Kathleen A Collins

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Political Science .
Room 1331 SocSci

267 19th Ave S


Kathleen Collins is an Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in Political Science with a focus on Russia and Central Asia. Collins received her B.A., summa cum laude, in Russian Language and Literature and Government and International Studies from the University of Notre Dame.

Professor Collins is the author of Clan Politics and Regime Transition in Central Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2006, 2009), which won the Central Eurasian Studies Society Award for the Best Book in the Social Sciences on Central Eurasia. She is currently completing her second book: The Rise of Muslim Politics: Islam and State in Central Asia and the Caucasus (under contract, Cambridge University Press). She has published articles in World Politics, Comparative Politics, the Journal of Democracy, Political Research Quarterly, and Europe-Asia Studies, as well as in numerous edited volumes.

Collins' research and teaching interests include: political transition and democratization, Islam and politics, civil and ethic conflict, clan politics, informal institutions, civil society development, and Soviet and post-Soviet political development, especially in Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Russia. Collins has done extensive field research in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. She has also worked on projects for the National Bureau of Asian Research, the United Nations Development Program, the United States Agency for International Development, the International Crisis Group, and other policy-making organizations.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Political Science, Stanford University, California.
  • B.A.: Government and International Studies and Russian Language and Literature, University of Notre Dame, Summa Cum Laude, Honors Program, Phi Beta Kappa.


  • religion and politics, particularly Islam and politics
  • Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan
  • Soviet and post-Soviet political development in Russia and the successor states
  • democratization and political transition
  • clan, tribal, and ethnic politics
Courses Taught
  • Religion and Politics: PhD Seminar
  • Theoretical Approaches to Religion, Identity, and Conflict: PhD Seminar
  • Theories of Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Conflict: PhD Seminar
  • Theoretical Approaches to Islam and Politics: PhD Seminar
  • Islam and Democracy
  • Islamist Politics in the Middle East, North Africa, and Eurasia
  • Russian Politics
  • Central Asian Politics
  • Politics of the Former Soviet Union
  • Nationalism in Eurasia
  • Intro to Comparative Government
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Occasional consulting: United Nations Development Program, US government, National Bureau of Asian Research, and other organizations:


  • The Rise of Muslim Politics: Islam and State in Central Asia and the Caucasus; book-length study of Islamist political mobilization, Soviet era to the present: Book manuscript, in progress, under contract, Cambridge University Press


  • Principal Investigator: Civic Involvement of Russian-Speaking Immigrants in Minneapolis, 2007 - 2008
  • Collins, Kathleen A. "“Christian repression and survival in post-Soviet central Asia,” ." Under Caesar’s Sword (2018):
  • Collins, Kathleen A. "“Corruption and Popular Support for Democracy and Government in Transitional Contexts: The Case of Kyrgyzstan,” with Robert Gambrel,." Europe-Asia Studies October (2017):
  • Collins, Kathleen A. “Faith and Reason: Explaining Christians’ Political Behavior in Central Asia”. , 2017.
  • Collins, Kathleen A. “The Limits of Cooperation: Central Asia, Afghanistan, and the New Silk Road,”. 2014
  • Collins, Kathleen A. “Islamic Religiosity and Regime Preferences: Explaining Support for Democracy and Political Islam in Central Asia and the Caucasus,” with Erica Owen. , 2012.
  • Collins, Kathleen A. "“After the Kyrgyz Spring: Challenges to Democratic Deepening,”." Brown Journal of World Affairs (Winter 2012)
  • Collins, Kathleen A. "Economic and Security Regionalism among Patrimonial Authoritarian Regimes: The Case of Central Asia." Europe-Asia Studies March 2009, volume 61, issue 2 251-283.
  • Collins, Kathleen A. "Ideas, Networks, and Islamist Movements." World Politics October (2007):
  • Collins, Kathleen A. Clan Politics and Regime Transition in Central Asia. Cambridge University Press, February 2006.
  • “Political and Institutional Constraints and Opportunities for Regional Cooperation“: Collins, Kathleen, UNDP, Bringing Down the Barriers: Regional Cooperation for Human Development and Human Security, Central Asia Human Development Report 2005, 2005.
  • The Logic of Clan Politics: Evidence from the Central Asian Trajectories: Collins, Kathleen, World Politics, 56 176-190, 2004.
  • The Political Role of Clans: Collins, Kathleen, Comparative Politics, 35, no 2 , January 2003.
  • “Central Asia: Defying Great Game Expectations“: Collins, Kathleen, William Wohlforth, Strategic Asia, 2003.
  • “Tajikistan: Bad Peace Agreements and Prolonged Civil Wars“: Collins, Kathleen, The Prevention of Violent Conflict, 2003.
  • Clans, Pacts, and Politics in Central Asia: Collins, Kathleen, Journal of Democracy, 13, no. 3 , 2002.
  • “Human Security and Transition in Central Asia“: Collins, Kathleen, United Nations, Report for the United Nations Commission on Human Security in Central Asia, 2002.
  • Global Religion Research Initiative, 2018
  • Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki, 2015 Visiting Fellowship (declined)
  • McKnight Land-Grant Professorship, 2007 - 2009
  • Central Eurasian Studies Society Award for the Best Book in the Social Sciences, 2008
  • Carnegie Scholar Grant, 2004 - 2007
  • NCEEER Grant, 2003 - 2005
  • IREX IARO Grant, 2005 - 2005
  • United States Institute of Peace Grant, 2004
  • S.M. Lipset Award for the Best Dissertation in Comparative Politics or Sociology (national dissertation award, Society for Comparative Research, Yale University),