Gwendolyn Sasse

Nonresident Senior Fellow
Carnegie Europe
Sasse is a nonresident senior fellow at Carnegie Europe. Her research focuses on Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, EU enlargement, and comparative democratization.


PhD, Department of Government, London School of Economics
MSc in Russian and Post-Soviet Studies, Department of Government, London School of Economics


English; French; German; Russian; Ukrainian


Gwendolyn Sasse is a nonresident senior fellow at Carnegie Europe. Her research focuses on Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, EU enlargement, and comparative democratization.

Sasse is the director of the newly founded Centre for East European Research and International Studies (Zentrum für Osteuropa- und internationale Studien, ZOiS) in Berlin.

She is also professor of comparative politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations and the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies at the University of Oxford, where she also works on ethnic conflict, minority issues, migration, and diaspora politics.

Prior to her 2007 arrival in Oxford, Sasse was a senior lecturer in the European Institute and the Department of Government at the London School of Economics.

Her most recent books include The Crimea Question: Identity, Transition, and Conflict (Harvard University Press, 2007), which won the Alexander Nove Prize awarded by the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies; Europeanization and Regionalization in the EU’s Enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe: the Myth of Conditionality (Palgrave, 2004; co-authored with James Hughes and Claire Gordon); and Ethnicity and Territory in the Former Soviet Union: Regions in Conflict (Frank Cass, 2001; co-edited with James Hughes). She has also published extensively in academic journals.

Sasse is a member of the Advisory Council of the European Centre for Minority Issues in Flensburg, Germany. She comments regularly on East European politics, in particular Ukraine, in U.S., British, and European media outlets.

  • Op-Ed Swissinfo January 10, 2022
    This Week Will Highlight the Near-Absence of the EU in the Ukraine Crisis

    This week's high-level diplomatic meetings involving Russia, the United States, and NATO mark a departure from recent years of minimal contact. Putin has forced this crisis diplomacy upon the West, and for him, this already constitutes success: it shows the world that Russia is a globally significant power to be reckoned with.

  • Op-Ed The Monkey Cage (Washington Post) January 6, 2022
    The E.U. Continues To Sanction Belarus. Some Belarusians Agree.

    Policymakers and analysts know that sanctions on their own are unlikely to topple the regime or force Belarus’s president to behave better toward his citizens.

  • Op-Ed Washington Post January 6, 2022
    The EU Continues to Sanction Belarus. Some Belarusians Approve.

    Since October 2020, the European Union has gradually extended its sanctions against Belarus. Aimed to change the calculations and dynamics within the ruling elite, sanctions are now perceived as less important by the Belarusian people given the authoritarian regime's consolidation of power.

  • Op-Ed The Conversation November 3, 2021
    Belarus: How an Unpopular Government Is Struggling to Manage the Covid-19 Crisis

    Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s initial anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine approach to the pandemic has caused a significant decline in his credibility. While his stance has since softened, the erosion of trust in government institutions has made it more difficult to stem the virus’ spread.

  • Continuity and Change in Belarusian Societal Attitudes
    Strategic Europe October 21, 2021
    Continuity and Change in Belarusian Societal Attitudes

    Among Belarusians, trust in the political elite remains low while the perceived effectiveness of EU sanctions is decreasing. The union must keep the latter in mind when assessing its strategy toward the country.

  • The Message of Merkel’s Last Official Visits to Russia and Ukraine
    Strategic Europe August 26, 2021
    The Message of Merkel’s Last Official Visits to Russia and Ukraine

    The German chancellor’s legacy with regard to Russia and Ukraine is mixed, if not contradictory. Still, her successor is unlikely to show the same level of interest, commitment, or clout in their relations with Kiev and Moscow.

  • Putin’s Undeclared Red Lines—For Now
    Strategic Europe April 22, 2021
    Putin’s Undeclared Red Lines—For Now

    Russia is bound to have prepared for different military scenarios in Ukraine. Spreading uncertainty is an essential part of Putin’s policy.

  • Op-Ed Global Voices February 17, 2021
    Capturing the Mood on Both Sides of the Ukraine-Russia Conflict in Donbas

    In a region where every aspect of daily life is affected by the war, the degree of trust in local authorities in the Donbas will be a crucial factor in shaping the future.

  • Op-Ed The Washington Post February 12, 2021
    A New Survey of the Ukraine-Russia Conflict Finds Deeply Divided Views in the Contested Donbas Region

    Donbas is at the intersection of geopolitical, territorial, and cultural conflicts. These tensions are reflected in deep divisions in attitudes about the war and their future territorial status.

  • The Political Awakening of Belarusian Society
    Strategic Europe February 11, 2021
    The Political Awakening of Belarusian Society

    A new survey shows that Belarusian society has become much more politicized since the beginning of protests in August 2020. Western actors must seize on this opportunity to engage with ordinary Belarusians.


Areas of Expertise

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