University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Lauren McCarthy

Lauren McCarthy

Professional Title: 

Associate Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science


Thompson 226, on sabbatical 2023-2024


Office Hours: 

On sabbatical 2023-2024


Ph.D., Political Science & MA, Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison; BA Wesleyan University


My research focuses on the relationship between law and society in Russia, police and law enforcement institutions, citizen oversight, repressive and authoritarian law, and the issue of human trafficking.  My book, Trafficking Justice: How Russian Police Use New Laws, from Crime to Courtroom published by Cornell University Press (2015) explores how Russian law enforcement agencies have implemented laws on human trafficking, and was based on my dissertation which won the Edward S. Corwin Award (best dissertation in Public Law) from the American Political Science Association.  I am currently working on a second book project focusing on the legal suppression of wartime dissent in Russia, and another on grassroots civilian oversight and police accountability in Russia.

My articles have been published in a variety of journals and my research has been supported by the Fulbright Institute for International Education and fellowships at the Kennan Institute in Washington DC (2013) and the Aleksanteri Institute in Helsinki, Finland (2020).  I am also a Research Fellow at the Center for the Study of Institutions and Development, Higher School of Economics in Moscow and a member of PONARS (Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia).

I would be pleased to work with graduate students who are interested in any aspect of post-Soviet and Russian politics, comparative law, authoritarian law, human trafficking, or the police.

Area of Study: 

  • Comparative politics
  • Public law

Curriculum Vitae: 

Download pdf (267.4 KB)


  • Legal Studies