could young Lyubov have imagined that 20 years later, she would be facing off against now-President Putin and working on the front lines to investigate and expose the corruption of the most powerful people in Russia.

For the last twelve years, Sobol has been a lawyer and political activist with the Anti-Corruption Foundation of Russia (FKB), the country’s most prominent pro-democracy movement. She works closely with the group’s founder, Alexei Navalny, to push for the democratization of Russia and advocate against Putin's policies through on-the-ground and digital outreach. She is currently at Stanford as a visiting scholar with the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL).

As the war in Ukraine continues and free speech and other rights within Russia are further curtailed, many activists, Sobol included, have had to adapt or leave the country. To help contextualize the work she and other activists are currently doing, she explains where the roots of the democracy movement in modern Russia began, and the place she hopes it will take on the global stage in the future.

Corruption is a foundational element of the system Vladimir Putin and his cronies built. Without removing him and his supporters from power, it will not be possible for serious reforms or the democratization of state mechanisms to take place.
Lyubov Sobol
CDDRL Visiting Scholar

Let’s start with a broad look at opposition movements and their place in modern Russia. What role have opposition movements played in Russian society since the end of the Soviet Era in the late 1980s and early 1990s?

After the attempt by the Communist Party of Russia to forcibly seize political control in the 1991 August Coup, the course towards democratic reforms was supported by the majority of the Russian population. However, the democratic politicians were divided, and they had little to no experience with public political activity or organizing participation in elections. They failed to offer a clear, intelligible  plan for reforming the country and get it across to voters.                     

With the exception of certain leaders like Foreign Minister A. Kozyrev, human rights ombudsman S. Kovalev, and Deputy Prime Minister B. Nemtsov, truly democratic politicians were not widely represented in power at this time, and did not have a significant influence on state policy. Many of the politicians in power used pro-democracy ideals and the language of human rights as a mask to further their own, more selfish interests. Then with the economic crash in 1998, radical rhetoric and a revitalized communist party began to regain support.

Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin.
Boris Yeltsin hands over the “presidential” copy of the Russian constitution to Vladimir Putin. (December 31, 1999) Wikimedia Commons

Ultimately, a strong democratic party never emerged in Russia and deeply rooted democratic institutions were not built. The corruption and false promises corroded trust in democracy and undermined many Russian’s belief in liberalism. When Putin came to power in the late 90s, he took advantage of the chaos and further crushed many of the structures of the state. By the 2000s, he had tightened control over the legislature and elections and removed almost all competition from within the power system.

Today, few opposition forces survive. The leading figure is Alexei Navalny, and the goal of his movement has been to promote the idea of democratic change and the change of Putin's regime as essential prerequisite for other structural reforms in Russia. His followers were refused the right to register as an official political party under false, far-fetched pretexts, and the organization was declared by the state as an extremist organization and subjected to countless, baseless criminal charges. Like most opposition politicians, Navalny is now in prison. But these attacks only show how in the last 10 years, he has truly become a viable competitor that Vladimir Putin’s regime fears.

Alexey Navalny marches with protestors in Moscow.
Alexei Navalny, Anna Veduta, and Ilya Yashin march at a pro-democracy rally in Moscow on June 12, 2013. WIkimedia Commons

You work with the Anti-Corruption Foundation (Фонд борьбы с коррупцией), which was founded by Alexei Navalny in 2011. What has your network’s approach been to combatting corruption and systemic issues in Russia?

Our team investigates corruption crimes and collects legal evidence that we send to various law enforcement agencies as part of our efforts to bring those responsible to justice. At the same time, we focus public attention on these problems, demonstrating the negative impact that corruption and criminal activity has on all spheres of life. It’s important for people to understand that corruption is a foundational element of the system Vladimir Putin and his cronies built. Without removing him and his supporters from power, it will not be possible for serious reforms or deep democratization of state mechanisms to take place.

