Ellen Mickiewicz

Ellen Mickiewicz

Professor Emeritus of Political Science

External Address: 
205 Tadley Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Internal Office Address: 
205 Tadley Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 933-3978
Comparative Politics, Political Institutions

Ellen Mickiewicz (Ph.D., Political Science, Yale) is the James R. Shepley Emeritus Professor of Public Policy and Political Science.  Her work on media and society compares Russian and American attitudes toward news and questions of media and society in authoritarian systems.  Guidebooks presenting policy options for fair and adequate coverage of elections have been translated into 13 languages. In the administration of Boris Yeltsin, a presidential directive explicitly noted the use of the guidebook in creating legislation, and she became the first American to be awarded recognition in a Kremlin ceremony for contributions to freedom of the press in Russia at that time.Mickiewicz’s research results in policy applications:  through the Commission on Radio and Television Policy (founded by former President Jimmy Carter and directed by Mickiewicz), leading figures in news programming, regulation, the Senate and House of Representatives, and public opinion leaders from the United States met annually with heads of television broadcasting, ministers of communications oversight, heads of broadcast technology and public opinion specialists from the former Soviet Union.  From 1995 to the present, work continues with Mickiewicz as co-chair with former Vice Chancellor of Austria, Erhard Busek.  Meeting in Vienna and in South and South-East Europe, policy issues are discussed and recommendations made and widely circulated; they carry the weight of the signatures of numerous high-level participants from many countries.Her research explores the effects of the introduction of mass ownership, comparison of news content with the ABC News in the United States, in-depth analysis of the institutional, personnel, political change in television as it developed from Soviet to post-Soviet.  Her research has gone into unexplored territory of how citizens of different educational levels, ages, and places use mental tools to make sense of or reject televised news stories. Most recently, she examines future Russian leaders and the impact of the internet to their understanding of their own country, other countries, the complexities of trust and related issues.Mickiewicz is currently working on American and NATO foreign policy perspectives on hostile internet and television broadcasting, particularly what is termed the “weaponization” of information by the Russian Federation.  She examines the theoretical and political basis of this concept and the larger issue of persuasion under these conditions.  She is also working on a collaborative project with political science and sociology professors at Moscow State University to design and implement the study of attitudes toward the international system. Her work has been widely covered; she has received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim, The Murray Edelman Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Political Communication, from the Political Communication Section of the American Political Science Association, and, from the National Association of Broadcasters and the Broadcast Education Association of Electronic Media Book of the Year.


  • Ph.D., Yale University 1965

Mickiewicz, E. No Illusions The Voices of Russia's Future Leaders. Oxford University Press, 2014.

Mickiewicz, E. Televidenie, Vlast, i Obshchestvo. Moscow: Aspect Press, 2013.

Mickiewicz, E. Television, Power, and the Public in Russia.: Cambridge University Press, March 20, 2008.

Mickiewicz, E. Structural Diversity and Exposure Diversity. University of Washington: Treadgold Papers, 2001. (Monograph)

Mickiewicz, E. Democracy and the Media: A Comparative Perspective. Ed. R Gunther and A Mughan. Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Mickiewicz, EP. Changing Channels: Television and the Struggle for Power in Russia. Duke University Press, 1999.

Mickiewicz, E, Browne, D, and Firestone, C. Television/Radio News and Minorities. The Aspen Institute and The Carter Center of Emory University, 1994.

Mickiewicz, E, and Firestone, C. Television and Elections. The Aspen Institute, 1992.


Mickiewicz, E. "The conundrum of memory: Young people and their recollection of Soviet television." The Post-Soviet Russian Media: Conflicting Signals. November 26, 2008. 125-136. Full Text

"Does 'trust' mean attention, comprehension and acceptance? Paradoxes of Russian viewers' news processing." Mass Media and Political Communication in New Democracies. December 15, 2005. 163-182. Full Text

Mickiewicz, E. "Dilemmas of Democracies." Transatlantic Differences. Ed. W Zacharasiewicz. Bohlau Wien Verlag, 2004.

Mickiewicz, E. "Institutional Incapacity, the Attentive Public, and Media Pluralism in Russia." Democracy and the Media: A Comparative Perspective. Ed. R Gunther and A Mughan. Cambridge University Press, 2000. (Essay)

Mickiewicz, E. "Transition and Democracy: The Role of Journalists in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union." The Politics of News, the News of Politics. Ed. D Graber, D McQuail, and P Norris. Congressional Quarterly Press, 1998. (Essay)

Mickiewicz, E. "Media, Transition,and Democracy: Television and the Transformation of Russia." A Communications Cornucopia. Ed. RG Noll and ME Price. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 1998. (Essay)

Mickiewicz, E, and Richter, A. "Television, Campaigning, and Elections in the Soviet Union and Post-Soviet Russia." Politics, Media, and Modern Democracy. Ed. D Swanson and P Mancini. 1996. (Essay)

Mickiewicz, E. "The Political Economy of Media Democratization." Russia in Transition. Ed. D Lane. Longman, 1995. (Essay)

Mickiewicz, E. "Images of America." Beyond the Cold War: Soviet and American Media Images. Ed. EE Dennis, G Gerbner, and YN Zassoursky. Sage Publications Inc., 1991. (Chapter)

Mickiewicz, E, and Jamison, DP. "Ethnicity and Soviet Television News." Mass Culture and Perestroika in the Soviet Union. Ed. M Siefert. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1991. (Essay)

Mickiewicz, E. "Internet and ideological movements in Russia: Collective monography." SLAVIC REVIEW 76.1 (2017): 192-198. Full Text

Mickiewicz, E. "Not ordinary Russians." Foreign Affairs 94.3 (January 1, 2015). (Letter)

Mickiewicz, E. "Efficacy and Evidence: Evaluating U.S. Goals at the American National Exhibition in Moscow, 1959." Journal of Cold War Studies 13.4 (October 2011): 138-171. Full Text

Mickiewicz, E. "Response to W. Lance Bennett's Review of Television, Power, and the Public in Russia." Perspectives on Politics 7.04 (December 2009): 933-933. Full Text

Mickiewicz, E. "When the Press Fails: Political Power and the News Media from Iraq to Katrina." PERSPECTIVES ON POLITICS 7.4 (December 2009): 933-935. Full Text

Mickiewicz, E. "The election news story on Russian television: A world apart from viewers." Slavic Review 65.1 (March 1, 2006): 1-23. Full Text

Mickiewicz, E. "Excavating concealed tradeoffs: How Russians watch the news." Political Communication 22.3 (July 1, 2005): 355-380. Full Text


Mickiewicz, E. "Leadership and the Media: The European Challenge." Media and Business: The Impossible Partnership (The Media Perspective). Bled, Slovenia. 2005.

Mickiewicz, E. "Political Journalism." The Encyclopedia of Political Science (2010).

Mickiewicz, E. "Television." Ed. S Pons and R Service. Encyclopedia of Communism (2010).

Mickiewicz, E. "Russian Television Today: Primetime Drama and Comedy." SLAVIC REVIEW 68.4 (2009): 987-988. (Review)

Mickiewicz, E. "Media and power in post-Soviet Russia." POLITICAL COMMUNICATION 23.3 (2006): 366-367. (Review) Full Text

MICKIEWICZ, E. "Reinventing the Soviet Self - Media and Social Change in the Former Soviet Union." The Russian Review 55.3 (July 1996): 528-529. (Review) Full Text

Mickiewicz, E, and Brown, A. "Television and Political Change." Cambridge Encyclopedia of Russia and the Soviet Union (1994).