Mikhail Lyubansky

Profile picture for Mikhail Lyubansky

Contact Information

603 E. Daniel
M/C 716
Champaign, IL 61820
Teaching Associate Professor


Mikhail Lyubansky, Ph.D., is a teaching associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he teaches Psychology of Race and Ethnicity and graduate and courses on restorative justice. His research and writing interests include restorative justice and racial/ethnic group relations. He is a regular contributor to anthologies on popular culture, and is a co-editor of a recently-released volume titled Toward a Socially-Responsible Psychology For a Global Era. In addition to his academic writing, Mikhail writes a blog about justice for Psychology Today called Between the Lines.

Research Interests

  • Race Relations
  • Restorative Justice

Research Description

My research interests are focused broadly on conflict and restorative approaches to conflict. I am particularly interested in a systemic approach to conflict and injustice developed in Brazil by Dominic Barter and associates called Restorative Circles. My current work is focused on supporting the development, evaluation, and adoption of this practice in a variety of contexts, including schools, organizations, and the juvenile justice system. A brief summary of Restorative Circles (and restorative principles) is available in this article I wrote for Psychology Today. A more academic discussion of restorative circles and how they can be used to engage racial conflict can be found in this Peace Review article that I co-wrote with RC developer Dominic Barter and in this article about Trayvon Martin. My most recent publication examines the challenges associated with doing restorative justice in schools. Much of my current work focuses on better understanding the psychological and community changes produced by restorative systems and practices. As well, I am interested in power dynamics and in restorative approaches to racial and other group conflict.

I also have a long-standing interest (going back about 20 years) in race and racial dynamics, including identity development, group relations. I've publishes several papers on race group differences in Americans' beliefs about their racial and national identity groups and the extent to which these beliefs explain attitudes and behaviors associated with group conflict. I've also co-written a 2006 book about the Russian-Jewish diaspora and co-edited another book on Socially-Responsible Psychology. Although most of my work these days focuses on restorative justice, I do still occasionally study and write about immigration and racial/ethnic identity.


  • Ph.D. Michigan State University (2000)
  • M.A. Michigan State University (1996)
  • B.A. University of Pennsylvania (1992)

Awards and Honors

  • Larine Y. Cowan Make a Difference Award for Teaching & Mentoring in Diversity (2017)
  • Psi Chi Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, 2014-2015
  • Psi Chi Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, 2010-2011

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