Michele E. Commercio is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Vermont. She teaches classes on Russian politics, Central Asian politics, and ethnic conflict in post-Soviet states. She has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania, an MSc in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics, and a BA from Boston College. Commercio’s research interests include ethnic conflict, nationalism, political transitions, and the relationship between the state and mosque in Central Asia.


Professor Commercio is the author of Russian Minority Politics in Post-Soviet Latvia and Kyrgyzstan: The Transformative Power of Informal Networks (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010). She has published articles in Political Science Quarterly, Studies in Comparative International Development, Nationalities Papers, and Problems of Post-Communism. Her current project analyzes the responses of Kyrgyz and Tajik women to attempts made by the Kyrgyz and Tajik states, respectively, to bestow a secularized Muslim identity upon women. Commercio’s research has been funded by IREX, NCEEER, APSA, USIP, IIE, and the NSF.