ESRC funded research project
(Rising Powers and Independent Futures)



Dr Rilka Dragneva
School of Law, University of Birmingham

Dr Rilka Dragneva-Lewers joined the Birmingham Law School in September 2012. Previous to that she was at the School of Law, University of Manchester (2006-2012) and Department of Law, University of Leiden (The Netherlands) (1999-2006). Dr Dragneva has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Sussex (2001) the Faculty of Law, University of Trento, Italy (2003 and 2004). Her research interests are focused in two main areas: legal reform and development of legal institutions in the field of company law and corporate governance (primarily in Central and Eastern Europe), and the law of economic integration (free trade areas) and legal harmonization (with an emphasis on developments in the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Eurasian Customs Union).

Between 1999 and 2004 she was actively engaged in technical assistance programmes and consulting activities in Eastern Europe for the World Bank, IFC and the EBRD. She was a co-drafter of the Model Investor Protection Law for the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) (EBRD), and the Russia Corporate Governance Manual (IFC Russia/US Department of Commerce). Dr Dragneva has also been engaged in professional training activities, most recently with the Advocates for International Development, a London-based legal NGO dedicated to promoting awareness of developmental issues (2007-2010). She was a legal counsel of a large foreign trade company in Bulgaria before embarking on her academic career.

Dr Kataryna Wolczuk
Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham

Dr. Kataryna Wolczuk is Senior Lecturer in East European Politics at the Centre for Russian and East European Studies, the University of Birmingham. She holds an Magister of Law from the University of Gdansk, an MSocSc and a PhD from the University of Birmingham. In 2002-03 she was Jean Monnet Fellow, the European University Institute, Florence. Her research has focused on the state-building process in the post-Soviet states (especially institutional reforms, regionalism and the politics of identity) and most recently, relations between the European Union and the post-Soviet states in Europe (within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership).

Dr Wolczuk contributed to numerous policy-related initiatives and cooperated with a number of UK governmental bodies, international organisations and think-tanks on East European politics, the consequences of EU enlargement and the relations between the EU and the post-Soviet states. She has extensive media experience, including radio and TV interviews, as well as publications in the British and international press.

The project also involves several experts from the UK, Russia and Ukraine.