Mitchell Orenstein


Senior Fellow - Eurasia Program

Research Areas:

Political economy of transition in Central and Eastern Europe, Foreign policies of Russia and Eastern Europe, Comparative politics, International political economy

Mitchell Orenstein is a Senior Fellow at FPRI’s Eurasia Program and Professor and Chair of Russian and Eastern European Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Orenstein’s published work has explored the political economy of transition in Central and Eastern Europe and the foreign policies of Russia and Eastern Europe. Most recently, he is the author of The Lands in Between: Russia vs. the West and the New Politics of Hybrid War and co-author of From Triumph to Crisis: Neoliberal Economic Reform in Postcommunist Countries. He is also previously the author of two prize-winning books, Out of the Red: Building Capitalism and Democracy in Postcommunist Europe and Privatizing Pensions: The Transnational Campaign for Social Security Reform and also produced two books on European social policy with the World Bank, Roma in an Expanding Europe: Breaking the Poverty Cycle and Pension Reform in Europe: Process and Progress. Orenstein’s research work lies at the intersection of comparative politics, international political economy, and international relations, employing a problem-driven research approach based on asking policy-relevant questions and answering them through in-depth field research.  He is currently working on a new project on Social Impacts of Post-Socialist Transition, combining economic, demographic, public opinion, and ethnographic data to present a holistic analysis of a complex and controversial topic that feeds into European debates about the rise of populism. 

You can find out more about Mitchell Orenstein and his work at:


And follow him on Twitter: @m_orenstein