About Gabriella Gricius

I am a Ph.D. student in Political Science at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO where I also act as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. My research focuses on Russian studies, Arctic politics, and critical security theory. I also work with Dr. Wilfred Greaves at the North American and Arctic Defense and Security Network (NAADSN), focusing on human security.


In my spare time, I work as the Director of Research for The International Scholar, a project aimed at introducing 80+ young scholars to research in International Relations and write for a variety of online publications including Foreign Policy, Global Security Review, and Riddle Russia amongst many others.

I am fluent in English and German and developing my proficiency in Russian, Spanish, and Dutch. Furthermore, I have experience coding in HTML, CSS, Ruby on Rails, Python and Javascript.When I'm not busy, I also teach yoga classes and am certified as a RYT-200 Hour Vinyasa teacher with Yoga Alliance. 

To see more of my publications and learn more about her experience, download my resume below.


My Latest Projects

The Virtual Human Rights Lawyer

I worked as the Coordinator for the Virtual Human Rights Lawyer project (VHRL) within the Public International Law & Policy Group as part of a collaboration with Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Legal Assistance Centre in Namibia and InterCidadania Institute in Brazil. The VHRL project was designed to help victims of serious human rights violations obtain access to justice and redress. This project aims to build an innovative web application-based chat-bot that enables users to find out how they can access existing global and regional human rights mechanisms in order to obtain some form of redress for the human rights violations they face. 

Corrupting or Stabilizing: The Political Economy of Corruption in the Donbass

A wide range of normative implications exists between corruption and the stability of de-facto states. While some claim that corruption inherently disrupts institutional development and stumps economic growth, others argue that corruption in some cases acts as a stabilizing factor for authoritarian regimes. Regardless, corruption generally plays a role in the political economy of any state. In de-facto states that still live under the auspices of a 'frozen conflict,' corruption tends to play an outsized role, either or equally impacting the exercise of political authority or the allocation of public goods and services. My research aimed to examine the case study of the Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics (LPR and DPR) and the relationship between corruption and governance in these two regions to better understand how corruption and stability are interrelated. Because of the difficulty of obtaining information, I relied on open-source data for the LPR and DPR and other available data from humanitarian organizations. This research was published with the Kyiv-Mohyla Law and Politics Journal in 2019.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Lustration & Vetting Policies in Ukraine and Georgia

Many of the world's conflicts today are self-sustaining and ongoing, making the application of transitional justice measures difficult. Particularly in Central & Eastern Europe, namely Georgia, and Ukraine where the terminology of 'frozen conflicts' is still very relevant, the question of whether or not transitional justice will be successfully utilized is very much still under debate. My research asked the question of whether or not lustration and vetting policies were effective in the aftermath of Russian armed conflict in Ukraine and Georgia. I presented this research at the Fourth Annual Tartu Conference on Russian and East European Studies and the Third ECPR Conference on Organized Crime in Sofia. It was published in the Journal of Liberty and International Affairs in 2019.

Russia’s New Soft Power: Financial Diplomacy and the Mir card system

After the onset of Western sanctions in 2014, the Russian National Card Payment System (NSPK) and its corresponding Mir bank cards launched the following year. Five years later, estimates show that 56 million people are using Mir cards, making up more than 20 percent of Russia’s bank card market and will be operational in twelve foreign countries. Traditionally, scholars have examined Russian financial diplomacy as a branch of its soft power approach as an attempt to integrate post-Soviet countries with Russia and Central Asian countries through promoting beneficial economic and cultural relationships. With the Mir card system, Russia is seeking to evolve its soft power and financial diplomacy approach to primarily become less dependent on a dollar-dominated financial system, but also to avoid potentially increasing US sanctions and to overarchingly seek to build a multipolar system. My research investigates how and why Russian financial diplomacy, as a part of its soft power strategy, has evolved over the last two decades and what the advent of the Mir card system portends. This research was published in the Journal of Liberty and International Affairs in 2020. 

gabriella.gricius@gmail.com |  +1 703 223 3952

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