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Department of International History
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street

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in Sardinia House (SAR)

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Professor Vladislav Zubok

Professor of International History

Other Titles:  Undergraduate Examinations Chair
Research Interests: Cold War; 20th-Century Russia
Room: SAR.3.13
Tel: +44 (0)20 7107 5370

Vladislav Zubok is professor of international history, with expertise on the Cold War, the Soviet Union, Stalinism, and Russia’s intellectual history in the 20th century. His most recent books are The Idea of Russia: The Life and Work of Dmitry Likhachev (2017), Dmitry Likhachev. The Life and the Century (in Russian, 2016) A Failed Empire: the Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev (2007) and Zhivago’s Children: the Last Russian Intelligentsia (2009).

Professor Zubok was born and educated in Moscow. He studied for his undergraduate degree at the Moscow State University and studied for his PhD at the Institute for the USA and Canada in Moscow.

In 1994 he became a fellow at the National Security Archive, non-government organization at the University of George Washington. He continued his academic career in the United States as a visiting professor at Amherst College, Ohio University, Stanford University, and the University of Michigan, and in 2004 became a tenured professor at Temple University.

His books earned the Lionel Gelber Prize and the Marshall Shulman Prize of the American Association for Advancement of Slavic Studies. Professor Zubok received numerous grants from the McArthur Foundation and Carnegie Corporation of New York, and recently from the Yeltsin foundation and the Russkii Mir foundation. Aside from academic work, Professor Zubok organized a number of international archival and educational projects in Russia, Ukraine, and South Caucasus. He held numerous fellowships, including the Norwegian Nobel Institute, the Wilson Center in Washington DC, Collegium Budapest, the Free University for Liberal Studies in Rome, the Rockefeller Center in Bellagio, and the Hoover Institute at Stanford University. 

Professor Zubok also consulted a number of documentary films, most importantly Sir Jeremy Isaac’s twenty-four series “Cold War” on CNN.

His new book titled The Idea of Russia. The Life and Work of Dmitry Likhachev was published by I.B.Tauris in January 2017. He is currently working on the next book 1991: ‘Russia’ destroys the Soviet Union, a study of Soviet collapse within the context of globalization, economics, and nationalism.

Professor Vladislav Zubok teaches the following courses:

At undergraduate level:

HY242: The Soviet Union: Domestic, International and Intellectual History

At postgraduate level:

HY458: LSE-Columbia University Double Degree Dissertation

HY463: The Origins of the Cold War, 1917-1962

Professor Zubok also supervises the following PhD students:

Research Student Provisional Thesis Title
David Broder Bandiera Rossa: Communists in German-occupied Rome, 1943-44
Isaac Scarborough On the Edges of Perestroika: Central Asia and the Experience of Glasnost

Professor Vladislav Zubok recent publications include:

List of publications on LSE Research Online


Professor Vladislav Zubok Publishes New Book, The Idea of Russia

Professor Vladislav Zubok’s newest book, The Idea of Russia: The Life and Work of Dmitry Likhachev, was released by IB Tauris in January 2017. As the title indicates, The Idea of Russia focuses on the life and work of one of the most prominent Russian intellectuals of the twentieth century, Dmitry Likhachev (1906-1999). His life spanned virtually the entire century - a tumultuous period which saw Russia move from Tsarist rule under Nicholas II via the Russian Revolution and Civil War into seven decades of communism followed by Gorbachev's Perestroika and the rise of Putin. In 1928, shortly after completing his university education, Likhachev was arrested, charged with counter-revolutionary ideas and imprisoned in the Gulag, where he spent the next five years. Returning to a career in academia, specialising in Old Russian literature, Likhachev played a crucial role in the cultural life of twentieth-century Russia, campaigning for the protection of important cultural sites and historic monuments. He also founded museums dedicated to great Russian writers including Dostoevsky, Pushkin and Pasternak. In this, the first biography of Likhachev to appear in English, Professor Zubok provides a thoroughly-researched account of one of Russia's most extraordinary and influential public figures. Buy The Idea of Russia here. The Idea of Russia is a shorter English version of Dmitry Likhachev. The Life and the Century also authored by Professor Vladislav Zubok and published in Russia by Vita Nova in 2016.


Professor Vladislav Zubok's New Book out in Russia

Professor Vladislav Zubok’s new book, Dmitry Likhachev: The Life and the Century, was launched in St. Petersburg, Russia, as part of a series of events taking place around the city celebrating the 110th anniversary of the birth of academician Dmitry Likhachev. On Tuesday, 29 November, Professor Zubok’s book was presented to the public at the State Museum of Political History of Russia. The event was mentioned by Russia News Today. Professor Zubok’s book analysis “archival materials and includes more than 150 photos from the collections of the family of the scientist, the Pushkin house and the Foundation named after Likhachev”.
Professor Vladislav Zubok Speaks at Symposium Dedicated to James Billington, Emeritus Director of the Library of Congress

On 16 November 2016, Professor Vladislav Zubok was a guest speaker at a symposium dedicated to the long-serving Director of the Library of Congress, James Billington. The symposium, titled “Culture as Conversation: A Classic Turns Fifty — A Symposium Dedicated to Re-ExaminingThe Icon and the Axe”, took place in the Washington College of Law, American University, and was organised by the Carmel Institute for Russian Culture and History in cooperation with the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies and the Wilson Center's Kennan Institute. Professor Zubok gave a speech largely based on his forthcoming book about James Billington’s Russian friend, D.S. Likhachev. Other speakers included Dr. Anton Fedyashin (Carmel Institute Director Associate Professor of History American University), Matthew Rojansky (Director of the Kennan Institute) and John R. Beyrle (US Ambassador to Russia, 2008-2012.


Professor Vladimir Zubok at the at the 46th Annual Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies

On November 21, 2014 Professor Vladislav Zubok was an invited speaker at the Presidential Plenary Session of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies in San Antonio, Texas. The panel’s theme was: “25 Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Historical Legacies and New Beginnings.” He spoke on the topic: “What can we learn from the Cold War now? Personality, Contingency, Identity Politics, and the Role of Money.”



  Professor Vladislav ZubokExpertsPageCurriculumVitae



The Idea of Russia: The Life and Work of Dmitry Likhachev (I.B. Tauris, 2017)


Dmitry Likhachev. The Life and the Century (in Russian, Vita Nova, 2016)