We’ve actively worked to propose anti-corruption bills and support those who are trying to ratify international standards like article 20 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which criminalizes illicit enrichment. Representatives of our team have participated in elections and conducted dozens of election campaigns throughout the country at all levels of government, from municipal and regional to the presidential elections in the Russian Federation. Our team also worked with authoritative Russian economists and experts such as Sergei Guriev and Sergei Aleksashenko to develop projects for economic and political reforms.

We’ve won several elections in both city and regional parliaments, and have also developed and successfully applied the Smart Voting project to help coordinate voting in support of promising opponents of Putin's United Russia party. But all this being said, we’ve faced strong opposition from the authorities, the police, and the FSB with each victory.

Opposition pro-democratic forces are partners with the West. Putin can only offer the world blackmails on energy, the threats of nuclear war, and a global food crisis. We offer stable business relationships and peaceful, constructive foreign policy.
Lyubov Sobol
CDDRL Visiting Scholar

How have you and other activists had to adapt since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the further crackdowns in Russia against opposition voices and protests?

Repressions against our team began even before the attack on Ukraine. In the fall of 2020, the FSB tried to kill Alexei Navalny by poisoning him with the military-grade nerve agent Novichok. After an investigation into this poisoning and his return to Russia, he was imprisoned. Our group, the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FKB) was declared an extremist group and a foreign agent by the Kremlin and liquidated. In practice, this means we are banned from participating in political work like elections and protests. This has essentially created a ban on any political opposition activity in Russia.

Under such conditions, most of our team has evacuated to neighboring countries and continues to work from exile. We still influence the minds and moods in Russia through our internet media resources, which have an audience of millions. Conducting one-time protests is currently impossible in the country due to the introduction of repressive laws, but we continue to encourage our supporters to participate in elections under the Smart Voting strategy. We stand up for increasing the number of our supporters and for the trust of the people, while increasing the political costs for Putin, reducing his personal rating, and diminishing the standing of the United Russia party.

Muscovites protest against the war in Ukraine.
Muscovites protest against the war in Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Wikimedia Commons

What can supporters of democracy across the world do to help the work you and other activists from Russia are doing?

After the attack on Ukraine, the best thing the rest of the world can do is to help Ukraine to get everything it needs to win this war. Ukraine's victory is Putin's loss.

The war unleashed by Putin is criminal not only in relation to Ukraine and Ukrainians, but also to Russia. It contradicts Russia’s national interests and literally destroys its future. Putin and his regime are a common enemy for Russians, Ukrainians, and the entire democratic world.

But the war is not only on the battlefields and in the Ukrainian cities. This war has an economic front, and Western countries need to intensify their efforts to deprive the Kremlin of its resources to continue the war. There also needs to be much tougher personal sanctions against Putin’s officials and propagandists.

The outcome [of this war] will determine the vector of development for the entire world: either towards democracy or to totalitarianism. That’s why . . . this war is important not only for the people of Ukraine and Russia, but for everyone, everywhere.
Lyubov Sobol
CDDRL Visiting Fellow

Despite what the propaganda tries to portray, Russia is not homogenous and support for Putin is far from being ironclad. Putin has not won the entire information war for Russian’s attitudes. That’s why we at FKB consider it our duty to continue countering false information and tell Russians the truth about the war and Putin’s crimes.

We want the democratic community to understand how important this work is for victory in the war and the post-war reconstruction of Russia. While the physical fighting might be localized to Eastern Europe, the war will have far-reaching consequences across the globe. Its outcome will determine the vector of development for the entire world: either towards democracy or to totalitarianism. That’s why victory on the side of justice and rights in this war is important not only for the people of Ukraine and Russia, but for everyone, everywhere.

Liubov Sobol

Lyubov Sobol

Activist and CDDRL Visiting Scholar
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Lyubov Sobol, an activist and current visiting scholar at CDDRL, explains the roots of Russia's pro-democracy movement and the importance of its success to Russia, Ukraine, and the future stability of the global democratic community.


