Dr Rilka Dragneva-Lewers

Dr Rilka Dragneva-Lewers

Birmingham Law School
Senior Lecturer

Contact details

0121 414 3146
0121 414 3585
Birmingham Law School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Rilka Dragneva-Lewers is a Senior Lecturer with research interests in legal reform in the field of company law and corporate governance (primarily in Central and Eastern Europe), the law of economic integration and legal harmonization (with a special reference to post-Soviet Eurasia), and the international/EU diffusion of legal norms and practices. She has recently secured (jointly with Kataryna Wolczuk, CREES, University of Birmingham) an ESRC grant to focus on ‘Russia and the EU in the Common Neighbourhood: Export of Governance and Legal (In)Compatibility’. Rilka’s work has strong comparative and interdisciplinary elements. Her expertise in the field has enabled her to engage in law reform technical assistance projects, presentations to policy-makers, and professional training activities. Rilka is a member of the editorial board of Review of Central and East European Law and International Journal of Law and Management.



  • LLB (Sofia University, Bulgaria)
  • MA (Sussex)
  • PhD (Sussex)


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). Rilka has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Sussex (2001) the Faculty of Law, University of Trento, Italy (2003 and 2004). Between 1999 and 2004 she was also 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).

Rilka has also been engaged in professional training activities 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. 



  • Company Law (LLB)
  • Company Law (LLM)
  • Law and Finance in Emerging Markets (LLM)

Postgraduate supervision

I am happy to supervise students in the following areas:


  • Comparative company law and corporate governance
  • Legal reform and economic development
  • EU Neighbourhood Policy and external relations with Eastern Europe
  • Comparative regional economic integration law


Dr Dragneva’s main research interests relate to the area of company law and corporate governance with a special reference to legal reform and the development of legal institutions in Central and Eastern Europe, the role of international/EU export of law and legal transplants in domestic law reform, as well as economic integration and legal harmonization in the Commonwealth of Independent States/Eurasian Customs Union.

She has recently secured an ESRC Grant No. ES/J013358/1 to pursue research on ‘Russia and the EU in the Common Neighbourhood: Export of Governance and Legal (In)Compatibility’ together with Dr Kataryna Wolczuk, CREES, University of Birmingham. Using an interdisciplinary methodology, the project aims to examine Russia’s export of rules and other forms of governance to its ‘near abroad’ (focusing on 3 countries (Armenia, Belarus and Ukraine) across 4 policy areas (aspects of energy policy, customs regulation, tax administration, and corporate governance) and the resulting implications for the EU’s policy in the region. The duration of the project is 3 years (starting 1 January 2013).

Rilka's latest work is an edited volume (with K. Wolczuk) on Eurasian Economic Integration: Law, Policy and Politics to be published by Edward Elgar in October 2013. 


Edited Books

(2013) R. Dragneva and K. Wolczuk, eds.Eurasian Economic Integration: Law, Policy and Politics, Edward Elgar.

(2007) R. Dragneva, ed. Investor Protection in the CIS: Legal Reform and Voluntary Harmonization, Brill/Martinus Nijhoff.

Book chapters

  • (2013) “The Eurasian Customs Union: framing the analysis”, in R. Dragneva and K. Wolczuk, eds. (with K. Wolczuk)
  • (2013) “The legal and institutional dimensions of the Eurasian Customs Union”, in R. Dragneva and K. Wolczuk, eds.
  • (2013) “Commitment, asymmetry and flexibility: making sense of Eurasian economic integration”, in R. Dragneva and K. Wolczuk, eds. (with K. Wolczuk)
  • (2011) "EU Law Export to the Eastern Neighbourhood and the Elusive Demand for Law." In PJ Cardwell, ed. EU External Relations Law and Policy in the Post-Lisbon Era, TMC Asser/Springer, 217-240 (with K. Wolczuk)
  • (2010) "Exploring the Regulatory Preconditions for Business Advantage for CSR", in C. Louche, S. Idowu, W. Leal Filho, eds. Innovative CSR, Greanleaf Publishing, 37-61 (with D. Williamson & G. Lynch-Wood)
  • (2007) “Patterns of Integration and Regime Compatibility: Ukraine between the CIS and the EU”, in K. Malfliet, L. Verpoest & E. Vinokurov, eds. The CIS, the EU and Russia: Challenges of Integration, Palgrave/Macmillan, 171-201 (with A. Dimitrova)
  • (2007) "CIS Model Legislation and Its Contributions to Company-Law Reform and Harmonization”, in R. Dragneva, ed. 2007, 1-44
  • (2007) “Legal Regulation of Shareholder Rights in the CIS”, in R. Dragneva, ed. 2007, 45-84
  • (2007) “Cumulative Voting and the Protection of Minority Shareholders in the CIS”, in R. Dragneva, ed. 2007, 85-104 (with G. Maassen)
  • (2007) "Towards Free Trade in the CIS: Challenges of Law and Policy", in S. Bakhin, ed. International Public and Private Law: Problems and Perspectives, St. Petersburg, 114-132 [Revised version published in Russian in the leading academic law journal Pravovedenie January 2008]
  • (2002) “Rights, Contracts and Constitutions: The Experience of Russia”, in F. Feldbrugge, W. Simons, eds. Human Rights in Russia and Eastern Europe, Kluwer/Martinus Nijhoff (with W. Simons) [Revised version published in “Права, договоры и конституционные суды: опыт России”, Цивилистические Записки. Межвузовскии Сборник Научных Трудов, Вып. 3, Essays in Honor of S. Alekseev, Moskva/Ekaterinburg 2004, 406-440]
  • (1999) “Mass Privatisation Funds: The New Institutional Investors in the East? A Comparative Study of CEE Mass Privatisation Schemes” in Dimitrov, M., Andreff, W., Czaba, L., eds. Economies of Transition and Varieties of Capitalisms, Gorex Press (with P. Tchipev)


