In recent years I have focused on two research topics. First is research into the sociology of elites, power and social inequality, and, second, comparative research into media and journalism in post-communist Europe, which I carry out together with Ilya Yablokov from the University of Leeds.

I am a Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Policy at Aston University, Birmingham, UK. Prior to that, I taught at a number of other universities in the UK (University College London, Liverpool University, Brunel University, University of Westminster), primarily in the field of Russian/Soviet politics and history.

In March 2021 I joined the LSE International Inequalities Institute as a Visiting Fellow.

My initial studies were in Russian and history at the University of Vienna. After finishing with a masters degree, I started working in governmental development cooperation in Austria, in PR and information, where my work focused on sub-Saharan Africa. Parallel to that I did another undergraduate and masters degree, this time in sociology. In 2007, I took up my PhD studies in Russian studies and politics at the University of Manchester, which I finished in 2012.

Since 2009 I have been living in London.