Hoover Institution Workshop on Authoritarianism and Democratic Breakdown

Poster Collection, RU/SU 2156, Hoover Institution Archives.
Nestor Apollonovich Lakoba Papers, Box 4, Hoover Institution Archives.
Nestor Apollonovich Lakoba Papers, Box 4, Hoover Institution Archives.
William Russell Philp Collection, Box 1, Folder 5a, Hoover Institution Archives.
William Russell Philp Collection, Box 1, Folder 5a, Hoover Institution Archives.

We are delighted to announce that the Hoover Institution summer Workshop on Authoritarianism and Democratic Breakdown is resuming after a two-year hiatus!

Grantees will use the Hoover Institution's archives and library collections to study the operation of non-democratic states to understand why they came into being, how they work, and the sources of their durability or fragility. Other studies  will include the factors that can corrode democratic states. The workshop's principal resources are the unique and fast-growing holdings of the Hoover Institution Archives. Founded by Herbert Hoover, the Hoover Institution Library & Archives hold one of the world's largest and richest private collections of material on authoritarianism in Europe, East Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.

The dates are July 4 (arrival) and departure July 16. Preference will be given to applicants who have a well-defined project that can be pursued with the Library & Archives collections. Hoover will supply accommodations and meals. Please yhiga [at] stanford.edu (subject: Authoritarianism%20Workshop) (email us) regarding inquires about information on travel or fellowships. 

About the 2022 Summer Workshop: 

Dates: July 5, 2022 – July 15, 2022
Venue: Hoover Institution, Stanford University
434 Galvez Mall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-6003
(nearby airports are San Jose and San Francisco)
Format: In-Person

According to Freedom House, nearly half of the countries of the world are "unfree."  The number of unfree and especially “partly free” states has been growing globally, which makes their study an urgent matter. To be sure, such countries vary widely in their makeup and institutions, from autocratic Russia and the Iranian theocracy and Gulf states to communist rule in China and the North Korean dynastic dictatorship.  But together they present major puzzles for scholars and policy makers.  In that pursuit, the Hoover Institution Workshop on Authoritarianism and Democratic Breakdown is led by Stephen Kotkin, Hoover senior fellow and Princeton University professor, and Paul R. Gregory, Hoover research fellow.  Participants include advanced graduate students and early career faculty.

The workshop is open to all disciplines and geographic regions.  Since its founding in 2003 by Paul Gregory, the workshop has brought together more than a hundred scholars from a dozen countries, working on Russia/Soviet Union, China, and other authoritarian regimes. The workshop's output consists of numerous books and articles written by its participants, including scholarly monographs published or forthcoming in the Yale-Hoover series on Stalin, Stalinism, and the Cold War, books at the Hoover Press and other publishers, and articles in scholarly journals, including the Hoover Digest.

Previous Workshop participants have worked productively in a number of Hoover collections including the records of the Communist Party of the Soviet Unionrecords of the Lithuanian section of the Soviet KGB , the Radio Free Europe–Radio Liberty collection, the Chiang Kai-Shek diaries, the records of the Chinese KMT Party, the archive of the Chief Administration of Labor Camps (GULAG) of the Soviet Union, and the Ba'ath Party papers from the Iraq Memory Foundation Collection. At Hoover, many participants have discovered valuable collections, whose existence they had not been aware of.

Applicants are encouraged to read about previous workshops (see right sidebar) to learn more about the research topics and approaches that are suited to the workshop.


Application Requirements

All applicants are required to submit their applications online with the following:

  • Two-page CV
  • A proposal of between 1,000 and 1,500 words describing your research project, and suggestions about Hoover collections you would be interested to use
  • One letter of recommendation from a PhD supervisor or an established scholar familiar with your research

Application deadline: TBD DATE midnight ET
Applicants will receive notifications by TBD DATE
Applications and recommendations must be submitted online in English