I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science at New York University - Abu Dhabi. I study political identities and legacies of conflict.


My research examines how political identities and persistent patterns of political behavior are created and manipulated by the state. I study the cultural legacies of historical political institutions and the longue durée legacy of state-sponsored violence.


Currently, I am finishing a book project titled Invisible Boundaries: Persistence of Political Identities in the Shadow of Empire on the persistence of imperial-era political identities in Ukraine, some of which are at the root of the ongoing conflict over Ukraine’s statehood. The book contributes to the fledgling research agenda on cultural legacies of historical institutions and revisits theoretical insights from the literature on political socialization. 


I am also working on a book manuscript titled Children of Violence: Victims in the Shadow of Conflict (joint with Noam Lupu), which advances a theory of victimhood persistence and tests it on the case studies of the Crimean Tatars, the Ixil of Guatemala, and the Cham and Khmer communities of Cambodia.


My research combines multiple methods including experiments, surveys, ethnography, and archival research.   I have done fieldwork in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, but much of my work is focused on Eastern Europe.

My work has appeared in journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, and the Journal of Law and Economics. I hold a Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University.


Email: leonid.peisakhin [at] nyu.edu