Transregional Center for Democratic Studies



Professor of Sociology and Liberal Studies at The New School for Social Research and Director of the Transregional Center for Democratic Studies

Her research in political and cultural sociology focuses on democratic transformations, gender and democracy, the borderlands of a shared Europe, and more recently on the challenges faced by democracies emerging with a legacy of violence.

As director of TCDS, she has developed and directs international Democracy & Diversity Institutes for rigorous study and cross-cultural research on the critical issues facing today’s world. Her book Performative Democracy (2009, Paradigm), explores a potential in political life that easily escapes theorists: the indigenously inspired enacting of democracy by citizens. Challenges following 1989 are explored in her  An Uncanny Era. Conversations between Adam Michnik and Vaclav Havel. (2013 Yale University Press). A Fulbright research scholar in South Africa, she is working on a new book, Democracy After Violence. Elzbieta is a member of the editorial board of Social Research.


Program Manager and Ph.D. Student in Politics

Lala is a PhD student in Politics. She is interested in issues of mobility and migration with a focus on Eastern Europe. Before coming to The New School, Lala worked for the American Council of Learned Societies for over seven years, managing international fellowship and grant competitions and related workshops, publications, and events in Africa, Europe, North America, and Asia.


Program Assistant PhD Candidate

Theo Almeida is a PhD candidate from the NSSR politics department with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in economics.
Research areas: political theory, comparative politics, Latin America.

Past TCDS-ers:


Program Assistant and MA student in Sociology

Allison is a graduate student of sociology at The New School for Social Research. She holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Pittsburgh and an MS in Social Policy from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research of climate policy investigates the social impacts of climate change through growing resource inequality. As a hope to mitigate climate damage, Allison uses policy analysis to justify climate intervention. At TCDS, Allison works as a program assistant supporting event coordination and outreach.


TCDS Intern for Spring 2021

Daria Wilk is pursuing B.A. in Political Science with minors in Communication Arts and Italian at St. John’s University. She received the GAAP Summer Research Grant for her work on the impact of the U.K.’s membership in the E.U. on peacebuilding in Northern Ireland. Before joining TCDS, she interned at the Institute for Economics and Peace, where she worked on the 2020 Global Peace Index launch. 


The New School for Social Research
6 East 16th St., Rm 921, NY, NY 10003
212-229-5100 ext. 3136

Elzbieta Matynia, Director
212-229-5580 ext. 3137

Lala Pop, Program Manager,
PhD Student, Politics
212-229-5100 ext. 3136

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