Yuliya Zabyelina

Yuliya Zabyelina

Yuliya Zabyelina
Associate Professor
Phone number: 
Room number and address: 
NB 9.65.36


Ph.D., University of Trento, Italy (2013)

M.A., Jacobs University Bremen, Germany (2008)


Dr. Zabyelina is a socio-legal scholar. Her research covers various forms of transnational organized crime and corruption and the existing domestic, regional and global mechanisms for their prevention and control. Her scholarship is interdisciplinary and draws from the theoretical foundations and methodologies of international law, criminology, and sociology. This approach enriches her research and provides a comprehensive understanding of the complex interplay between legal structures, social dynamics, and criminal behavior. Her research not only contributes to the academic discourse but also holds the potential to influence policy-making, shaping more effective strategies for combatting these pervasive global challenges.

In addition to her academic achievements, Dr. Zabyelina has actively engaged in practical applications of her expertise, such as through her consultancy work for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).In this role, she has leveraged her deep understanding of transnational organized crime and corruption to offer valuable insights and recommendations that inform international efforts in countering these issues.



JJC Affiliations

International Criminal Justice BA, International Crime & Justice MA

Professional Memberships

Dr. Zabyelina is actively involved in a number of professional associations around the world, including:

  • Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC) 
  • Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS), International Section
  • American Society of Criminology (ASC) 
  • ECPR Standing Group on Organized Crime (ECPR-SGOC) 
  • International Association for the Study of Organized Crime (IASOC) 

Course Taught

  • ICJ 101 Introduction to International Crime and Justice 
  • ICJ 401 Capstone Seminar in International Crime and Justice
  • POL 260 International Relations
  • POL 225 Introduction to Research in Politics 
  • POL 325  The Politics of Transnational Crime 
  • POL 385 Supervised Research Experience in Political Science
  • POL 387 Faculty Mentored Research
  • ICJ 380 Selected Topics in International Criminal Justice
  • ICJ/PAD 762 Corruption and Global Economy
  • ICJ 706 Transnational Crime  
  • ICJ726 Drug Trafficking 


Languages spoken/fluent in

English, Ukrainian, and Russian - fluent; German and Italian - basic

Scholarly Work

Books The Private Sector and Organized Crime: Criminal Entrepreneurship, Illicit  Profits, and Private Sector Security Governance (Routledge Studies in  Organised Crime): Savona, Ernesto U., Zabyelina, Yuliya, Thachuk, Kimberley  L.: 9781032056609: Amazon.com ...

Zabyelina, Y. (2023/forthcoming) Between Immunity and Impunity: External Accountability of Political Elites for Transnational Crime. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Zabyelina, Y., and Thachuk, K. (eds.). (2022) The Private Sector and Organized Crime: Criminal Entrepreneurship, Illicit Profits, and Private Sector Security Governance. London and New York, NYRoutledge  

Zabyelina, Y., and Van Uhm, D. (eds.) (2020). Illegal Mining: Organized Crime, Corruption, and Ecocide in a Resource-Scarce World. London and New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. 

Journal articles (selected)


Book chapters and review articles (selected)


Select encyclopaedia entries   * denotes a student co-author 


Select research reports and policy papers 


Honors and Awards

Dr. Zabyelina has received the following fellowships: The Newton International Fellowship (2013); The SAGE Junior Faculty Teaching Award (2015); The Aleksanteri Institute Visiting Scholar Fellowship (2015). 

She is also the recipient of:

  • The Fellow Award (2021) from the Teaching, Learning and Scholarship Section (TLS) of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) given in recognition of distinguished contribution to criminal justice education;
  • The Henry Wasser Award (2020) given in recognition of outstanding research, or potential for such, in the humanities or sciences, including social and life sciences, to Assistant Professors from all CUNY campuses;
  • The Outstanding Scholarly Mentor Award (2020) given by the John Jay College Office for Student Research & Creativity in recognition of faculty who have provided exceptional student mentoring by engaging undergraduates in scholarly research or creative work; 
  • The Presidential Student-Faculty Research Award (2019) from the John Jay College Office of the President in conjunction with the Office for the Advancement of Research and the Office of Student Research & Creativity. The award sponsors proposals for research and creative projects designed to involve students directly in substantive, faculty-mentored experiences;
  • The Faculty Scholarly Excellence Award (2018) given by the Office for the Advancement of Research (OAR) to tenure-track or tenured faculty who have demonstrated exceptional scholarship in the previous three calendar years;
  • The Donal MacNamara Junior Faculty Award (2016) given by the Office for the Advancement of Research (OAR) to an assistant professor who has made a significant scholarly contribution in the preceding two years to the fields of criminal justice or criminology.

Research Summary

Yuliya Zabyelina is currently Co-Director on a research project that assesses the implementation of anticorruption conventions in the Western Hemisphere funded by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs of the US Department of State (see WHACI). She previously examined the illegal trade in amber in Ukraine, terrorism financing from organized crime activities, informal policing in Ukraine, and white-collar crime, among other topics, with support from the Research Foundation of the City University of New York (RF CUNY).

Area of Expertise

Most requested topics by media

Human Trafficking
Organized Crime
Terrorism & Violent Extremism

Faculty Expertise: topics/keywords

  • transnational organized crime
  • (anti)-corruption 
  • international/transnational criminal law
  • European and post-Soviet politics
  • global security governance
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