Dr Lara Cook
Office Hours: 2-3pm, Tuesdays, Seminar Room 3
I study Modern Russia, with a focus on political and institutional history. My principal research interest lies in the practical functioning and internal organizational culture of the Soviet government in the Lenin period. My doctoral thesis examined the development of state and party relations in the first years of Soviet power (1917-1923). I used Russian archival evidence (predominantly internal government papers) to challenge the party-centric approach to the study of Soviet government which has dominated much historical writing on this period. Building on the pioneering work of T.H. Rigby, I used archival evidence to demonstrate, for the first time, that the supreme state body, the Council of People’s Commissars, rather than the Communist Party Central Committee, was the de jure and de facto primary decision-making organ of the Soviet government in this period. I plan to develop my thesis into the first English-language, full-length, archive-based monograph to examine, in detail, the operation and internal culture of the early Soviet central state apparatus and its relationship with the early Russian Communist Party in the years 1917-21.
British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES), Study Group on the Russian Revolution (SGRR) and American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS).
- Imperial and Soviet Russia
- Modern Europe