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Archie Brown

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Title: Archie Brown  
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Subject: History of the Soviet Union (1964–82), Mikhail Gorbachev, Cold War historians, University of Connecticut faculty, Fellows of St Antony's College, Oxford
Collection: 1938 Births, Alumni of the London School of Economics, British Foreign Policy Writers, British Political Scientists, Cold War Historians, Columbia University Faculty, Companions of the Order of St Michael and St George, Fellows of St Antony's College, Oxford, Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fellows of the British Academy, Historians of Russia, Living People, People Educated at Annan Academy, University of Connecticut Faculty, University of Notre Dame People, Yale University Faculty
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Archie Brown

Archibald Haworth Brown CMG, FBA commonly known as Archie Brown (born 10 May 1938), is a British political scientist and historian. In 2005, he became Emeritus Professor of Politics at Oxford University and an Emeritus Fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford, where he was a Professor of Politics and Director of St Antony's Russian and East European Centre. He has written widely on Soviet and Russian politics, Communist politics more generally, the Cold War, and political leadership.

Brown was born in Annan, Scotland, and educated at Annan Academy and Dumfries Academy, before studying at both undergraduate and postgraduate level at the London School of Economics (LSE). He taught at Glasgow University from 1964 to 1971, during which time he was a British Council exchange scholar at Moscow State University for a year between 1967 and 1968.[1]

He has been Visiting Professor of Political Science at Yale University, the University of Connecticut and Columbia University. He was also a Visiting Professor and holder of the Frank C. Erwin, Jr. Centennial Chair of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. In addition, he spent the Fall semester of 1998 as the Distinguished Visiting Fellow of the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame.[1]

At Oxford University, Brown was University Lecturer in Soviet Institutions from 1971 until 1989 when he became Professor of Politics. He held that position from 1989 to 2005. Concurrently, he was a Sub-Warden of St Antony's College between 1995 and 1997 and Director of the Russian and East European Centre twice (from 1991 to 1994, and again from 1998 to 2001). He was Director of Graduate Studies in Politics for Oxford University between 2001 and 2003.[1]

Elected a Fellow of the Queen's Birthday Honours list in 2005 "for services to UK-Russian relations and to the study of political science and international affairs".[1] In 2010 he was one of three scholars to receive the Diamond Jubilee Award for Lifetime Achievement in Political Studies. The award was made by the Political Studies Association of the UK to mark the sixtieth anniversary of its foundation.

Brown has written and edited numerous books on Soviet and Communist politics, and his articles have embraced a wide range of subjects, including the end of the Cold War, British politics, post-Soviet Russian politics, political leadership, political culture, and 18th century political and social thought. Two of his major books deal with the Soviet perestroika and the role of Mikhail Gorbachev in the transformation of the Soviet system and the ending of the Cold War. They focus on both the power of ideas and the power of institutions, putting Gorbachev's innovative leadership in its political context. For the first of these books, The Gorbachev Factor (1996), Brown was awarded the W.J.M. Mackenzie Prize of the Political Studies Association of the UK for "best political science book of the year". That book also shared the Alec Nove Prize of the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies for "best book or article in any discipline on Russia, Communism or Postcommunism". In a more recent work, Seven Years that Changed the World: Perestroika in Perspective (2007; paperback 2008), Brown returned to these themes, making use of new and extensive archival material, including the records of Soviet Politburo meetings.

Archie Brown’s book, The Rise and Fall of Communism (2009; UK paperback 2010; US paperback 2011) is concerned with Communism worldwide – from its 19th-century origins to the fall of Communism in Europe in 1989 and its adaptation and mutation in China. This book earned Brown the 2010 Mackenzie Prize of the Political Studies Association, making him the recipient of “best political science book of the year” award for a second time. It also won the Nove Prize awarded by the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies. In addition to its American, British and Canadian editions, the work has been published in translation in eight other countries.

