Nikolay Marinov 

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Department of Political Science, PGH 434
University of Houston
3551 Cullen Boulevard, Houston, TX 77204


University of Houston
2018– Associate Professor of Political Science

University of Mannheim
2016 –18 Full Professor/Lehrstuhl Political Science (W3)
2013-15 Assistant Professor, Political Science 

Yale University
2005-13 Assistant Professor, Political Science


Stanford University: PhD in Political Science 2003, MA Economics 1998
American University in Bulgaria: BA 1996 Summa Cum Laude 


Bubeck, Johannes and Nikolay Marinov.  2019. Rules and Allies: Foreign Election Interventions  (Cambridge) 


Elshehawy, Ashrakat, Nikolay Marinov, Federico Nanni, Jordan Tama. 2021.  “SASCAT: NLP Approach to the Study of American Economic Sanctions” Journal of Peace Research (conditional accept)

Braeuninger, Thomas and Nikolay Marinov. 2021. "Political Elites and the War on Truth" (with Thomas ) Journal of Public Economics (conditional accept)

Mader, Matthias, Nikolay Marinov and Harald Schoen. 2021. “Foreign Anti-Mainstream Propaganda and Democratic Publics” Comparative Political Studies (forthcoming)

Ashrakat Elshehawi, Konstantin Gavras, Nikolay Marinov, Federico Nanni and Harald Schoen. 2021. “Illiberal Communication and Election Intervention During the Refugee Crisis in Germany” Perspectives on Politics (forthcoming)

Marinov, Nikolay. 2021. “International Actors As Critics of Domestic Freedoms: The Role of Expertise and Benefits” Mediterranean Politics (firstview)

Marinov, Nikolay and Maria Popova. 2021. “Will the Real Conspiracy Please Stand Up: Sources of Post-communist Democratic Failure” Perspectives on Politics (firstview)

Bubeck, Johannes, Kai Jäger, Federico Nanni and Nikolay Marinov.  2021. “Why Do States Intervene in the Elections of Others?  The Role of Incumbent-Opposition Divisions” British Journal of Political Science 52:85-106

Florian Foos, Lyubomir Kostadinov, Nikolay Marinov, Frank Schimmelfennig.  2020. “Does Social Media Promote Civic Activism?  A Field Experiment with a Civic Campaign” Political Science Research and Methods 9:500-518

Bubeck, Johannes and Nikolay Marinov.  2017. “Process or Candidate?  The International Community and the Demand for Electoral Integrity” American Political Science Review 111:535-554

Carnegie, Allison and Nikolay Marinov.  2017.  “Foreign Aid, Human Rights and Democracy Promotion: Evidence from a Natural Experiment” American Journal of Political Science 61:671-683

Nikolova, Elena and Nikolay Marinov. 2017. “Do Public Fund Windfalls Increase Corruption? Evidence from a Natural Disaster” Comparative Political Studies 111:535-554

Marinov, Nikolay and Shmuel Nili. 2015. “Sanctions and Democracy” International Interactions 41:765- 778

Marinov,  Nikolay and William Nomikos and Josh Robbins.   2015.   “Does Electoral Poximity Affect Security Policy?” Journal of Politics 77:762-773

Goemans, Hein and Nikolay Marinov. 2014. “Coups and Democracy” British Journal of Political Science 44:799-825

Hyde, Susan and Nikolay Marinov.  2014.  “Information and Self-Enforcing Democracy:  The Role of International Election Observation” International Organization 68:329-359

Marinov, Nikolay.  2013.  “Voter Attitudes When Democracy Promotion Turns Partisan:  Evidence from a Survey-Experiment in Lebanon” Democratization 20:1297-1321

Kinne, Brandon and Nikolay Marinov.  2013.  “Electoral Authoritarianism and Credible Signalling in International Crises” Journal of Conflict Resolution 57:359-386

Corstange, Daniel and Nikolay Marinov. 2012. “Taking Sides in Other People’s Elections: The Polarizing Effect of Foreign Intervention” American Journal of Political Science 53:655-670.

