The Hoover Institution and Stanford's Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies hosted A Quest for the Third Rome: Understanding Putin’s Apocalyptical Radicalization on Tuesday, February 7, 2023 at 4:00 pm PT.

In this talk, Beatrice de Graaf lays out how, since coming to power in 2000, Vladimir Putin has relied increasingly on a toxic combination of Tsarist history and Russian Orthodoxy to two ends: for inspiration and to mobilize his followers. In the process, Putin created an apocalyptical, metaphysical scheme that has served to fuel his own radicalization and helped pave the way to the invasion of Ukraine. The talk is based on research de Graaf and Niels Drost carried out on a collection of over 11,000 speeches, statements, declarations, and interviews from 1999 to 2022.


Beatrice de Graaf

Beatrice de Graaf is Distinguished Professor of History of International Relations and Global Governance at Utrecht University. Her books include Fighting Terror after Napoleon: How Europe Became Secure after 1815 (Cambridge University Press), the recipient of the 2022 Duc d’Arenberg Prize for the best book on European History, and Radicale verlossing: Wat terroristen geloven (Prometheus). Her 2022 bestselling essay Crisis! (Prometheus) about how the Dutch state has responded to crises for the last two hundred years started a national conversation about how to create more resilient states and societies. De Graaf is a former chair of the Dutch National Research Agenda and held a visiting fellowship at St. Catherine’s College, Cambridge. She also is the founder of the Utrecht-based Security History Network. 

Thomas Weber

Thomas Weber is Professor of History and International Affairs and founding Director of the Centre of Global Security and Governance at the University of Aberdeen. He also is a Visiting Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Weber previously held fellowships or taught at Harvard, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Chicago. His books include Becoming Hitler: The Making of Nazi (Basic Books) and most recently Als die Demokratie starb: Die Machtergreifung der Nationalsozialisten – Geschichte und Gegenwart (When Democracy Died: The Nazi Seizure of Power and Insights from the Past for Today) (Herder). His books are the recipients of four prizes, including the Duc d’Arenberg Prize for the best book on European History. 

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