Matthew Light

photo of Matthew Light
Associate Professor of Criminology 
BA (Harvard University), MA (University of Chicago), JD, PhD(Political Science, Yale University)
Tel: 416.946.7419

Matthew Light studies migration control, policing and criminal justice, and corruption, primarily in the post-Soviet region.

Current Projects

A book manuscript on regional migration policies in contemporary Russia.

A new research project on police reform in Georgia and neighbouring post-Soviet states.


Light, Matthew. Forthcoming. Fragile Migration Rights: Freedom of Movement in Post-Soviet Russia. (Routledge)

Special Issue of Theoretical Criminology Professor Matt Light and former Centre postdoc and CLTA assistant professor Gavin Slade have co-edited a special issue of Theoretical Criminology on crime and criminal justice in the post-Soviet region. The collection aims to bring problems of public order in this important world region to the attention of a largely English-speaking professional criminology audience, and includes review essays on a broad range of topics, including the changing roles of prosecutors and judges, police, and prisons; official corruption and organized crime; homicide; and Skinhead violence. In addition, the widely read political blog “The Monkey Cage,” hosted by the Washington Post, features an introduction and write-up of the special issue.

Matthew Light, Rosemary Gartner, and Milomir Strbac, “Explaining the Use of Interpersonal Violence by Political Leaders: Saddam Hussein and Joseph Stalin Compared,” forthcoming, Post-Soviet Affairs.

Matthew Light and Nikolai Kovalev, “Russia, the Death Penalty, and Europe: The Ambiguities of Influence,” forthcoming, Post-Soviet Affairs.

“Police Reform in the Republic of Georgia: The Convergence of Domestic and Foreign Policy in an Anti-Corruption Drive,” forthcoming, Policing and Society

“What Does It Mean To Control Migration? Soviet Mobility Policies in Comparative Perspective,” Law and Social Inquiry, 2012.

“Migration, “Globalised” Islam, and the Russian State: A Case Study of Muslim Communities in Belgorod and Adygeya Regions,” Europe-Asia Studies, 2012.

“Policing Migration in Soviet and Post-Soviet Moscow,” Post-Soviet Affairs, 2010