Hyde, Susan and Nikolay Marinov. 2012. “Which Elections Can Be Lost?” Political Analysis 20:191-210

Marinov, Nikolay.  2005.  “Do Economic Sanctions Destablize Country Leaders?”  American Journal of Political Science 49:564-576


Working papers:

"The Origins of Candidate-Conditioned Cooperation in International Relations”  (with Tsz-Ning Wong) - under review (available at ssrn)

"What’s in a Proper Name? Whether Leaders Matter”  (with Ashrakat Elshehawy, Federico Nanni, Ines Rehbein) - under review (available at ssrn)

"Varieties of Unilateral Enforcement of International Human Rights Standards'' (with Daniela Donno, Ashrakat Elshehawy) - under review (available at ssrn)

"How the US Electoral Cycle Affects Elections Around the World” (with Johannes Bubeck, Ashrakat Elshehawy, Federico Nanni) - under review (available at ssrn)


Awards and Distinctions

Best Paper

for “Partisan Polarization When Foreigners Intervene in Elections:  Survey Experiment in Lebanon” in the field of International Relations, 2010 Midwest Political Science Association Meeting

Visiting Fellowships

Notre Dame, Kellogg Institute for International Studies, Visiting Fellow, Fall 2016 (postponed)
University of Sydney, Electoral Integrity Project, Senior Fellow, Spring 2016
UCLA Institute for International Studies Global Fellow 2004-05


(with Susan Hyde) Co-PI of the National Elections Across Democracy and Autocracy dataset, currently has all 3104 national-level direct elections for 1945-2012. Impact: 1500 downloads from researchers in 54 countries, 228 citations in Google Scholar of data article


Work referenced in The National Interest, Foreign Policy, Monkey Cage, Obama Admin, Center for Global Development, Freakonomics, Economist,, Chris Blattman Blog; German Development Institute,  Bonn


Advocacy work for VarnaDisha NGO, using social media to help coordinate protests to save Bulgarian Black Sea park. Won 2012 Prize “Vreme”, awarded by Varna City and Varna Economics University




Principal Investigator: 2016-19 German Science Foundation, “Processes or Candidates? The International Community and the Demand for Electoral Integrity,” Grant # MA 7209/1-1. 289,620 €


Under Review/Development

Collaborator on German Science Foundation Grant application submitted “Uncovering ideological frames in political discourses (UNCOVER)” - PIs: Simone Ponzetto, Ines Rehbein (Uni Mannheim)

"US Statements and Actions on Sanctions, Computer-Assisted-Text Approach: US SASCAT'' - NSF Proposal, to file Jan 2022

Internal and Seed Grants

2020 seed funding for ``When is Democracy'' (with Ryan Kennedy) College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Houston. Grant: 8,000 USD

2014-16 Mannheim Center for European Research (MZES): seed funding to develop grant proposals on international involvement in democratization. Grant: 25,000 €

2014 Lehrprogramm Baden-Württemberg. Grant: 10,000 €

2014 Cooper Fund, ETH Zürich for field experiment civic activism and social media in democratizing countries (with Frank Schimmelfennig). Grant: 15,000 €

2012 Georg Leitner Program in Political Economy at Yale: organize Democracy with Edges Conference, June 21-22, 2012. Grant: 25,000 USD

2011 Center for Middle East Studies (CMES), Yale. Survey work in Turkey. Grant: 2,000 USD

2009 Institution for Social and Policy Studies (ISPS), Yale and University of Maryland, Dean’s Office. Survey work in Lebanon (with Daniel Corstange). Grant: 37,000 USD

2006-2012 Macmillan Center for International and Area Studies, Yale, for data collection “NELDA: National Elections Across Democracy and Autocracy” (with Susan Hyde). Grant: 30,000 USD



Principal Investigator: 2016-17 Proposal to the British Academy, “What works in reducing corruption? Lessons from Bulgaria and Italy,” with Elena Nikolova (EBRD), Paolo Pinotti (Bocconi) and Piero Stanig (Bocconi). 400,000 GBP

Principal Investigator: 2006-11 Proposal to the National Science Foundation, “A Global Database of Election Dates and Attributes, 1960-2004,” with Susan Hyde, Nikolay Marinov, Alberto Simpser. 500,000 USD 


Conference Organizer

Great Powers and Democracy: Congruities and Tensions Between Power Politics and Liberalism

One-day APSA 2016 Mini-Conference in Philadelphia. IR has had a difficult time confronting one of the dramatic developments of our time, the spread of liberal democracy. We want to move beyond simple arguments such as that democracy-promotion is window-dressing for great power interests, or the idealistic belief that international politics has changed, and examine the conditions under which powerful states engage in democracy promotion. Co-conveners: Susan Hyde and Nikolay Marinov.

