Matthew Light

Assistant Professor of Criminology and Sociolegal Studies,
Affiliated Faculty, Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies




Centre for Criminology, 14 Queen’s Park Crescent West,


Matthew Light (PhD, Yale University) is Associate Professor of Criminology and Sociolegal Studies. His research focuses on issues of migration policy, criminal justice, and policing in post-Soviet countries. His book, Fragile Migration Rights:  Freedom of Movement in Post-Soviet Russia (Routledge, 2016) examines the evolution of rights to freedom of movement in contemporary Russia based on case studies of four regions.  Light’s work has also been published in journals including Post-Soviet Affairs, Europe-Asia Studies, Theoretical Criminology, Law and Social Inquiry, and Policing and Society.

Research Interests

Migration control
Policing and criminal justice
Corruption, primarily in the post-Soviet region


Ph. D. Political science,Yale University (2006)

J.D Law, Yale University (1999)

M.A. Political science, University of Chicago (1996)

B.A. Russian language and literature and political science, Harvard University (1994)

Selected Publications

Matthew Light, Rosemary Gartner, and Milomir Strbac, “Interpersonal violence by authoritarian rulers: Saddam Hussein and Joseph Stalin compared,” Post-Soviet Affairs 30:5, 389-415, 2014

Matthew Light, “Police Reforms in the Republic of Georgia: The Convergence of Domestic and Foreign Policy in an Anti-Corruption Drive,” Policing and Society 24:3, 318-45, 2014

Matthew Light and Nikolai Kovalev, “Russia, the Death Penalty, and Europe: The Ambiguities of Influence,” Post-Soviet Affairs 29: 6, 528–566, 2013

Matthew Light, “What Does It Mean To Control Migration?  Soviet Mobility Policies in Comparative Perspective,” Law and Social Inquiry 37:2 (Spring 2012), 395–429, 2012

Matthew Light, “Migration, “Globalised” Islam, and the Russian State:  A Case Study of Muslim Communities in Belgorod and Adygeya Regions,” Europe-Asia Studies, 64:2, 195-226, 2012


Comparative Criminal Justice
Theories of Criminal Justice
Organized Crime and Corruption
Topics in the Caucasus

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