Martha L. Merritt
Dean and Carole M. Weinstein Chair of International Education

Martha Merritt is a political scientist who travels with intent. As a scholar of Soviet and Russian politics who has lived and taught in five countries, she seeks to facilitate sustained cross-cultural community. 

Merritt works with faculty, staff and students to deepen and extend the University of Richmond’s strong web of partnerships abroad. She engages with students who study away from their native country by teaching a course called  “Nostos: The Journey Home”, incorporating thoughtful travelers from Homer to Tocqueville to Rachel DeWoskin.

At various points in her career Merritt has established programs and internships abroad, in Cape Town, Jerusalem, and Mindanao for MA students at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, and in Paris, Cairo and Jerusalem for the University of Chicago.  She established a five-year project sponsored by the Mellon and the Christian A. Johnson Foundations to bring European scholars to teach and conduct research at the University of Chicago, as well as a year-long program for students from Egypt.  She received her doctorate in Russian politics from Oxford University and her BA from Pomona College.


Archie Brown: The Myth of the Strong Leader: Political Leadership in the Modern Age. (London: Bodley Head and New York: Basic Books, 2014. Pp. x, 466.) in The Review of Politics 03/2015; 77(02):332-334. 

With Maureen Miller and Laura Montgomery, “European Schools in America, American Schools in Europe: Outposts along the Path to Global Diversity” in IIE Networker, Spring 2010, pp. 32-34

With David Comp, “Qualitative Standards and Learning Outcomes for Study Abroad” in William W. Hoffa and Stephen C. DePaul, co-editors, A History of U.S. Study Abroad: 1965-Present (Frontiers, 2010), pp. 451-489

“Eduard Shevardnadze and the Politics of Sheer Tenacity,” Chicago Tribune, November 28, 2003

“A Geopolitics of Identity: Drawing the Line Between Russia and Estonia,” Nationalities Papers 28:2 (June 2000), pp. 243-262

“Getting Out the Vote, Russian-Style: IKEA vs. Putin,” Chicago Tribune, March 28, 2000

“Otvetstvennost’ i Rossiiskaia politika: kak ob stenku gorokh?” [Accountability and Russian politics: hitting the wall?] Vestnik Moskovskogo universiteta: sotsiologiia i politologiia [Moscow University Journal: sociology and politics] 2 (April-June 1998), pp. 49-58


“Gorbachev and the Soviet Collapse: Stirrings of Political Accountability?” in William Whisenhunt and Steven Usitalo, eds., Russian and Soviet History: Russia from the Time of Troubles to thevCollapse of the Soviet Union (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2008), pp. 265-278

“Conflict Resolution: Its Roots and Offshoots in the West” in History of Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding in the West, Russia, and Central Asia [in English and Tajik] (Ministry of Education, Tajikistan, and the Kettering Foundation, 2006)

“Fragments of Empire and Baltic Integration: Lessons for Building Tolerance” in Sabina Crisen, ed., Minorities and Tolerance (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2001), pp. 54-60

“Forgiveness, Despite the Pressures of Sovereignty and Nationalism” in Jean Bethke Elshtain, with contributions by Fred Dallmayr, Martha Merritt, and Raimo Väyrynen, Old Wine and New Bottles:International Politics and Ethical Discourse   (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1998), pp. 72-81


“Notes from the Field Experience: pioneering peace students return to Notre Dame,” Peace Colloquy, The Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, Spring 2006, pp. 4-6

D.Phil., Oxford University
M.A., Indiana University, Bloomington
Political Science
B.A., Pomona College
Contact Information
(804) 289-8350