Democracy with Edges

Yale University, New Haven, CT, Jun 21-22 2012. Co-sponsored by the Leitner Program in Political Economy and Center for Middle East Studies at Yale University. Questions explored: how do interna- tional influences and processes affect voters on the ground and the trajectories of hybrid regimes regimes? 25  participants.

 Invited Talks

UT Austin, Dec 4, 2019: Candidate-Conditioned Cooperation

University of Florida, October 5th, 2018: ``Conspiracies''

Rice University, April 13th, 2018: ``Building Elections-Related Corpora with NLP: U.S. Sanctions, Leader Mentions, and Russian Propaganda''

University of Washington, CSSS, April 4th, 2018: ``Building Elections-Related Corpora with NLP: U.S. Sanctions, Leader Mentions, and Russian Propaganda''

Tel Aviv Univeristy, April 16, 2018 (postponed)

NYU Abu Dhabi, April 6, 2017: "Election Wars"

Washington University, St Louis, February 23, 2017 

Hertie School, Berlin, November 3d, 2017

Hertie School, Berlin, November 3d, 2017: “Election Wars” 

Naval Post-Graduate School, Monterey, May 3d, 2016: “Election Wars”

Electoral Integrity Project Speaker Series, University of Sydney, April 19, 2016: “Election Wars”

University of Essex, Jan 19, 2016: Dept. of Government Visitor Speaker Series,  “Election Wars”

Koc and Sabanci Universities, Oct 21-22 2015: “Does Social Media Promote Civic Optimism?”

V-Dem Lunch Seminar Series, University of Gothenburg, March 31st, 2015: “Does Social Media Promote Civic Optimism?”

GIGA Hamburg, March 30, 2015: “Sanctions and Democracy”

CIS - ETH and University of Zurich, Feb 19, 2015: “Does Social Media Promote Civic Optimism?”

University of St Gallen, Switzerland, Dec 4, 2013: “Uncovering the Persuasive Effects”

CP Workshop, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, April 29, 2013: “Uncovering the Persuasive Effects”

Davis Center, Harvard, March 13, 2013: “The Protests in Bulgaria”

LUX Lecture, Yale, March 8, 2013: “Broadcasting yourself in the Google Scholar Age”

Sabancı University, Istanbul, Feb 8, 2013: “Uncovering the Persuasive Effects”

Uppsala University, Feb 7, 2013:  Dept. of Peace and Conflict Research,  “Electoral Proximity and Security Policy”

MacMillan IR Seminar, Yale, Jan 30, 2013: “Uncovering the Persuasive Effects”

Research Seminar, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, London, July 31, 2012 (declined)

CUIPS Seminar, Columbia University, April 14, 2011: “Foreign Aid and the Coup d’Etat”

PIA Seminar Series, UCSD, Dec 1, 2011 (declined)

Luce Speaker Series on Religion, Democracy and Conflict, Princeton, Nov 9, 2010:  “Foreign Meddlers and Local Democrats”

CP Workshop Series, Cornell, March 12, 2010: “Process or Candidate? Survey Experiment From Lebanon”

IR Workshop, Columbia, Feb 7, 2008:  “An Informational Theory of Election Observers”

American University in Bulgaria, March 22, 2007: “An Informational Theory of Election Observation”

Institute for International Studies Speaker Series, Stanford, Jan 24, 2007:  “An Informational Theory of Election Observers”

International Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, March 2005:  “Economic Integration and Democracy”

 Select Workshop Participations

Monash-Warwick-Zurich Text-as-Data Workshop, Why Obasanjo but Germany: The Leader vs. Country Debate on the Floor of U.S. Congress, February 18th and 19th, 2021

University of Miami, March 2020: Conspiracy Workshop

Berkeley, Oct 2019: Conference Comparative Politics and Formal Theory

Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Jan 23 2020: German Public Opinion on Foreign and Security Policy in a Time of Transatlantic Stress

Uppsala, Workshop Human Progress in the 21st Century: Dark and Bright Sides of Democratization, chaired by Lisa Hultman, Sep 21 2017

University of Konstanz, Workshop The Empirical Study of Autocracy Workshop, chaired by Nils Weidmann, Sep 10-13 2017

Ludwig-Maximilian University, Munich, Studying Russian Disinformation, Jun 20 2017

Free University of Berlin, Book Conference for Inken von Borzyskowski, May 17-18 2015

German Development Institute, ENCoRe Workshop, Bonn, March 5-6, 2015

University of Sydney, Workshop on Challenges of Electoral Integrity in Asia-Pacific, Sep 28, 2014

