University of Carolina at Chapel Hill

Milada Anna Vachudova

Milada Anna Vachudova specializes in the democratization of postcommunist Europe, the enlargement of the European Union, and the impact of international actors on domestic politics. She is a Jean Monnet Chair of European Integration, an Associate Professor of Political Science, and the Chair of the Curriculum in Global Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Professor Vachudova is working on a book project comparing the experience of democratization and international engagement in the Western Balkans and East Central Europe since 2000. She has held fellowships and research grants from the European University Institute in Italy, the Center for European Studies at Harvard University, the European Union Center at Columbia University, the Center for International Studies at Princeton University, the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, the National Science Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Center, IREX, and the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research. Her book, Europe Undivided: Democracy, Leverage and Integration After Communism (Oxford University Press, 2005) analyzes how the leverage of an enlarging EU has influenced domestic politics and facilitated a convergence toward liberal democracy among credible future members of the EU in Central and Eastern Europe. Europe Undivided was awarded the XIIth Stein Rokkan Prize for Comparative Social Science Research. This is a major international prize awarded biennially by the International Social Science Council. Europe Undivided is also a co-winner of the Marshall Shulman Prize awarded by the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. She received a BA from Stanford University in 1991. As a British Marshall Scholar and a member of St. Antony’s College, she completed a D.Phil. in the Faculty of Politics at the University of Oxford in 1997.

Email: vachudov [at]

Recent publications

Milada Anna Vachudova (2021). “Populism, Democracy and Party System Change in Europe” Annual Review of Political Science 24.

Milada Anna Vachudova (2020). “Ethnopopulism and Democratic Backsliding in Central Europe,” East European Politics 36, 3: 318-340.

Milada Anna Vachudova (2019). “From Competition to Polarization in Central Europe: How Populists Change Party Systems and the European Union,” Polity 51, 4: 689-706.

Sophie Meunier and Milada Anna Vachudova (2018). “Liberal Intergovernmentalism, Illiberalism and the Potential Superpower of the European Union,” JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies 56, 7: 1631-1647.

Seán Hanley and Milada Anna Vachudova (2018). “Understanding the Illiberal Turn: Democratic Backsliding in the Czech Republic,” East European Politics 34, 3: 276-296.
•2019 Best Article Prize published in East European Politics during the previous year.

Jonathan Polk, Jan Rovny et al., “Explaining the salience of anti-elitism and reducing political corruption for political parties in Europe with the 2014 Chapel Hill Expert Survey data,” Research and Politics 4:1 (2017).

Milada Anna Vachudova, “Why Improve EU Oversight of Rule of Law? The Two-Headed Problem of Defending Liberal Democracy and Fighting Corruption,” in Carlos Closa and Dimitry Kochenov, eds, Reinforcing the Rule of Law Oversight in the European Union (Cambridge University Press 2016).

Milada Anna Vachudova, “External Actors and Regime Change: How Post-Communism Transformed Comparative Politics,” East European Politics & Societies 29:2 (2015): 519-30.

Milada Anna Vachudova, “The Transformation of the State in East Central Europe,” in Evelyne Huber, Stephan Leibfried and John Stephens, eds, The Oxford Handbook on the Transformation of the State (Oxford University Press 2015).

Ryan Bakker, Catherine de Vries, Erica Edwards, Liesbet Hooghe, Seth Jolly, Gary Marks, Jonathan Polk, Jan Rovny, Marco Steenbergen and Milada Anna Vachudova, “Measuring Party Positions in Europe: The Chapel Hill Expert Survey trend file, 1999-2010,” Party Politics 21:1 (2015): 143-152.

Milada Anna Vachudova, “EU Leverage and National Interests in the Balkans: The Puzzles of Enlargement Ten Years On,” Journal of Common Market Studies 52:1 (2014): 122-138.

Milada Anna Vachudova and Aneta Spendzharova, “Strategies for Integration in the EU’s Pre-Accession Process: Reshaping Party Positions and State Institutions” in László Bruszt and Gerald McDermott, eds, Leveling the Playing Field: Transnational Regulatory Integration and Development (Oxford University Press 2014): 156-179.

Milada Anna Vachudova, “Social Democracy in East Central Europe,” in Michael Keating and David McCrone, eds, The Crisis of European Social Democracy (Edinburgh University Press 2013).

Aneta Spendzharova and Milada Anna Vachudova, “Catching Up? Consolidating Liberal Democracy After EU Accession,” West European Politics 35:1 (2012): 39-58.