Research InterestsPaula Pickering is Associate Professor of Government at William & Mary. Professor Pickering’s current, collaborative research focuses on the evolving nature of civic activism in the post-communist region and its impact on political and social outcomes. Earlier collaborative projects include studies of the impact of aid for democratization on local communities in culturally diverse South Eastern Europe and the impact of information on electoral accountability in Uganda. Additional research interests include ethnic politics, particularly in the Balkans; and statebuilding and refugee politics in post-conflict states in Eurasia. Through her mentorship of the award-winning international community engagement project, The American-Bosnian Collaboration (ABC) Project, she also supports student-led, collaborative research assessing informal educational activities that promote inter-cultural communication skills.
Professor Pickering worked as an analyst on Eastern Europe and as a political officer in Turkmenistan for the State Department (1990-94). She has also served as a human rights officer for the Organization for Security in Cooperation in Europe in Bosnia-Herzegovina (1996) and as a volunteer for the Center for Non-violent Conflict Resolution in Nis, Serbia (1995).
Ph.D. in Political Science, University of Michigan, 2001; B.A. in International Relations, Stanford University, 1989.
Her book, Peacebuilding in the Balkans: The View from the Ground Floor, was published by Cornell University Press in 2007,
Selected additional publications include:
“Voter information campaigns and political accountability: Cumulative findings from a preregistered meta-analysis of coordinated trials.” with T. Dunning (lead author), G. Grossman, M. Humphreys, S. Hyde, C. McIntosh, G. Nellis, C. L. Adida, E. Arias, C. Bicalho, T.C. Boas, M. T. Buntaine, S. Chauchard, A. Chowdhury, J. Gottlieb, F.D. Hidalgo, M. Holmlund, R. Jablonski, E. Kramon, H. Larreguy, M. Lierl, J. Marshall, G. McClendon, M. A. Melo, D. L. Nielson, M. R. Platas, P. Querubín, P. Raffler, N. Sircar, Science Advances 5, eaaw2612, 3 July 2019, pp. 1-10 & Supplemental Information, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw2612.
“Budgets, SMS Texts, and Votes in Uganda,” with Mark Buntaine, Sarah Bush, Ryan Jablonski, and Dan Nielson, Chapter. In Information, Accountability, and Cumulative Learning: Lessons from Metaketa I, edited by Thad Dunning, Guy Grossman, Macartan Humphreys, Susan Hyde and Craig McIntosh, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019. 188–220.
“SMS Texts on Corruption Help Ugandan Voters Hold Elected Councillors Accountable at the Polls,” with Mark T. Buntaine, Ryan Jablonski, and Dan L. Nielson, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, June 11, 2018, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1722306115.
“Former Yugoslavia and Its Successors,” with Mark Baskin, in Sharon L. Wolchik and Jane L. Curry, eds., Central and East European Politics: From Communism to Democracy, Fourth Ed., Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2018, 439-91. (Also, Third (2014), Second (2010) editions, and original chapter in 2008).
“Making Local Government Work Better: How local and internationally sponsored institutions interact to influence performance in Bosnia-Herzegovina,” with Mirna Jusić, Governance 31, 2018, pp. 665–682. https://doi.org/10.1111/gove.12328.
“Public Scepticism of Civil Society Organizations: norms, citizen priorities, and local groups in post-socialist Serbia” with Slađana Danković, East European Politics, Vol. 33, No. 2, 2017, pp. 210-232.
“Local governance in Bosnia: addressing both ethno-nationally and locally defined interests?” in Yana Hashamova and Theodora Dragostinova, eds., Beyond Mosque, Church, and State: Alternative Narratives of the Nation, Budapest: Central European University Press, 2016, pp. 287-311.
“Explaining the Varying Impact of International Aid for Local Democratic Governance in Bosnia-Herzegovina” Problems of Post-Communism, Vol. 59, No. 1, January/February 2012, pp. 30-43.
“Assessing International Efforts to Promote Good Local Governance in the Western Balkans,” Democratization, Vol. 17, October 2010, pp. 1021-1046.
“Back from the Brink: Explaining political moderation after inter-ethnic violence in the Balkans,” Europe-Asia Studies. June 2009, volume 61, issue 4, pp.565-91
“What is to Be Done? Succession from the League of Communists of Croatia,” with Mark Baskin in Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Special Issue on Comparative Perspectives on Communist Party Successor Parties of Central and Eastern Europe, 41/2, September/December 2008, pp. 1-20.
"Generating Bridging Social Capital in the Balkans," in Ethnic and Racial Studies, 29/1 January 2006;
GOVT 150: War and Peace in the Balkans
GOVT 335: Politics of Central Europe
Govt 333: The Bosnia Project (international community-engagement course) (COLL 300)
Govt 203: Introduction to Comparative Politics
Govt 334: Russian/Post-Soviet Politics
Govt 403: Sources of and Remedies for Conflict in Eurasia
Fellowships and Grants
Recent fellowships include:
Poland’s National Science Centre, Harmonia 10, grant for “21st Century Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe: 30 Years After” foreign partner with Dorota Pietrzyk-Reeves, Patrice McMahon, and Lisa M. Sundstrom.
Evidence in Governance and Politics regranting initiative for “Repairing Information Underload: The Effects on Vote Choice of Information Regarding Politician Performance,” 2015, with Mark Buntaine, Sarah Bush, Ryan Jablonski, and Dan Nielson.
Charles Center, College of William and Mary, “Funding for courses with significant off-campus components,” spring 2016 for The Bosnia Project course.
Weingartner Associate Professor of International Studies, August 2011-May 2013
Fellowships supporting earlier research include those from the International Research and Exchanges Board (2007-8), the National Council of Eurasian and East European Research (2009-11, 2006), the Woodrow Wilson Center (2005), the US Institute of Peace (2000), the Social Science Research Council (1999), and Fulbright-Hays (1999).