Eleanor Knott, Ph.D.


The London School of Economics and Political Science

Country: United Kingdom (England)

About Me:

I am an Assistant Professor in Qualitative Methodology at the Department of Methodology, London School of Economics. My research focuses on the intersection of identity and citizenship. I am currently working on a book manuscript examining the politics of identity and citizenship from the bottom-up in Crimea and Moldova. I am also working on a project on EU27 citizens' experiences of Brexit and EU citizenship. 

Research Interests

Post-Communist Politics

Race, Ethnicity and Politics

European Politics

Research Methods & Research Design

Immigration & Citizenship

Specific Areas of Interest


Identity Politics




EU Citizenship

Countries of Interest



United Kingdom

Former Soviet Union



Journal Articles:

(2017) Quasi-citizenship as a category of practice: analyzing engagement with Russia’s Compatriot policy in Crimea, Citizenship Studies

Tags: Immigration & Citizenship, Post-Communist Politics

This article analyzes engagement with Russia’s Compatriot policy, as an example of ethnizenship-type of quasi-citizenship, in Crimea, as the most likely case of Compatriot engagement. The article focuses on unpacking the lived experience of Compatriot identification and engagement and the rationale for this engagement. The article finds a narrow and niche engagement with the Compatriot policy in Crimea where only the most politicized and discriminated individuals, alongside beneficiaries of the Compatriot policy, identify as Compatriots. However, the article also finds dissatisfaction with the Compatriot policy because it fails to offer the kind of status, and rights and benefits, of ‘full’ citizenship. Thus, while citizenship might be becoming fractured, via quasi-citizenship policies, citizenship remains the key point of entry to the kin-state. Focusing on the lived experience of quasi-citizenship, and examining quasi-citizenship as a category of practice, is crucial for developing understanding of the social and political impacts of quasi-citizenship policies.

(2017) The extra-territorial paradox of voting: the duty to vote in extra-territorial elections, Democratization

Tags: Political Participation, Immigration & Citizenship, Post-Communist Politics

The question of why individuals vote, the so-called “paradox of voting”, has been a crucial debate within political science, conceived deductively as an interaction between costs, benefits, and, as some argue, duties. This article situates the question of why individuals vote within the context of extra-territorial elections, focusing on how and why those who acquire citizenship kin-states participate in kin-state elections following citizenship acquisition, while continuing to reside outside of the kin-state. The article uses the case of newly acquired Romanian citizens in Moldova, who have never resided in nor intend to reside in Romania, to unpack whether, how, and why individuals acquiring Romanian citizenship in Moldova vote in Romanian elections. The article uses an interpretive and inductive approach to explore from the bottom up both the experiences of and motivations for political participation of extra-territorial citizens. The article finds, unexpectedly, how those acquiring Romanian citizenship in Moldova are motivated by a duty to participate. Overall, the article argues for a relational and reciprocal understanding of citizenship and voting, which focuses on the relationship between the kin-state, facilitating citizenship as a right, and the kin-citizen, performing their duty to vote.

(2015) Generating data: studying identity politics from a bottom–up approach in Crimea and Moldova, East European Politics

Tags: Immigration & Citizenship, Post-Communist Politics

This article argues that bottom–up, people-centered research which uses ethnographic and everyday approaches is crucial but underutilized in research on identity politics in Eastern Europe. In order to understand what concepts such as ethnicity and citizenship mean in the context of people’s everyday lives, it is vital to understand whether taken-for-granted political concepts are appropriate and the make-up of data such as census data. The article first introduces the methods of political ethnography and bottom–up interviews by discussing how they can be applied and their value within political science. The paper uses data gathered from interviews in Moldova and Crimea (when it was still a de jure and de facto part of Ukraine) to demonstrate the value of this approach. It shows how interview data can add significantly to the understanding of kin-state relations within political science by adding a richness of context and a bottom–up perspective that quantitative and elite-level interviews fail to provide. Lastly, the paper draws on experiences gained from research design to discuss how bottom–up research in political science can be conducted rigorously. The article argues that this approach can deepen the understanding of identity politics and kin-state relations or, more broadly, important post-communist questions such as democratization and Europeanization.

(2015) What Does it Mean to Be a Kin Majority? Analyzing Romanian Identity in Moldova and Russian Identity in Crimea from Below, Social Science Quarterly

Tags: Immigration & Citizenship, Post-Communist Politics

Objective: This article investigates what kin identification means from a bottom-up perspective in two kin majority cases: Moldova and Crimea. Methods: The article is based on ∼50 fieldwork interviews conducted in both Moldova and Crimea with everyday social actors (2012–2013). Results: Ethnic homogeneity for kin majorities is more fractured that previously considered. Respondents identified more in terms of assemblages of ethnic, cultural, political, linguistic, and territorial identities than in mutually exclusive census categories. Conclusions: To understand fully the relations between kin majorities, their kin-state and home-state and the impact of growing kin engagement policies, like dual citizenship, it is necessary to analyze the complexities of the lived experience of kin identification for members of kin majorities and how this relates to kin-state identification and affiliation. Understanding these complexities helps to have a more nuanced understanding of the role of ethnicity in post-Communist societies, in terms of kin-state and intrastate relations.