Marika Olijar



My name is Marika Olijar (she/her/hers) and I am a fourth year PhD student in the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I specialize in comparative politics and have area studies interests in post-Soviet Central Asia and Eastern Europe. My substantive interests center on the politics of religion, informal institutions, identity, and gender.

Prior to joining UW–Madison, I received BAs in Slavic Studies and Political Science and a Certificate in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. 

I have received training in qualitative and multi-methods research at the The Institute for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research (IQMR) at Syracuse University in June 2022 and in survey methods in June 2023 at the LAPOP Summer School in International Survey Methods at Vanderbilt University. 

In AY 2024, I will be conducting dissertation research in Kazakhstan, as a fellow supported by American Council's Title VIII Research Scholar Program.

In addition to my Slavic language training in Ukrainian, Russian, and Polish, I have ventured into the world of Turkic languages. I am a Kazakh language learner at the advanced level, generously funded by FLAS fellowships and Title VIII funding from CREECA at UW-Madison.

My work has been published in Central Asian Survey, and I have served as an anonymous peer reviewer for the same journal.

Please contact me via email at or by mail at 110 North Hall, 1050 Bascom Mall, Madison, WI 53706.