Bennett Director

Max KovalovDr. Max Kovalov is an instructor of international studies at the College of Charleston and Bennett Director of the John Edwin Mroz Global Leadership Institute. He teaches courses in international studies, comparative politics, and international relations. His research focuses on democratization, politics of memory, populism, and political institutions in post-Communist states. In 2002-2004 he received the Edmund Muskie graduate fellowship awarded by the U.S. State Department. His research has been published in Eastern European Politics and Societies and The Copernicus Journal of Political Studies. His current research project is the impact of political outsiders on democracy. 


2013: Ph.D. in Political Science, University of Oklahoma

2004: M.S. in International Studies, Oklahoma State University

2001: B.A. in Business Administration, Vinnytsia National Technical University, Ukraine


“When Lenin becomes Lennon: decommunization and the politics of memory in Ukraine,” Europe-Asia Studies, 74(5), 709-733, 2022. 

“Putin ready to kill Ukrainians to remind them of his love and affection,” Post & Courier, February 21, 2022.

“Normalizing Ukraine – Russian style,” Post & Courier, February 28, 2022.

“Electoral manipulations and fraud in parliamentary elections: the case of Ukraine,” East European Politics and Societies28(4), 781-807, 2014.

The Armed Conflict in Eastern Ukraine: Exploring Competing Narratives,” The Copernicus Journal of Political Studies 1, 5: 144–51 [contribution to special issue], 2014.

“The Democratic Outcome of the Orange Revolution,” in Expanded EU: From Autonomy to Alliance47-59. Amsterdam/New York, NY: Rodopi, 2008.


Introduction to International Studies
Introduction to European Studies
Democracy and Democratization in Comparative Perspective
Model United Nations
Eastern European Politics
Politics of the European Union
Introduction to Comparative Politics


“When Lenin becomes Lennon: decommunization, streets, & the politics of memory in Ukraine.” MPSA Annual National Conference, Palmer House Hotel, Hilton, Chicago, IL. April 2017

“Protest Mobilization in Ukraine: Svoboda before the Euromaidan,” MPSA Annual National Conference, Palmer House Hotel, Hilton, Chicago, IL. April 2015

“Party Populism and Participation in Poland: Identifying Causal Mechanisms,” MPSA Annual National Conference, Palmer House Hotel, Hilton, Chicago, IL. April 2011


International Studies Professor Examines Conflict in Ukraine,” College Today, April 19, 2022

The War and the Humanitarian Crisis in Ukraine,” Let’s Talk Podcast, Interview with News 2 Carolyn Murphy, April 10, 2022

“Does Russia seek neutral Ukraine?” Panel discussion with Max Kovalov, Damon Wilson and Frank Emerson, March 22, 2022.

“U.S.-China and Ukraine,” roundtable discussion organized by Bush-China Foundation, March 17, 2022.

“Prologue to the Turmoil: Ukraine-Russia Relationships in Historical Context,” Interview for Fox 24 News, March 7, 2022.

“Normalizing Ukraine: What’s Behind Russia’s Invasion,” presentation for the James Baker Institute for Public Policy, Rice University, March 3, 2022.

“Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine,” Panel discussion for a Teach-In Series, hosted by the University of Oklahoma College of International Studies, March 3, 2022.

“Ukraine in Perspective: Understanding the Roots of the Current Crisis,” Kentucky Caliber, Podcast Discussion with Jason Belcher, February 4, 2022

“When actors become presidents: Zelensky’s first year in office,” Center for the Creative Retirement, North Charleston, S.C., January 6, 2020

Series of four guest talks on global issues for Kiawah Island Community Association, Kiawah Island, S.C., February, 2018.

“The Century of Revolutions,” keynote address for Taylor & Francis’ resource launch — Cold War Eastern Europe: Module 1, Charleston S.C., November 7, 2017.

“Putin’s Russia: From the “Time of Troubles” to the Time of Trump,” NATO Airbase Public Service Seminar, Aviano, Italy, October 12, 2017.

“What does Russia Want?” Unitarian Church Forum Series, Charleston S.C., September 24, 2017.

“Legitimacy, War, and Greatness in Putin’s Russia,” Our World: Kiawah Island Community Association, Kiawah Island, S.C., March 23, 2017.

“Alternative Narratives of the Armed Conflict in Ukraine,” Air Force Special Operations Theater Course, Hurlburt Field, FL, March 9, 2017.

“Brexit, Trump, Russia, & Eastern Europe,” NATO Air Base Public Service Seminar, Geilenkirchen, Germany, February 15, 2017.

“The Battle for Ukraine: Revolution, War & a Challenge to Sovereignty,” Center for Creative Retirement, North Charleston, S.C., February 25, 2015.

“The Soviet Reaction to the Fall of the Berlin Wall,” roundtable discussion, The Night the Wall Fell and Germany Rocked! A 25th anniversary commemoration of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, College of Charleston, November 15, 2014.

“From Free Trade Agreement to the Overthrow of a Dictator: The Changing Narratives of Ukraine’s Protests,” discussion panel, Ukraine’s Protests: Authoritarianism and the Spirit of Resistance, College of Charleston, March 12, 2014.

“Ukrainian Revolution and Its Consequences,” World Affairs Council of Charleston, Charleston, S.C., April 29, 2014.

For correspondence:

Dr. Max Kovalov
Bennett Director
John Edwin Mroz Global Leadership Institute
College of Charleston
66 George St.
Charleston SC 29424