Mikhail Alexseev


Office: NH 127 | Phone: (619) 594-0190 | Email: [email protected]


Mikhail Alexseev (Ph.D., University of Washington, 1996) is Professor of political science at San Diego State University, where he has taught since 2000 and served as the Bruce E. Porteous Chair. His research has focused on threat assessment in interstate and internal wars, ethnic relations, nationalism, and immigration in Russia/Eurasia and is currently concentrated on Ukraine’s democratic resilience in the face of Russia’s military invasions since 2014. He has directed a multiyear opinion survey project in collaboration with Ukraine’s National Academy of Science, including a unique study of sociopolitical effects of war tracking a broadly representative sample of Ukraine’s residents from 2021 through 2024 in five survey waves, with the 2023-2024 phase funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation RAPID program. In his 2024 article published in Perspectives on Politics, one of the two flagship journals of the American Political Science Association, Alexseev (with co-author, Serhii Dembitskyi) pioneered a theoretical explanation of democracy support as “geosocietal,” with far-reaching implications for the analysis of variation in democratic futures globally. 

His prior work Mass Religious Ritual and Intergroup Tolerance: The Muslim Pilgrims’ Paradox (Cambridge 2017, co-authored with Sufian Zhemukhov) won acclaim as the best book on religion and international relations by the International Studies Association in 2019 and honorable mention for the David Rothschild’s Prize of the Association for the Study of Nationalities at the Columbia University. Alexseev is also the author of Immigration Phobia and the Security Dilemma: Russia, Europe, and the United States (Cambridge University Press, 2006) and Without Warning: Threat Assessment, Intelligence, and Global Struggle (St. Martin’s Press, 1997) and is the editor of A Federation Imperiled: Center-Periphery Conflict in Post-Soviet Russia (St. Martin’s Press, 1999). He has been the principal investigator of a multiyear international research project on migration and ethnoreligious violence in the Russian Federation funded by the National Science Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research (Title VIII, U.S. Department of State) (see project summaries and data). His other projects have been funded by Reuters, NATO, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, the U. S. Institute of Peace, the John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress, the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Pacific Basin Research Center at Harvard University (see Russia in Asia webpage). Alexseev has published articles in Perspectives on Politics, Political Science Quarterly, Journal of Peace Research, Political Behavior, Political Communication, Europe-Asia Studies, Nationalities Papers, Post-Soviet Geography and Economics, The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, and Pacific Focus. His editorial opinion articles on Soviet and Post-Soviet affairs have appeared in The New York Times, Lost Angeles Times, Newsweek, Toronto Globe and Mail, USA Today, The Seattle Times, and in the Washington Post’s “Monkey Cage” academic blog. He is a member of the Carnegie/MacArthur sponsored Program on New Approaches to Russian Security (PONARS) – Eurasia, based at the George Washington University.

  • Geosocietal Support for Democracy: Survey Evidence from Ukraine,” Perspectives on Politics (2024) (with Serhii Dembitskyi).

  • For Victory in Freedom: Why Ukrainian Resilience to Russian Aggression Endures,” Program on New Approaches to Research on Security in Eurasia (PONARS), Policy Memo No. 863, November 14, 2023 (with Serhii Dembitskyi).

  • “Crimea Come What May: Do Economic Sanctions Backfire Politically?” Journal of Peace Research (Fall 2019): 1-16 DOI: 10.1177/0022343319866879 (with Henry E. Hale).

  • Mass Religious Ritual and Intergroup Tolerance: The Muslim Pilgrims’ Paradox (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017) (co-authored with Sufian Zhemukhov), in a series: Cambridge Studies in Social Theory, Religion, and Politics.

  • “Blocs, States, and Borderlands: Explaining Russia’s Selective Territorial Revisionism,” Eurasian Border Review 6(1) (2016): 1-23.

  • “The Asymmetry of Nationalist Exclusion and Inclusion: Migration Policy Preferences in Russia, 2005-2013,” Social Science Quarterly 96 (2015): 759-777.

  • “Rallying ‘Round the Leader More than the Flag: Changes in Russian Nationalist Public Opinion 2013-14,” in Pal Kolsto, editor, The new Russian nationalism, 2000-2015: Imperialism, Ethnicity, Authoritarianism, Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming, 2015 (with Henry E. Hale).

  • “Local vs. Transcendent Insurgencies: Why Economic Aid Helps Lower Violence in Dagestan, but not in Kabardino-Balkaria,” William Ascher, Natalia Mirovitskaya, and Jay Heffron, eds., Economic Development Strategies and Inter-Group Violence, Palgrave/MacMillan (2013), pp. 277-314.

  • “Border Demarcation, Cross-Border Migration, and Interethnic Hostility in the Russian Far East,”Eurasian Border Review 3(2) (2012): 1-21.

  • “Societal Security, the Security Dilemma, and Extreme Anti-Migrant Hostility in Russia,” Journal of Peace Research 48(4) (2011): 509-523.

  • “Majority and Minority Xenophobia in Russia: The Importance of Being Titular,” Post-Soviet Affairs26 (2) (April-June 2010): 89-120.

  • Immigration Phobia and the Security Dilemma: Russia, Europe, and the United States (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006).