Sarah Dorr



MSc Russian and East European Studies (University of Birmingham)

MA Erasmus Mundus European Literary Cultures (University of Bologna and Aristotle University)

BA English and Classical Studies (University of St Andrews)

Research interests

What impact has the “Arab Spring” had upon Central Asian ruling elites? Scholars and journalists have raised the possibility of a “Central Asian Spring” --uprisings across the region ousting the incumbent regimes. However, such accounts have focused narrowly on the possibility of an outright revolution and overlooked the other ways in which the Arab Spring has reshaped the region. Questions remain regarding how the Arab Spring has been perceived by local actors and what mechanism can account for any effects. To address these questions, my research charts the Kazakh and Kyrgyz governments’ discourse and policy from 2005 – 2015, paying particular attention to elite-level demonstration effects. The demonstration effect is often used to explain popular level mobilization, but is less commonly applied to the elite level where regimes may be influenced by events elsewhere. My research investigates whether uprisings elsewhere, including those outside of the region, affect local actors through an elite level demonstration effect.

My research has been awarded the Leeds POLIS International Postgraduate Research Scholarship