Scott Radnitz

Professor, Director, Ellison Center Herbert J. Ellison Professor of Russian and Eurasian Studies
Scott Radnitz



Scott Radnitz is the Herbert J. Ellison Professor of Russian and Eurasian Studies in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. His research deals primarily with the post-Soviet region on topics such as conspiracy theories, disinformation, authoritarianism, informality, and identity. Radnitz’s current project involves understanding the political and societal effects of public awareness of the threat of disinformation.

Radnitz co-edited Enemies Within: The Global Politics of Fifth Columns (Oxford University Press, 2022), with Harris Mylonas.

His book Revealing Schemes: The Politics of Conspiracy in Russia and the Post-Soviet Region came out with Oxford University Press in 2021. It investigates why politicians in the region promote conspiratorial claims and what effects that has.

For examples of Radnitz’s views on conspiracy theories, see his article, Why Democracy Fuels Conspiracy Theories, in Journal of Democracy and interview on the Democracy Paradox podcast.

Radnitz’s first book, Weapons of the Wealthy: Predatory Regimes and Elite-Led Protests in Central Asia, was published by Cornell University Press in 2010. He has published articles in journals including Comparative Politics, Comparative Political StudiesInternational Studies Quarterly, British Journal of Political Science, Journal of DemocracyPolitical Geography, Political Communication, and Post-Soviet Affairs. Policy commentary has appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The National Interest, The Guardian, Slate, and the Monkey Cage/Washington Post.

Radnitz is a faculty member at UW’s Center for an Informed Public and a member of the Program on New Approaches to Research and Security (PONARS) in Eurasia. For the 2022-23 academic year, he was a Jean Monnet Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, part of the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.

Radnitz teaches the following courses: States, Markets, and Societies; Contemporary Central Asian Politics; Post-Soviet Security; Interdisciplinary Survey of Eurasia; Failed States; Research Design and Methods; and Social Movements and Revolutions.


  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ph.D., 2007
  • University of California at Berkeley, B.A. Political Science, 2000

Selected Publications

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