Paula Ganga

Mellon Teaching Fellow in the Harriman Institute and Lecturer in Political Science
Columbia University
12th Floor, International Affairs Building
212 854-4623

Paula Ganga is a political scientist with an interest in comparative politics, political economy and political methodology with a regional emphasis on Eastern Europe and other post-communist societies. She received her Ph.D. from Georgetown University in July 2018. 

Dr. Ganga’s book manuscript focuses on political determinants of switches between privatization and nationalization. She examines the economic policy shifts between privatization and nationalization prompted by the interaction of international economic pressures and domestic politics. In this project Dr. Ganga uses an original data set of privatizations and nationalizations since 1950 as well as data from extensive field work in Eastern Europe and shows that populist parties in power may pursue an economic nationalist policy regardless of their formal commitments to international economic openness. 

Her major project at Harriman focuses on the Economic Consequences of Populism. The project examines the impact of populists in power both on the prospects for democracy as the way these leaders concentrate power either within state institutions or—more likely—within closed elites around the populist leadership. The economic nationalism and welfare chauvinism emerging from populist rhetoric and gathering ever increasing support across Europe and elsewhere threaten to reshape the domestic and global economic landscape. Dr. Ganga’s research bears directly on how nations view the link between democracy and market capitalism, populism, rising illiberalism in recent political transitions and state capitalism.

Before coming to the Harriman Institute, Paula was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Skalny Center for Polish and Central Eastern European Studies, University of Rochester, and a George F. Kennan Short-term Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.