PRIO, Workshop on Actors, Strategies and Tactics in Contentious Direct Action, Oslo, May 8, 2014

University of Essex, ENCoRe Workshop, Sep 19-20, 2013

New York University, Folke Bernadotte Academy Workshop, Nov 15-16, 2012

Yale University, Leitner Workshop Tools of International Pressure Conference, June 1-2, 2012

Yale University, Global Commission on Elections, Democracy and Security Workshop by IDEA and the Kofi Anan Foundation, hosted by Ernesto Zedillo/Betts Hause, March 2, 2012

Columbia University, UN PKO Workshop, Oct 30-31, 2009

Dartmouth, Why Communism Didn’t Collapse Conference, May 25-26, 2007

Yale University, Elections and Political Identities in New Democracies, April 28, 2007

Stanford University, Conference on US and EU Strategies for Democracy Promotion, Institute for International Studies, Oct 4-5, 2004

 Recent Teaching

2018-19 UH: Intro to IR, Research Design, Arguments and Methods

2015-16 Hybrid Wars and Cybesecurity seminar, International Regimes seminar, Democracy Promotion seminar, Regime Types lecture, BA Thesis seminar

2014-15 Social Media seminar, International Democratization Master’s seminar

2013-14 Economic Sanctions lecture

2012-13 Introduction to International Relations lecture 2011-12 Research and Writing seminar

 Departmental Service and Supervision


Quantitative Social Science Minor Coordinator 2020-21; UH Polisci Brownbag Seminar 2018-2021- organizer; UH PoliSci Executive Committee 2019-20; UH Diss. Committees: Burak Giray, Samad Kari- mov, Ulkar Imamverdi, Rebecca Cardone da Costa, Yuyang Pu, Henrietta MacPepple, Shiladitya Kumar; Supervisor of Pitt PhD student: Zarplı Omer, Master Thesis supervisor Mariana Roa, Mannheim; PhD Committees: Cosima Meyer-Mannheim; Ash Elshehawy-Oxford

Dissertation Committee: Susanne Michalik, Anita Gohdes, Eva Bernauer, Mascha Rauschenbach, Adam Scharpf;
Supervisor PhD and Postdocs: Marcela Ibanez and Kai Jaegers
Advisor to PhD Students: Jakob Willisch, Dominik Ponattu, Jason Eichorst, Moritz Marbach, Cristina Gherasimov (DAAD Visiting Scholar Mannheim 2015-16)
BA/MA Theses Supervision: 100 +
Studienkommission Fall 2014 and on; Master's Admission Committee Spring 2014; 

Dissertations of Brandon Kinne (IR), Daniela Donno (IR), Zhiming Chen (IR), BA/MA Student Theses Supervision; IT Committee, Graduate Admissions Committees (various years)

