Avital Livny

 Avital Livny

Contact Information

David Kinley Hall 311
Assistant Professor
View CV

Additional Campus Affiliations


I was born in Rehovot, Israel and grew up in Madison, Wisconsin. I received my B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis in Political ScienceHistory, and Near Eastern Studies. After graduation, I worked as a Policy Assistant for Legal Momentum (formerly NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund) before beginning my graduate studies. I received an M.Phil. in Modern Middle Eastern Studies and an M.Sc. in Comparative Politics Research from Oxford University (where I was a proud resident of St. Catherine’s College). I began my Ph.D. studies at Stanford University in the Fall of 2006, advanced to candidacy in Fall, 2008, and graduated in June, 2014. I spent AY 2014-15 as a Junior Research Fellow at the Carlos III-Juan March Institute in Madrid, Spain before beginning as an Assistant Professor at UIUC.


Research Interests

  • Middle East
  • Comparative Politics
  • Identity Politics
  • Turkey

Research Description

My research interests generally fall under the heading of comparative politics and include: the politics of religion and ethnicity, particularly the micro-foundations of identity-based mobilization; electoral dynamics in developing democracies; and variations in interpersonal trust, across space and time. My region of interest is the Muslim World, particularly the Muslim Middle East, and I have conducted extensive research in Turkey.

I am a native speaker of Hebrew and English and have good knowledge of both Modern Turkish and Modern Standard Arabic.


In The News