Modern Authoritarianism and Geopolitics: Thoughts on a Policy Framework

Tuesday, March 29, 2022
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Online, via Zoom

  • Stephen Kotkin
Modern Authoritarianism and Geopolitics: Thoughts on a Policy Framework

Once upon a time, there was a seductive story about twin revolutions, a political one in France and an industrial one in Britain, that supposedly ushered in our modern world. This narrative never sat well with empirical realities, yet it lives on in textbooks. What might be a more persuasive framework for a global history of the modern era? What are the implications for research and the teaching of history?


Steve Kotkin
Stephen Kotkin is the John P. Birkelund Professor of History and International Affairs in what used to be called the Woodrow Wilson School and in the History Department of Princeton University, as well as a Senior Fellow (adjunct) at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He directs the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies and co-directs its program in History and the Practice of Diplomacy, which he founded. He also founded Princeton’s Global History Initiative. His scholarship encompasses geopolitics and authoritarian regimes in history and in the present.

Kotkin has published two volumes of a three-volume history of the world as seen from Stalin’s desk: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 (Penguin, November 2014) and Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941 (Penguin, October 2017). The final installment, Totalitarian Superpower, 1941-1990s, is underway. He writes reviews and essays for Foreign Affairs, the Times Literary Supplement, and The Wall Street Journal, and served as the business book reviewer for The New York Times Sunday Business Section. He is an occasional consultant for governments and some private companies. PhD UC Berkeley (1988).