John B. Dunlop

Senior Fellow

John B. Dunlop is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is an expert on Soviet and Russian politics from 1985 to the present, Russia’s two wars in Chechnya, ethnic Russian nationalism, and the politics of religion in Russia. His current research focuses on the origins of the Putin regime in 1998–99.

In testimony before a subcommittee of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the US House of Representatives in July 1991, Dunlop predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union, which occurred the following December. He chronicled that collapse in his book, which is still in print, The Rise of Russia and the Fall of the Soviet Union (Princeton University Press, 1993, 1995) and in an essay that appeared in the Journal of Cold War Studies (no. 1, 2003).

In November 1999, Dunlop testified on the subject of the war in Chechnya before the Helsinki Committee. In July 2001, he testified on the same subject before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

His publications include The Moscow Bombings of September 1999: Examinations of Russian Terrorist Attacks at the Onset of Vladimir Putin’s Rule (2012), Russia Confronts Chechnya: Roots of a Separatist Conflict (Cambridge University Press, 1998), The 2002 Dubrovka and 2004 Beslan Hostage Crises: a Critique of Russian Counter-Terrorism (Ibidem Verlag, 2006), The New Russian Nationalism (Praeger Publishers, 1985), and The Faces of Contemporary Russian Nationalism (Princeton University Press, 1983).

A professor and department chair at Oberlin College from 1970 to 1983, Dunlop was a national fellow at the Hoover Institution in 1978–79. He has been a visiting professor at Stanford and Princeton Universities, a visiting Olin Senior Fellow at Radio Liberty in Munich, and an academic visitor at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Dunlop served as acting director of the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies at Stanford in 2008. From 1997 to 2003, he was a member of the Overseers’ Committee to Visit the Kathryn W. and Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Russian Studies, Harvard University.

Dunlop holds a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard University and a master’s and doctoral degrees from Yale University.

His research papers are available at the Hoover Institution Archives.

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Recent Commentary

The Moscow Bombings of September 1999: Examinations of Russian Terrorist Attacks at the Onset of Vladimir Putin's Rule

by John B. Dunlopvia Ibidem
Saturday, February 1, 2014

The five chapters contained in this volume focus on the complex and tumultuous events occurring in Russia during the five months from May through September 1999. 

Georgia Didn’t Pick That Fight

by John B. Dunlopvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 22, 2009

Russia had positioned tanks and troops for an invasion long before it was “provoked.” By John B. Dunlop.

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Chaos in the Caucasus

by John B. Dunlop, Rajan Menonvia Hoover Digest
Sunday, July 30, 2006

Russia is facing big trouble in its Deep South—and the conflict in Chechnya may well spread to the entire region. By John B. Dunlop and Rajan Menon.

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Backsliding in Moscow

by John B. Dunlopvia Hoover Digest
Sunday, January 30, 2005

The Russia of Vladimir Putin is becoming increasingly authoritarian—and President Bush should say so. By John B. Dunlop.

Russia’s New—and Frightening—“Ism”

by John B. Dunlopvia Hoover Digest
Friday, July 30, 2004

In recent years, a new ideology has gained adherents among Russian elites: “Eurasianism,” the belief that Russia must reassert its dominance over the Eurasian landmass. John B. Dunlop offers an unsettling assessment of the work of Aleksandr Dugin, the leading Eurasianist theorist.

The Quagmire

by John B. Dunlopvia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 30, 2004

The war in Chechnya shows no sign of ending—and could grow still more brutal. By Hoover fellow John B. Dunlop.

The Forgotten War

by John B. Dunlopvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 30, 2002

The world’s attention may be fixed on the conflict in Afghanistan, but there is another bloody war under way in Central Asia. Hoover fellow John B. Dunlop on the brutal confrontation in Chechnya.

The Lingering Dream of Empire

by John B. Dunlopvia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 30, 2000

With little fanfare, Belarus has joined Russia in a new confederation. Russia is now lobbying other former Soviet states to do the same. Hoover fellow John B. Dunlop on Vladimir Putin’s expansionist dreams.

Analysis and Commentary

Tightening the Screws in Russia

by John B. Dunlopvia Hoover Daily Report
Monday, January 24, 2000

Vladimir Putin, Russia’s acting president, will likely be chosen the country’s second president in elections to be held on March 26.

The Wild, Wild East

by John B. Dunlopvia Hoover Digest
Saturday, October 30, 1999

Any nation that wants a democratic government and a free market economy must have leaders who respect the rule of law. Alas for Russia, Boris Yeltsin doesn’t. By Hoover fellow John B. Dunlop.