Soviet Union, Russia, Development, Foreign Policy, Central Asia, interventions, Cold War


I earned my BA from the George Washington University and my MA and PhD from the London School of Economics, after which I spent a decade teaching at the University of Amsterdam. Early in my career I became fascinated with the history of the Cold War and superpower interventions in the global south, which led to my first book: A Long Goodbye: The Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan (Harvard University Press, 2011). Studying how the Soviet Union carried out counter-insurgency and who was involved led me to pay more attention to region of Central Asia as a whole, to the role of Central Asians in Soviet policy, the Soviet Union as a multinational and (post?) imperial space, and the global history of development and welfare more broadly. This led me to my second book-length project, Laboratory of Socialist Development: Cold War Politics and Decolonization in Soviet Tajikistan (Cornell University Press, 2018), which won the Davis and Hewett prizes from the Association of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. 

I am currently working on a project that studies the legacies of socialist development in contemporary Central Asia to examine entanglements between socialist and capitalist development approaches in the late 20th century. This project recently received support from the European Research Council in the form of a Consolidator grant.

Along the way I have also the edited or co-edited a number of volumes dealing with Soviet history, the Cold War, and globalization, including Reassessing Orientalism: Interlocking Orientologies in the Cold War era, with Michael Kemper (Routledge, 2015) and Alternative globalizations. Eastern Europe and the postcolonial world, with Steffi Marung and James Mark (Indiana University Press, 2020). 

I occasionally write op-eds and longer essays on contemporary affairs, some of which have appeared in Foreign Affairs, the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, and the New York Times

Selected Publications

Courses Taught

At Temple, I have been teaching the following courses:

  • HIST 2400/POLS 2000: Russia's Aggression in Ukraine and the World after Feb 24
  • HIST 8820 Alternative Globalization: A View from the Socialist World
  • HIST/POLS 3363: Russia: Revolution, State, and Empire
  • HIST 8206 Global Development (Special Topics Graduate Seminar)
  • HIST 0862 Development and Globalization
  • POLS 3520 Research Prep: Russian Foreign Policy
  • HIST  3860 Central Eurasia in the Age of Empire and Revolution (Special Topics)
  • POLS 4896 Capstone Seminar in Political Science