I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science at New York University-Abu Dhabi. My research interests include the study of political identities, historical legacies, post-conflict reconciliation, and the politics of Russia, Ukraine, and Eastern Europe.
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 on persistence of imperial-era political identities in Ukraine, some of which are at the root of the ongoing conflict over Ukraine’s statehood and future political trajectory. The book contributes to the fledgling research agenda on cultural legacies of historical institutions and revisits theoretical insights from the literature on political socialization. This project draws on a natural experiment of history that divided a homogenous population of ethnic Ukrainians between Russian and Austrian empires.
As part of my research agenda on historical legacies I am also working on projects on the persistence of victim identities and associated political behaviors in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia. I am also engaged in a series of research projects on the influence of Russian state-controlled media in the neighboring countries and on post-conflict inter-sectarian cooperation in Lebanon.
My research combines multiple methods including experiments, surveys, ethnography, and archival research. While the focus of my research is on Russia, post-Soviet, and Eastern European politics, all of my research is question driven, and outside of Eastern Europe I have done fieldwork in Cambodia, China, Guatemala, India, and Lebanon.
My work has appeared in journals such as the American 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