While my research centres on Russia and the Soviet Union, it touches on themes that have a broader application. These include: comparative dictatorship, law and legal order, and the role of trust networks in politics. I am glad to supervise Ph.D. dissertations on a wide range of current or historical topics relating to Russia and Eurasia.
Over the last three years I have been involved in two major research projects:
- Networks and Hierarchies in the Soviet Provinces
The chief purpose of this project, which is led by me and supported by a £139,000 grant from the ESRC, is to chart the evolution of political networks and informal relations at the regional level over three distinct phases of Soviet rule. The project, which has a co-director, four regional researchers and several archival assistants, is described in greater detail on the project website.
- Taking Dictatorship Seriously: Justice and the Constitution in Soviet Russia
This project examines the emergence of the Soviet criminal justice system in the aftermath of World War II, taking the story through to the end of the Khrushchev era. Based on archival sources and interviews, it traces the origins of de-Stalinization to a new brand of legal-bureaucratic rules which first came to prominence in the late Stalin era.