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Emma Mateo

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Ukrainian Studies

& Adjunct Lecturer in Sociology

Harriman Institute, Columbia University in the City of New York

 Harriman Institute, New York

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Dr Emma Mateo is a sociologist who studies protest and civil society in Ukraine and Eastern Europe. Her research focuses on local mobilzation during mass protests and significant political events. Emma also studies how media and technology interact with protest and civil society mobilization, and her work makes innovative use of social media data, such as Telegram Messenger.

At the Harriman Institute, Emma is working on a project examining grassroots community responses to Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine. Despite massive amounts of aid being directed to international organizations and charities in response to Russia’s invasion, early studies have shown that it was in fact Ukrainian community groups and local NGOs that provided the overwhelming majority of humanitarian support in Ukraine in the initial months. This project will study how these local networks mobilize, and what tools they use to obtain and distribute resources to support humanitarian causes and the military in Ukraine. 

Emma holds a DPhil (PhD) in Sociology from the University of Oxford, awarded in 2022. Emma’s doctoral thesis explores what shapes subnational variation in protest during nationwide instances of mass mobilization, in the cases of Ukraine (2013-14) and Belarus (2020). This article-based thesis studied in particular the role that different kinds of social networks (activist networks, community networks, workplace networks, and local political networks) play in shaping where protest and repression take place throughout a country. Emma’s research on the role of pre-existing networks during regional protests in Belarus is published in Post Soviet Affairs, and her co-authored article on media consumption, disinformation, and protest
participation during the Euromaidan protests (with Olga Onuch and Julian Waller) is published in Social Media + Society.



  • Mixed methods researcher 

  • Software: Stata, QGIS, NVivo.

  • Programming: R, Python (beginner).

  • Languages: English (Native), Russian (Advanced), French (Advanced), Ukrainian (Advanced).

  • Working with data, including

    •  Cross-national survey data

    •  Social media data

    • Government statistics

    • Qualitative interviews

    • News media



University of Oxford, UK

DPhil in Sociology

Advisors: Dr Olga Onuch (Primary); Dr Stephen Fisher (Secondary)


University of Oxford, UK

MPhil in Russian and East European Studies



University of Cambridge, UK

BA in Modern and Medieval Languages (Russian, French & Ukrainian)

First class


  • 2022 Mateo, E.,'"All of Belarus has come out onto the streets": Exploring Nationwide Protest and the Role of Pre-existing Social Networks'. Post-Soviet Affairs. DOI: 10.1080/1060586X.2022.2026127

  • 2019 Mateo, E.Review: Youth Movements and Elections in Eastern Europe by O. Nikolayenko. Harvard Ukrainian Studies. Vol. 36, No. 1/2 (2019)

  • 2019 Mateo, E., Review: Revolution and War in Contemporary Ukraine: The Challenge of Change. Ed. O. Bertelsen. ID:International Dialogue, Multidisciplinary Journal of World Affairs. Vol. 9.


  • Mateo, E., “If not us, then who?”: How ordinary Ukrainians responded to Russia’s invasion (Monograph)

  • Mateo, E., “Not sheep, not cattle, not little people - we are workers!”: Industrial and white collar employment and subnational protest variation in Ukraine and Belarus (Submitted for review)

  • Mateo, E., “Local Political Networks, Protest, and Subnational Variation in Repression: The Case of Ukraine’s Euromaidan” (Submitted for review)

  • Mateo, E., “The limitations of ethnographic approaches to safety: What a rocket attack taught me about fieldwork in a warzone” (Article)

  • Mateo, E., “Networks of support and agency in wartime Ukraine” (Article)

  • Onuch, O., and Mateo, E., “The 44 Million Army: Drivers of Civilian Resistance to Russia in Ukraine” (Article)

  • Mateo, E., “‘Together we are many’: Activist networks & regional protest in Ukraine 1990-2004” (Article)



Address Harriman Institute, 420 W 118th Street, New York, 10027

Linkedin: Emma Mateo

Twitter: @emm_mateo

© 2022 Emma Mateo. Created with

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