Sharon Rivera

In an interview for The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage, Professor and chair of the government department Sharon Werning Rivera discussed results of the Survey of Russian Elites (SRE) and a special double issue of Post-Soviet Affairs. The article was published on June 12, Russia’s “Russia Day” holiday commemorating the Russian parliament’s declaration of the sovereignty of its laws over Soviet legislation in 1990.

Rivera was joined in the interview by her survey collaborator William Zimmerman of the University of Michigan. The pair co-edited the Post-Soviet Affairs issue which featured articles based on data from the SRE, a data set consisting of seven surveys of high-ranking Russians fielded between 1993 and 2016.

Rivera and Zimmerman recently co-directed an eighth survey wave, with funding from Hamilton’s Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center and the Office of the Dean of Faculty, the National Science Foundation, and the University of Michigan.

This spring, Rivera taught a course on survey research methods in which students analyzed the 2020 survey data. They also wrote a policy report that is expected to be released to the public soon.

With Assistant Professor of Government Erica De Bruin, Rivera is co-directing a Levitt Summer Research Group. Rivera’s part of the project centers on analyzing the 2020 survey and preparing the data set and documentation for archiving at the University of Michigan’s Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR).

The involvement of Hamilton students in the SRE is not new. Four years ago, when Rivera co-directed the 2016 survey with support from the Levitt Center, she used the data to produce a policy report with students in her survey research course, co-author an article with James Bryan ’16, and write a Monkey Cage article with her Levitt Summer Research Group.

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