Each summer the the Hoover Archives China-Russia Summer Workshop brings together prominent scholars from around the world to study its unique archival holdings on Russia/Soviet Union, China, and other totalitarian regimes. In recent years, the archives most frequently studied have been the Archives of the Soviet Communist Party and Soviet State (microfilm collection), theRFE/RL Corporate and Broadcast Records (Radio Free Europe-[en dash]Radio Liberty), Lietuvos SSR Valstybes Saugumo Koimtetas (Lithuanian KGB Records Microfilm), Zhongguo guo min dang (Kuomintang, KMT) Collection, and Chiang Kai-shek Diaries.
With their recent acquisition and release for research, participants have also studied the Hizb al-Ba' th al-‘Arabi al-Ishtirakki (Iraq) (Ba'ath Party Records) and Iraq Memory Foundation Collection.
Directed by Hoover research fellow Paul R. Gregory, the workshop's purpose is to gain a better understanding of how totalitarian regimes emerge, function, and change. Topics of particular interest are the use of secrecy and repression and the role of ideology. The ultimate aim of the workshop is to promote comparative analysis by bringing together scholars' studying different regimes. Examples include contrasting Soviet and Chinese reforms, comparing Stasi and Ba'ath Party repression, Soviet and Chinese famines, and gulag systems.
Workshop participants present their research findings at daily lunchtime seminars; in the evenings they gather for more informal discussions at the Stanford Guest House.
The workshop has spawned an impressive network of scholars who have published hundreds of scholarly articles and some forty books. A number of their scholarly monographs have been or are scheduled to be published in the Yale-Hoover Series on Stalin, Stalinism, and Cold War. Others' workshop results have been published as Hoover Press books or as Policy Review or Hoover Digest articles. In addition, workshop participants have published major monographs and articles in scholarly journals.