My research interests are authoritarian politics and democratization, human rights and state repression, political violence, conflict, international and environmental security, and global governance with a regional focus on the post-Soviet world, Middle East, and East European politics. My research employs both qualitative and quantitative methods including large-n regression, machine learning, experimental design, and small-n studies.
My dissertation examines why some non-democracies repress sexual minorities and when Western support undermines gay activism. I argue that nondemocratic regimes against the liberal world order tend to repress sexual minorities. These anti-Western regimes oppose the liberal world order and are sometimes in geopolitical competition with the West, even though they often have limited economic and political relations with Western democracies. I further argue that anti-Western major powers repress sexual minorities more to advance their geopolitical interests vis-à-vis the West by securitizing homosexuality as “Western-imported”. Anti-Western regimes also become more repressive toward sexual minorities when they have overly conservative societies as political leaders in these countries persecute LGBTQ+ people to augment their support base as the “protector” of traditional values. My research also demonstrates that Western support for gay rights movements tends to undermine gay activism when it produces reputation costs for LGBTQ+ groups and societal backlash in countries with strong anti-Western sentiments and Western colonial history. Leaders in these countries attempt to label LGBTQ+ movements as “agents” of the West to discredit them in mainstream society and consolidate their regimes.
My dissertation project contributes to broader fields of state repression and social movements in three ways. First, in line with the standard logic of coercive responsiveness, scholars have found that ethnic minorities face repression when states perceive them as having the potential in involving in collective action against states in the form of rebellion or insurgency. Yet, this logic tells little about why governments resort to repressive measures against certain vulnerable groups. My research moves beyond this classic repression-dissent nexus and demonstrates that sexual minorities face repression for reasons mainly related to global and domestic politics rather than a threat they pose to state security. Second, my dissertation draws new connections between the external and domestic sources of state repression against sexual minorities and gay activism. Finally, my dissertation advances the literature on external support and human rights outcomes.
- Abbasov, N., 2021. Antigovernment Protests and Commitment to Democratic Principles. Problems of Post-Communism, pp.1-15.
- Abbasov, N. and Siroky, D., 2018. Joining the club: explaining alliance preferences in the South Caucasus. Caucasus Survey, 6(3), pp.252-267 (awarded the Preregistration Prize of the Center for Open Science).
- Souleimanov, E.A., Abbasov, N. and Siroky, D.S., 2019. Frankenstein in Grozny: vertical and horizontal cracks in the foundation of Kadyrov’s rule. Asia Europe Journal, 17(1), pp.87-103.
- Namig Abbasov and Emil Souleimanov, “Post-War Situation in Karabakh: Major Issues Preventing Peace and Reconciliation”, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute (CACI) Book Project about The Forty Four-Day War, forthcoming.
- David Siroky and Namig Abbasov. 2021. “Secession and Secessionist Movements” in Oxford Bibliographies in Political Science, Ed. Sandy Maisel., Oxford University Press.
- Abbasov, N., 2020, July. Still Waters Run Deep: Federal, Regional, and Local Dimensions of Conflict in the North Caucasus. In OSCE Yearbook 2019 (pp. 177-188). Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG.
Other Peer-Reviewed and Editor-Reviewed Publications
- Abbasov, N. and Souleimanov, E.A., 2022. Azerbaijan, Israel, and Iran: An Unlikely Triangle Shaping the Northern Middle East. Middle East Policy, 29(1), pp.139-153.
- Namig Abbasov. 2021. “LGBTQ+ Repression during Covid-19 Pandemic”, Global Human Rights Hub.
- Namig Abbasov. 2021. “Global Backlash against Gay Rights: Why do States Repress Sexual Minorities?”, Global Human Rights Hub.
- Namig Abbasov and Emil Souleimanov. 2020. “Putin as Pyhrrus Russia in Syria and Libya”, Osteuropa.
- Souleimanov, E.A. and Abbasov, N., 2020. Why Russia Has Not (Yet) Won Over Syria and Libya. Middle East Policy, 27(2), pp.81-93.
- Abbasov, N., 2015. Minsk Group Mediation Process: Explaining the Failure of Peace Talks. Journal of Caspian Affairs, 1(2), p.59-76.
- Abbasov, N., 2015. The Crisis of Multiculturalism in the UK: Has it Failed?. Caucasus International, 5(1), pp.85-97.
- Abbasov, N., 2014. Iranian Foreign Policy Toward Azerbaijan: Ideology Versus Pragmatism. Journal of Qafqaz University, 2(2), pp.139-146.