More recently Brown has published a still broader comparative-historical book – on political leadership worldwide since the dawn of the 20th century – The Myth of the Strong Leader: Political Leadership in the Modern Age (2014).


  • Bibliography 1
    • See also 1.1
  • References 2
  • External links 3


  • Brown, A., Soviet Politics and Political Science, 1974 (Macmillan), ISBN 0-333-13751-5
  • Brown, A., Kaser, M., The Soviet Union Since the Fall of Khrushchev, 1975, 2nd ed., 1978 (Macmillan), ISBN 0-333-23337-9
  • Brown, A., Gray, J., Political Culture and Political Change in Communist States, 1977 (Macmillan), ISBN 0-333-21429-3
  • Rigby, T.H., Brown, A. and Reddaway, P. (eds), Authority, Power and Policy in the USSR, 1980 (Macmillan), ISBN 0-333-21429-3
  • Brown, A., Kaser, M., Soviet Policy for the 1980s, 1982 (Macmillan), ISBN 0-333-33140-0
  • Brown, A., Fennell, J., Kaser, M., Willetts, H.T. (eds), The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Russia and the Soviet Union, 1982 (Cambridge University Press), ISBN 0-521-23169-8
  • Brown, A., Political Culture and Communist Studies (ed), 1984 (Macmillan), ISBN 0-87332-310-6
  • Brown, A., Political Leadership in the Soviet Union (ed), 1989 (Macmillan), ISBN 0-253-31214-0
  • Brown, A., Biographical Dictionary of the Soviet Union (ed), 1990 (Weidenfeld & Nicolson), ISBN 0-297-82010-9
  • Brown, A., (ed.), New Thinking in Soviet Politics, 1992 (Macmillan), ISBN 0-333-53440-9
  • Brown, A., Kaser, M., Smith, G.S. (eds), The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Russia and the Former Soviet Union, 1994 (Cambridge University Press), ISBN 0-521-35593-1
  • Brown, A., The Gorbachev Factor, 1996 (Oxford University Press), ISBN 0-19-827344-4
  • Barry, B., Brown, A., Hayward, J. (eds), The British Study of Politics in the Twentieth Century, 1999; paperback 2003 (Oxford University Press), ISBN 0-19-726294-5
  • Brown, A., (ed.), Contemporary Russian Politics: A Reader, 2001 (Oxford University Press), ISBN 0-19-829999-0
  • Brown, A., Shevtsova, L. (eds), Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and Putin: Political Leadership in Russia's Transition, 2001 (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), ISBN 0-87003-186-4
  • Brown, A. (ed), The Demise of Marxism-Leninism in Russia, 2004 (Palgrave Macmillan), ISBN 0-333-65124-3
  • Brown, A., Seven Years that Changed the World: Perestroika in Perspective, 2007 (Oxford University Press), ISBN 978-0-19-956245-9
  • Brown, A., The Rise and Fall of Communism, 2009 (Ecco Press, HarperCollins; and Bodley Head, Random House), ISBN 978-0-06-113879-9
  • Brown, A., The Myth of the Strong Leader: Political Leadership in the Modern Age, 2014 (Bodley Head, Random House; and Basic Books), ISBN 978-1-84-7921758

See also

  • 'Archie Brown' in Pravda, A. (ed.), Leading Russia. Putin in Perspective: Essays in Honour of Archie Brown, 2005 (Oxford University Press), ISBN 0-19-927614-5
  • Stephen Whitefield (ed.), Political Culture and Post-Communism, 2005 (Palgrave Macmillan), ISBN 1-4039-4520-9
  • Julie Newton and William Tompson (eds), Institutions, Ideas and Leadership in Russian Politics, 2010 (Palgrave Macmillan), ISBN 978-0-230-55147-3


  1. ^ a b c d Archie Brown's St Antony's College Biography

External links

  • Interview on The Rise and Fall of Communism at the Pritzker Military Museum & Library
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