Journal Articles

  • (2013) "Shaping Convergence with the EU in Foreign Policy and State Aid in Post-Orange Ukraine: Weak Incentives, Powerful Veto Players", 65 Europe-Asia Studies 4, 658-681 (with A. Dimitrova)
  • (2010) “The Politics of Demand for Law: The Case of Ukraine’s Company Law Reform”, European Journal of Law Reform 12/3-4 (2010) 297-318 (with A. Dimitrova)
  • (2009) "Constraining External Governance: Interdependence with Russia and the CIS as a Limit to EU's Rule Transfer in the Ukraine", 16 European Journal of Public Policy 6, 853-872 (with A. Dimitrova)
  • (2007) “Legal Regime for Free Trade in the CIS”, 56 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 233-266 (with J. de Kort)
  • (2006) “Contract Law Harmonization and Regional Integration: Can the CIS Learn From the EU?”, 31 Review of Central and East European Law 1-44 (with E. Ioriatti-Ferrari)
  • (2004) “Is ‘Soft’ Beautiful?: Another View on Law, Institutions and Integration in the Commonwealth of Independent States”, 29:3 Review of Central and East European Law  279-324
  •  (2002-03) “Transposing the “True and Fair View” Concept in the Legislation of Hungary and Poland in the Context of EU Enlargement”, 28: 2 Review of Central and East European Law 183–209 (with E. Millan)
  • (2001) “Bulgaria's Road to the European Union: Progress, Problems and Perspectives”, 2:1 Perspectives on European Politics and Society 79-104 (with A. Dimitrova) [Reprinted in C. Ross (ed) Perspectives on the Enlargement of the European Union, Brill, Leiden 2002, 139-164]
  • (2001) “Perspectives on Company Law Reform in Central and Eastern Europe: An Introduction”, 27: 1 Review of Central and East European Law 1-5 (with T. Jersild)
  • (2001) “Corporate Governance Revisited: Can the Stakeholder Paradigm Provide a Way Out of ‘Vulture’ Capitalism in Eastern Europe?”, 27: 1 Review of Central and East European Law  93-111 (with W. Simons) [Revised translation published in “Пересмотр корпоративного управления: можно ли с помощью концепции сторон, заинтересованных в результатах деятельности компании, избежать «дикого» капитализма в Восточной Европе?”, Цивилистические Записки. Межвузовскии Сборник Научных Трудов, Вп. 2, Moskva / Ekaterinburg 2002, 464-487. Included in OECD documentary data-set: www.oecd.org/dataoecd/7/62/29705812.pdf ]
  • (2001) “The Reality of Models: Reflections on the CIS Model Law on the Limited Liability Company”, 27: 1 Review of Central and East European Law 113-131
  • (1998) “Legal Regulation of Contractual Relations in Transition to a Market Economy: the Case of Bulgaria”, 29(3) IDS Bulletin 51


Working papers

  • (2012) “Russia, The Eurasian Customs Union and the EU: Cooperation, Stagnation or Rivalry?”, Chatham House Working Paper REP BP 2012/01(with K. Wolczuk)
  • (2012) “Russia, EU and ECU: co-existence or rivalry?”, Open Democracy Russia, 25 September 2012 (with K. Wolczuk)
  • (2008) "The Regulatory Implications of the Externally-Driven Business Case for CSR in the New EU Member States", FEEM CSR Working Papers 55.08 (with D. Williamson & G. Lynch-Wood)
  • (2006) "Russia's Role in Fostering the CIS Trade Regime", Leiden University Department of Economics Research Memorandum 2006.03 (with J. de Kort)
  • (1999) “Corporate Governance Through Privatisation: Does Design Matter?”, Sussex European Institute Discussion Paper # 31


Other Publications

 Chapters on “Corporate Governance Implications of Corporate Securities”, “Corporate Governance in Groups of Companies”, and “Corporate Governance Implications of Reorganizations”, in The Russia Corporate Governance Manual, IFC, Moscow 2004.