Dr. Edward Lemon is the DMGS-Kennan Institute Fellow at the Daniel Morgan Graduate School. He was previously a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harriman Institute at Columbia University and gained his PhD from the University of Exeter in 2016. In his research, he examines authoritarian governance, religion, security, and migration in Eurasia. Since 2009, he has spent almost three years working and conducting fieldwork in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Poland. His research has been published in Central Asian Survey, The RUSI Journal, Caucasus Survey, Central Asian Affairs, Foreign Affairs, and the Review of Middle Eastern Studies.

Project Summary

"Repression Beyond Borders" examines the way in which the government of post-Soviet Tajikistan has attempted to govern opposition, Islam and emigration, particularly the way it has targeted political exiles who are practicing Muslims. Lemon examines the process by which President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon emerged from relative obscurity in 1992 to become president for life in 2015 imprisoning, exiling and executing his rivals along the way. Based on almost three years of ethnographic and document-based fieldwork conducted between 2010 and 2017 in Tajikistan, Russia, and Poland, Lemon explores how this state repression has forced journalists, former regime insiders, pious Muslims and opposition activists to flee the country. Once they have escaped, the government continues to target them through kidnapping, assassinations and by putting pressure on their relatives left in the country. Many of these practices are facilitated through the manipulation of international organizations, most notably Interpol.

Major Publications

“Counter-extremism, Power and Authoritarian Governance in Tajikistan,” Central Asian Survey, 37, (1): 137-159. 2018.

“Tajikistan and Daesh: The Regime’s (In)security Policy,” The RUSI Journal, 160 (5): 68-76. 2015.

“Mediating the Conflict in the Rasht Valley: The Hegemonic Narrative and Anti-hegemonic Articulations,” Central Asian Affairs, 1 (2): 247-272. 2014