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Modern Authoritarianism and Geopolitics: Thoughts on a Policy Framework

Once upon a time, there was a seductive story about twin revolutions, a political one in France and an industrial one in Britain, that supposedly ushered in our modern world. This narrative never sat well with empirical realities, yet it lives on in textbooks. What might be a more persuasive framework for a global history of the modern era? What are the implications for research and the teaching of history?


Stephen Kotkin is the John P. Birkelund Professor of History and International Affairs in what used to be called the Woodrow Wilson School and in the History Department of Princeton University, as well as a Senior Fellow (adjunct) at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He directs the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies and co-directs its program in History and the Practice of Diplomacy, which he founded. He also founded Princeton’s Global History Initiative. His scholarship encompasses geopolitics and authoritarian regimes in history and in the present.

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