Martin Naunov – Fall 2022

My 2-week research stay at King’s College London as a BEAR grant recipient was an incredibly valuable and fun experience.

The BEAR Network Graduate Mobility Grant allowed me to get detailed feedback on my research from Dr. Gulnaz Sharafutdinova, who was my host at King’s College London. One of the specific projects we discussed was my research on how protesters’ gender (presentation) shape Russian citizens’ perceptions of the protest and their likelihood of supporting protest suppression. In addition to kindly offering her expert and comprehensive feedback on my research, Dr. Sharafutdinova also generously organized several lunches where she introduced me to a number of other political psychologists and scholars of East European politics, such as Dr. Maxim Alyukov, who also provided me with insightful comments that I am grateful for. These conversations helped me refine my project and inspired me to start devising follow-up tests to my theory about the role of (gender) stereotypes in shaping perceptions of, participation in, and ultimately the success of social movements.

In addition to receiving feedback on my research, I was also thrilled to learn about the innovative research Dr. Sharafutdinova and the other scholars I met are pursuing on the role of identity, propaganda, and collective action in shaping the politics of non-democratic regimes. Learning about the cutting-edge research scholars like Dr. Sharafutdinova and Dr. Alyukov are currently pursuing made me excited about the future of research on political psychology in non-democratic contexts.

Of course, beyond the phenomenal opportunity to learn from and engage with an impressive network of scholars, the BEAR Mobility Grant trip also afforded me the chance to explore London—one of the world’s most vibrant and historic cities. (In fact, I arrived in London on one of the most momentous days in British history, the day of Queen Elizabeth II’s State Funeral.) From visiting Tate Modern and catching up with friends at centuries-old pubs or stunning coffeeshops to jogging in Hyde Park or simply strolling through bustling streets, my stay in London was a truly joyful and unforgettable experience.

Altogether, the BEAR Network Graduate Mobility Grant allowed me with a rare opportunity to get thoughtful feedback on my research, to learn about impressive scholarly work on the psychological mechanisms underlying non-democratic politics, and to expand my network beyond American academia—all while rejoicing in the tremendous vibrancy of London.

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