Mark R. Beissinger photo


Mark R. Beissinger

Henry W. Putnam Professor of Politics, Princeton University

Director, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS)




Mark R. Beissinger is the Henry W. Putnam Professor in the Department of Politics at Princeton University and Director of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies  (PIIRS).  He previously served on the faculties of University of Wisconsin-Madison and Harvard University.  His main fields of interest are social movements, revolutions, nationalism, state-building, and imperialism, with special reference to the Soviet Union and the post-Soviet states. In addition to numerous articles and book chapters, Beissinger is author or editor of five books: Scientific Management, Socialist Discipline, and Soviet Power (Harvard University Press, 1988); The Nationalities Factor in Soviet Politics and Society (Westview, 1988); Beyond State Crisis? Post-Colonial Africa and Post-Soviet Eurasia Compared (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002); Nationalist Mobilization and the Collapse of the Soviet State (Cambridge University Press, 2002); and Historical Legacies of Communism in Russia and Eastern Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2014--forthcoming). His book Nationalist Mobilization and the Collapse of the Soviet State received 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.  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.  Beissinger received his B.A. from Duke University in 1976 and Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1982.  From 1992-98 he was the founding Director of Wisconsin's Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia, and from 2001-04 was Chair of Wisconsin's Political Science Department. He has also served as President of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies.  His research has been supported by the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, the Wissenshaftskolleg zu Berlin, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the National Science Foundation, the United States Institute for Peace, and the Ford, Rockefeller, and Olin Foundations. 

Curriculum vitae                             Research and writing