Matthew Blackburn

Senior Researcher

Matthew Blackburn is a Senior Researcher in NUPI's Research Group on Russia, Asia and International Trade. His main research agenda addresses the politics of contemporary autocracies in Russia and Eurasia, including both domestic politics and interstate relations. He has researched contemporary autocratic legitimation and popular responses to state discourses, with a particular focus on how regimes mobilise on the ideational level and cope with the challenges of nationalist and populist opposition. He also researches subnational variation in Russian society and regional politics, and studies how contemporary authoritarian regimes evolve, alternating between periods of stabilisation, normalisation and mobilisation.

He is currently developing project proposals on comparative authoritarian politics, displacement and emigration, and new competition for influence among the former-Soviet states in light of the war in Ukraine.

He is also an affiliated researcher at the Institute of Russian and Eurasian Studies at Uppsala University. 


2018 PhD, (Russian and East European Studies Programme) University of Glasgow.

2013 International Masters in Russian and Eastern European Studies and International Relations, Glasgow University and KIMEP University (Almaty

Work Experience

2023- Senior Researcher, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) 

2021-2023 Ulam Research Fellow, University of Warsaw 

2018-2021 Postdoctoral researcher, Institute of Russian and Eurasian Studies at Uppsala University

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