Alexander Cooley


Alexander Cooley is the Claire Tow Professor of Political Science at Barnard College and Director of Columbia University's Harriman Institute (2016-present). He also serves on Columbia University's Tenure Review Advisory Committee (2017-present).

Professor Cooley’s research examines how external actors—including international organizations, multinational companies, NGOs, and foreign military bases—have influenced the development, governance and sovereignty of the former Soviet states, with a focus on Central Asia and the Caucasus. Cooley is the author and/or editor of six academic books including, most recently, Dictators without Borders: Power and Money In Central Asia (Yale University Press, 2017), co-authored with John Heathershaw. He has written extensively on grand corruption issues in the region and the role of Western enabling institutions and service providers.

In addition to his academic research, Professor Cooley serves on several international advisory boards and has testified for the United States Congress and the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Cooley's opinion pieces have appeared in New York Times, Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs and his research has been supported by fellowships and grants from the Open Society Foundations, Carnegie Corporation, and the German Marshall Fund of the United States, among others. Cooley earned both his MA and Ph.D. from Columbia University.


@CooleyOnEurasia on Twitter


Research Interests

External actors and regional relations in Eurasia and Central Asia

Emerging Powers and Global Governance

International Sovereignty and Limited Sovereignty

Politics of United States and Russian overseas military bases

Politics of International Rankings and Ratings

Kleptocracy and Extraterriorial Authoritarianism

Western Values Advocacy in a Multipolar world

Ongoing projects

Anti-corruption Research

Russian Studies & Policy

Cold Wars and the Academy

Undermining Hegemony