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PhD Student, Political Science
Stanford University


I'm Emily Russell, a PhD student in Political Science at Stanford University. I am a Knight-Hennessy Scholar and NSF Graduate Research Fellow. In Comparative Politics and International Relations, I study contentious politics and the historical determinants of contention. My research examines colonial determinants of coercive and carceral institutions, and the tools nation-states use to act as colonizing entities. I am also interested in understanding  the differential impacts of state capacity, and actors who organize outside of, and in opposition to, the state apparatus across post-colonial territories.

I believe in using political science for political struggle around the world. My civic and political engagement centers around a normative interest in eradicating systems of state violence. Outside of academia, I write narrative politics for non-academic audiences in the form of public journals and as a playwright. I aim to use creative arts interventions to achieve political goals.

All views expressed are personal and not those of my affiliations.

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