Skip over navigation

Mark R. Beissinger

Mark Beissinger

Title: Henry W. Putnam Professor of Politics; Director, PIIRS
Areas: Comparative Politics
Field: Comparative politics, nationalism, state-building, imperialism, social movements, with special reference to the Soviet Union.
Office: 320 Aaron Burr Hall
Phone: 609-258-8261
Assistant: Rachel C. Golden, 609-258-7497

Mark Beissinger is the Henry W. Putnam Professor of Politics and director of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies. Beissinger has long been involved in teaching, research and administration in international and regional studies and previously taught on the faculties of Harvard University and University of Wisconsin-Madison. From 1992–98 he served as founding director of Wisconsin’s Center for Russia, East Europe and Central Asia, and from 2001–04, was chair of Wisconsin’s Department of Political Science. In 2007, he was elected president of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. Beissinger’s academic interests revolve around the study of social movements, revolutions, nationalism and imperialism, with particular reference to the Soviet Union and its successor states.

He is the author or editor of four books: Scientific Management, Socialist Discipline, and Soviet Power (1988); The Nationalities Factor in Soviet Politics and Society (1988); Beyond State Crisis? Post-Colonial Africa and Post-Soviet Eurasia Compared (2002); and Nationalist Mobilization and the Collapse of the Soviet State (2002). This latter work won multiple awards, including the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award presented by the American Political Science Association for the best book published in the United States in the field of government, politics or international affairs, and the Mattei Dogan Award presented by the Society for Comparative Research for the best book published in the field of comparative research. Beissinger’s research has been supported by the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton, the Wissenshaftskolleg zu Berlin, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the National Science Foundation, the United States Institute for Peace, IREX, and the Ford, Rockefeller and Olin foundations. His recent writings have dealt with such issues as the role of emulation in the cross-national spread of revolution, nonviolent civil resistance movements, the negative character of revolutionary coalitions, the relationship between nationalism and democracy, the persistence of empire as a category of politics in Eurasia, the historical legacies of communism and the changing relationship between violence and revolution over the last century.