Leonid Peisakhin

Leonid Peisakhin

  • Visiting Scholar at The Europe Center, 2023


Leonid Peisakhin is Associate Professor of Political Science at New York University - Abu Dhabi. His research examines how political identities and persistent patterns of political behavior are created and manipulated by the state. He studies the longue-durée legacy of state-sponsored violence, and, as its corollary, the dynamics of post-conflict reconciliation, and the cultural legacies of historical political institutions. He is also interested in the influence of biased media and topics related to good governance. ​

At Stanford, Leonid Peisakhin will be working on completing ongoing book projects. In "Contested Nationhood: Imperial Legacies and Conflicting Political Identities in Ukraine", Peisakhin proposes that core group identities, defined as the primary source of behavioral queues, are most likely to persist because they are a crucial source of social meaning. The book project draws on a natural experiment of history that divided homogenous Ukrainian communities between Austrian and Russian empires and examines the roots of the competing notions of Ukrainian national identity and the consequences of the existence of these on present-day political life. In "Children of Violence: Victims in the Shadow of Violence" -- a joint project with Prof. Noam Lupu -- Peisakhin explores why different types of violence have different legacy effects.

Peisakhin's research combines multiple methods including experiments, surveys, ethnography, and archival research. He has done fieldwork in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, and the bulk of his work is focused on Eastern Europe.