Marika Olijar

Position title: Ph.D. Student: Comparative Politics


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Research Interests

Religion and politics, informal institutions, identity and politics, gender and politics


Marika Olijar (she/hers/her) is a PhD student in the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She specializes in comparative politics and has area studies interests in post-Soviet Central Asia and East Europe. Prior to joining UW–Madison, Marika received BAs in Slavic Studies and Political Science and a Certificate in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies from the University of Pittsburgh.


Olijar, Marika, and Junda Li. 2023. “Persuasion or Polarization? LGBTQ+ Attitudes among Young Social Media Users in Kazakhstan.” Central Asian Survey, DOI: 10.1080/02634937.2023.2187759.

Awards, Fellowships, Honors

University Fellowship (UW-Madison), 2021-2022, 2022-2023, 2024-2025

Summer Research Initiative (UW-Madison), 2022, for survey research in

Kazakhstan on LGBTQ+ issues

CREECA Graduate Student Short-term Research Award (UW-Madison), 2022 (shared with Junda Li), for 1 month of fieldwork in Kazakhstan

Title VIII Fellowship (UW-Madison), for Elementary Kazakh (2021) and Advanced

Kazakh (2022) at the Central Eurasian Studies Summer Institute

FLAS Fellowship (UW-Madison), for Central Eurasian area studies and academic year

Intermediate (2021-2022) and Fourth-Year Kazakh (2022-2023) respectively