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.