Russian Policy Fellow

Russian Foreign & National Security Policy Fellow


Polina Beliakova, PhD

2023-2025 Paul (1969) and Melonie Brophy Fellow (Office: E40-472)





Polina Beliakova is a scholar of international security focusing on civil-military relations and the use of force, with regional expertise in Russia and Ukraine. She received her Ph.D. in International Relations from the Fletcher School, Tufts University, and held a postdoctoral appointment at Dartmouth College's Dickey Center for International Understanding. Being a native Ukrainian and Russian speaker, she collects data through elite interviews, fieldwork, archival research, and systematic review of local media sources, using quantitative and qualitative approaches for data analysis.

Her book project, Know Thy Military: How Governmental Policies Weaken Civilian Control, highlights the understudied effects of governmental decisions about the use of force on the erosion of civilian control in the states with historically coup-averse militaries. The empirical chapters build on evidence from Russia, Ukraine, Israel, and the United Kingdom.

Polina's work has been published by Comparative Political Studies, Texas National Security Review, Perspectives on Terrorism, Foreign Affairs, War on the Rocks, POLITICO, and the Washington Post. Her expertise on the Russian defense sector, Ukraine's security sector governance, and Russia's post-Cold War use of force informed projects by the U.K. Government's Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, Transparency International, and the World Peace Foundation, among others.


PhD - International Relations - Fletcher School, Tufts University - 2022

MA - Government - IDC Herzliya, Israel - 2015

BA - Sociology - International Solomon University, Kyiv, Ukraine - 2011