Professional Conferences

Presenter with Paper Titles

APSA Seattle, September 1st-2nd, 2021: “May the Real Conspiracy Please Stand Up” “Why Congress Grants Executive Authority on Economic Sanctions" (APSA, Washington DC 2019); 
“Computational Analysis of Text and Big Data: Advances in Comparative Politics and Beyond” (APSA, Boston, Sep 1, 2018); 
“Electoral Interveners and Limited Control” (APSA, San Francisco, Sep 1, 2017); 
“Quantifying Attention” (NLP, Cologne, Jul 12, 2017); 
“Election Wars” and “Infidels and Heretics” (APSA, Philadephia, Sep 1-4, 2016); 
“Does Social Media Promote Civic Optimism?” and “Why Foreign Powers Lose Elections” (APSA, San Francisco, Sep 3-6, 2015);
“Why Foreign Powers Lose Elections” (EPSA, Vienna, June 25-27, 2015);
“Floods and Corruption” (Annual Meeting of the European Public Choice Society, Groningen, April 7-10; 2015);
“Process or Party?” (Australian Political Science Annual Meeting, Sydney, Sep 29-Oct 1, 2014);
“Process or Party?”, “Sanctions and Democracy” and “The Effects of Aid on Human Rights and Democracy” (APSA, Wash- ington, DC, Aug 28-31, 2014);
“Does Electoral Proximity Affect Security Policy” and “Uncovering the Persuasive Effects” (APSA, Chicago, Aug 27-Sep 1, 2013);
“Electoral Proximity and Security Policy” (MPSA, Chicago, April 10-13, 2013);
“The Effect of Aid on Rights and Governance” (APSA, New Or- leans, September 2012 - cancelled);
“Foreign Support and Electoral Fortunes” (MPSA, Chicago, April 12, 2012), “Electoral Authoritarianism and Credible Signaling in International Crises” and “Partisan In- terventions in Elections” (APSA, Seattle, September 1-2nd, 2011);
“Survey Experiment From Lebanon” (APSA, Washington, DC, September 2010);
“Survey Experiment From Lebanon” and “Which Elections Can Be Lost?” (MPSA, Chicago, March 2010);
“The Coup d’Etat as a Force for Democratization” (APSA 2009);
“Identifying the Democratizing Effects of EU Aid” and “Do International Institutions Punish Heretics More Than Infidels?” (MPSA, Chicago, 2009);
“The European Union and Human Rights Sanctions in 1989-2000” (APSA, Boston, 2008);
“What Happened to the Coup d’E´ tat?” and “Heretic or Infidel To Be?” (MPSA, Chicago, 2008);
“An Informational Theory of Election Observers,” and “Outlawing Coups” (ISA, San Diego 2008);
“Why Do States Commit to Human Rights Treaties?” and “What Do International Observers Do?” (MPSA, Chicago, 2007);
“Is the Globalization of Elections Good for Democracy?” (APSA, 2006);
“Institutional Effectiveness Under Endogenous Membership” (MPSA, Chicago, 2006);
“Are Elections Good for Democracy?” (ISA, 2006);
“Is the Globalization of Elections Good for Democracy?” (APSA 2005); “Do International Institutions Punish Heretics?” (ISA, 2004); “Allies, Adversaries and International Economic Sanctions” (APSA, 2002); “Domestic Political Institutions and Sanctions Termination” (ISA, 2002)

Chair or Discussant with Panel Titles

“The Political Economy of Conflict and Cooperation” (Uni of Houston, June 1-2, 2018);
“Elections and Contentious Politics” (ISA 2017, discussant);
“Leader Survival, Coups and Mass Protests” (APSA 2016, discussant);
“Electing Democracy? Flores and Nooruddin Book Roundtable”;
“Int’l Factors and Democratization” (MPSA 2016, discussant);
“Leadership Survival, Mobilization and Conflict” (APSA 2015, discussant and chair);
“The International Community” (EIP one-day workshop at APSA 2015, discussant);
“Comparative Electoral Institutions” (Australian Political Science Association 2014; discussant);
“International Influences on Authoritarian Resilience” (APSA 2013, discussant);
“The Politics of Protest” (MPSA 2012, chair);
“International and Transnational Factors in  Democratization” (MPSA 2012, discussant);
“Elections in Authoritarian Regimes” (APSA 2010, discussant);
“International Criminal Law” (MPSA 2009, discussant);
“Leaders, Leadership Turnover, and Foreign Policy” (MPSA 2009, discussant);
“Forms of International Cooperation” (MPSA 2008, chair);
“International  Regime Design and Reform” (MPSA 2007, discussant);
“The Effectiveness of International Human Rights Agreements” (MPSA 2006, discussant);
Tomas Zeitsoff/Leonardo Baccini papers (2015/2016: Conflict Consortium Virtual Workshop)

 Service to the Profession


Conflict Management and Peace Science, 2020


American Political Science Association - convener of International Collaboration Division Call for the 2022 Meeting in Montreal

Journal referee in political science and economics, academic presses, research foundations


↑ American Journal of Political Science, ↑ American Political Science Review, ↑ British Journal of Political Science, ↑ Comparative Political Studies, Comparative Politics, Conflict Management and Peace Science, Democratization, Economics and Politics, Electoral Studies, European Journal of Political Research, European Political Science Review, International Interactions, ↑ International Organization, Inter- national Security, ↑ International Studies Quarterly, International Studies Review, ↑ Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Global Security Studies, Journal of Comparative Politics, ↑ Journal of Peace Research, ↑ Journal of Politics, Perspectives on Politics, Political Analysis, Political Behavior, Political Science Quarterly, Public Choice, Research and Politics, Review of International Organizations, Quarterly Journal of Political Science, Security Studies, World Development, World Politics National Science Foundation, National Science Centre - Poland, Longman, Oxford University Press, Princeton University Press, Routledge. Note: ↑ 5–10 reviews 

 Professional Memberships

American and Midwestern Political Science Associations, Deutscher Hochschulverband


James Fearon (dissertation chair)

Donald Green

Bruce Russett

Kenneth Scheve

Harald Schoen
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Last updated: December 1, 2016