I am a professor of sociology at London Metropolitan University
I have been investigating life in the “shadows” of Russian society for over 20 years, focusing on informal and criminal networks, their cultures, and their relations with mainstream society and the state.
During this time my research has included interviews with street children, homeless people, sex workers, and members of youth gangs and organized crime networks in Russia.
“This is a terrific book, based on fresh research and with a new approach…”
“Svetlana Stephenson once again demonstrates her excellent empirical research and in-depth cultural knowledge to produce a groundbreaking book on Russian gangs…”
“Svetlana Stephenson sets out the workings of Russian street gangs in a way that enhances our understanding of Russian social development and the interactions among politics, crime, and society over the past twenty years. Her detailed research into the gangs of Kazan is new and provides a level of depth that is simply not available elsewhere.”
“Stephenson’s book is as revealing a look at the origins and nature of Russia’s new class of business, social and political leaders as was Milovan Djilas’ analysis of the post-war class of Soviet leaders.”
“This is an important book about contemporary Russia and about a significant global social formation.” Times Higher Education “Book of the week”, 14 January 2016
“This meticulously researched and vivid book is based largely on interviews with gang members in Kazan, but covers the whole of Russia, within an international context. Like all Stephenson’s work, it demonstrates a very special degree of insight and imagination, based on deep erudition.” Jury’s citation for award of the 2015 Alexander Nove Prize, British Association For Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES), March 2017.
In February 2018 I was honoured to be named as Current Sociology’s “Sociologist of the Month” for my article “It takes two to tango: The state and organized crime in Russia”
Since 2022 I have been a regular commentator in Russian and other independent media on the war i Ukraine. Links to these commentaries and interviews are available on my Media Room page.