With starting the war in Ukraine Vladimir Putin started the war on information within Russia: in a couple of weeks Russian authorities shut down all the independent media, dozens of independent journalists were forced to leave the country. Russian propaganda is working really hard to convince Russians to support the war in Ukraine. Is there a chance to win in Russian propaganda war. Tikhon Dzyadko, editor in chief of TVRain, the last independent TV-station in Russia, believes that it is possible and will explain what is needed to be done in order to succeed.


Tikhon Dzyadko is a Russian journalist, television presenter and media manager. He is the former editor-in-chief for TV Rain, one of the last independent television stations in Russia, and host of the Russian Television International (RTVI TV) network, a Russian-language television station based in New York.



At this time, in-person attendance is limited to Stanford affiliates only. We continue to welcome our greater community to join virtually via Zoom.


This event is co-sponsored by CDDRL and the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies.

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Tikhon Dzyadko
CDDRL Visiting Scholar, 2022

Lyubov Sobol is a Russian political and public figure. She consistently advocates the democratization of Russia and opposes Putin's policies.

She produces the YouTube channel "Navalny Live" of Alexei Navalny (more than 2.7 million subscribers, more than 90 million views per month, of which more than 20 million unique viewers).

She participated in the election campaign for the Moscow City Duma in 2019 and the State Duma of Russia in 2021 but was illegally admitted because of her political position: opposing the actions of the current government.

In May 2018 she became a member of the Central Council of Alexei Navalny's political party Russia of the Future.

Sobol was a lawyer for the Anti-Corruption Foundation until its closure in 2021.

CDDRL Honors Student, 2022-23

Major: Economics
Minor: Political Science; Modern Languages (Spanish & German)
Hometown: Scarsdale, NY
Thesis Advisor: Chonira Aturupane

Tentative Thesis Title: Comparing the Effect of Chinese and American Aid on Corruption in Latin America

Future aspirations post-Stanford: After graduation, my plan is to work in public sector consulting, preferably at the state and local level. After that, I'd like to go to graduate school to best leverage my skills in development economics, likely in or adjacent to the public sector. 

A fun fact about yourself: My first quarter as a CDDRL Honors student will be spent in Santiago, Chile, where I’ll be doing primary source research into Chilean politics and history.

CDDRL Honors Student, 2021-22

Major: Political Science   
Minor: Economics
Hometown: Cozumel, Mexico
Thesis Advisor: James Fearon

Tentative Thesis Title: Making Friends with the Enemy: A Study of Cooperation Between Drug Cartels and Local Politicians in Mexico

Future aspirations post-Stanford: After Stanford, I hope to pursue a PhD in political science focusing on Latin American politics and Economic development. My dream is to return to my home country of Mexico and help create a better future for all my fellow citizens. I am unsure whether this would be through academia, journalism, or public office, but I am excited to see what the future holds. Above all, I hope to follow the footsteps of academics and reporters who have devoted their lives to improving conditions in Latin America.

A fun fact about yourself: I am obsessed with the Nobel Prize in Literature. I can name half of the people who have won the award at the top of my head and in my free time, I always read as many laureates as I can (currently at 40 out of 117).


How can societies restrain their coercive institutions and transition to a more humane criminal justice system? We argue that two main factors explain why torture can persist as a generalized practice even in democratic societies: weak procedural protections and the militarization of policing, which introduces strategies, equipment, and mentality that treats criminal suspects as though they were enemies in wartime. Using a large survey of the Mexican prison population and leveraging the date and place of arrest, this paper provides causal evidence about how these two explanatory variables shape police brutality. Our paper offers a grim picture of the survival of authoritarian policing practices in democracies. It also provides novel evidence of the extent to which the abolition of inquisitorial criminal justice institutions—a remnant of colonial legacies and a common trend in the region—has worked to restrain police brutality.

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American Political Science Review
Beatriz Magaloni
Issue 4
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