stephen-kotkin-6Stephen Kotkin

Princeton Professor     |     Author     |     Historian

I am the John P. Birkelund ’52 Professor in History and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and history department of Princeton University, where I have taught since 1989.  I am also a Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

At Princeton, I teach courses on modern authoritarianism, global history since the 1850s, and the Soviet empire.  (I have been fortunate to win the University’s highest awards for both undergraduate and graduate teaching). I’ve served as vice dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, member and then chair of the editorial board at Princeton University Press, director of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, member of the editorial committee of the journal World Politics, and director of the Program in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies.  Outside Princeton, I’ve been the book reviewer for the New York Times Sunday Business section (2006-9), and a consultant in emerging markets for World Pension Forum and Conexus Financial as well as in higher education for the Open Society Foundations and others.  I once taught a PhD seminar at Columbia University (1991) as a visitor.  These days I appear frequently as a lecturer at OneDay University (just what it sounds like).  I’ve had a fellowship at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers of the New York Public Library.  I’ve also been the recipient of a Guggenheim.

I got my PhD from University of California at Berkeley (1988), under the supervision of Martin Malia and Reginald Zelnik.  My undergraduate degree is from the University of Rochester (1981).  I try to stay lean by eating a lot of thin spaghetti.