Politics and International Relations

Ajar Chekirova

Assistant Professor of Politics



Comparative Urban Politics
Migration and Citizenship
Informal Institutions
Politics of post-Soviet States


PhD Political Science, University of Illinois-Chicago
MA Politics Science, University of Illinois-Chicago
MA International Studies, Ohio University
LLB, Law, Peking University

Courses Taught

POLS 140 Introduction to Comparative Politics
POLS 209 The Post-Communist World
POLS 218 Politics of Russia
POLS 242 Politics of the Developing World
POLS 316 Global Cities
POLS 317 Global Democratization
POLS 345 Migration and Citizenship in Comparative Perspective



“New Voting Machines, Old Voting Behavior: Analysis of Parliamentary Elections in 2015 in Kyrgyzstan.” In Politics of Conflict and Cooperation in Eurasia, edited by Ozgur Tufekci, Taba Husrev, and Dag Rahman.  Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018.

"Exploring the Effect of Registration Documents on the Citizenshop Rights of Rural Migrants in Kyrgyzstan." In Eurasia on the Move: Interdiscplinary Approaches to a Dynamic Migration Region, edited by Marlene Laruelle and Caress Schenk. Washington, DC: George Washington University, Central Asia Program, 2018. Available online: http://centralasiaprogram.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/migration_final_print.pdf

Conferences and Presentations

“Claiming Rights to Post-Soviet City: Institutional Barriers and Informal Methods at Street-Level Bureaucracies”. Urban Affairs Association Annual Conference, Los Angeles, CA, April 2019

“Migration, Registration, and Citizenship in a Post-Soviet City”. Midwest Political Science Association Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, April 2019

“Challenges of Internal Migration in Kyrgyzstan.” Paper presented at Nazarbaev University, Astana, Kazakhstan, September 2017.

“The Effect of Local Permanent Registration or “Propiska” System on Social Cleavages in Post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan.” Midwest Political Science Association Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, April 2017.

“Transforming citizenship: challenging urban local registration-based citizenship in cities of China, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkey.” Paper presented at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, July 2016.

“New voting machines, old voting behavior: obstacles to free and fair elections in Kyrgyzstan.” International Conference on Eurasian Politics and Society, Kadir Has University, Istanbul, Turkey, June 2016

“Collective impact of nonprofit organizations in conflict reconciliation in Kyrgyzstan.” Midwest Slavic Conference, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, March 2012.

Fellowships and Grants

University of San Francisco Gerardo Marin Dissertation Fellowship 2018–2019

George Washington University NAC-NU Central Asia Studies Grant 2018 

University of Illinois in Chicago Dean’s Scholar Research Fellowship 2016–2017 

University of Illinois in Chicago Ragsdale Research Fellowship 2015–2016 

University of Illinois in Chicago Provost Grant for Graduate Research 2015 

Open Society Foundation Fellowship 2013–2015 

Fulbright Fellowship 2010–2012 

Memberships and Associations

American Political Science Association
Midwest Political Science Association
Urban Affairs Association
Association for Slavic, East European, and East Eurasian Studies 
V-Dem Regional Center in Central Asia