Vita Raskeviciute

Vita Raskeviciute's picture

Vita Raskeviciute is currently pursuing an MA in European and Russian Studies at Yale University. Born and raised in Lithuania, her interests converge at the crossroads of democratization and the formation of national identity within the post-Soviet landscape. Vita obtained her B.A. in International Relations and Russian and East European Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.

Her Senior Thesis, titled “Hybrid Warfare of Coercive Migration: Political Calculus of Turkey and Belarus,” was awarded the Norman D. Palmer Prize for the Best Senior Thesis in International Relations. This research project delved into the conditions propelling illiberal regimes to utilize migration as a coercive tool, and how these regimes glean insights from each other’s hybrid warfare tactics.

As a Wolf Humanities Undergraduate Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, Vita also worked on a research project named “On the Brink of Independence: Public Opinion of What It Means to Be Lithuanian.” By drawing from a collection of more than a hundred letters addressed to the Lithuanian Reformation Movement in the late 1980s, this project reconstructed the prevailing national ethos that Lithuanians shared just before their country’s independence from the Soviet Union became a certainty.

During the past summer, Vita completed a traineeship at the European Parliament. Her involvement with the European Union’s Eastern Partnership countries—examining their political and civil society trajectories along with their prospects of European integration—has stoked her eagerness to delve deeper into the divergent outcomes of democratization within the region. She is keen to uncover the factors contributing to these discrepancies at Yale. Furthermore, her interest lies in investigating how societies in the post-Soviet sphere forge a consensus on their countries’ political trajectories, as well as understanding how national myths, symbols, and collective memory can serve as multidirectional tools to either drive or reverse democratic backsliding.

1st Year, European & Russian Studies