people sitting around a table

How a complex negotiation between teams became a fight for human survival between a nuclear-armed AI and one man’s mouse.

dining in yurt

We used to like to say that Bishkek was not the end of the world—but you could see it from there. 


Much diplomatic work gets done—and information gathered—in social settings, especially when some alcohol is involved.

picture of book

When journalist Harrison Salisbury first visited the Soviet Union in 1944, he tucked a copy of what he called “the last, best” guidebook into his gas mask bag.


Eighteen scholars from around the world join the Davis Center community remotely this year. Learn more about them and their work.

person changing gas prices

You are deep into a negotiation, and after weeks of back and forth, you are finally close to a deal. But when you check in with your organization, you determine that a specific issue you fought for no longer suits your organization’s best interests. Now what?


We are pleased to introduce the ten students who make up this year's REECA cohort. A variety of research interests are represented, some of which include economic and democratic development in Central Asia, Soviet nationality problems, and Russian legal history. The students' backgrounds include...

people gathered

An expanded guide to the Harvard Project on the Soviet Social System, a collection of anonymous interviews in which several hundred Soviet displaced persons and defectors described their experiences in the USSR prior to and during World War II, is now available. 

Image of Karimov

Although I had met Islam Karimov once or twice before my arrival at Tashkent in October, 1997, I hardly knew him. He evidently knew a lot about me.

book covers

Sarah Cameron's Hungry Steppe has changed public discourse about a famine of 1932–33 that claimed the lives of a quarter of Kazakhstan's population. 


LeDonne speaking at HURI event

The Eighteenth-Century Russian Studies Association has awarded Davis Center Associate John P. LeDonne the 2020 Marc Raeff Book Prize for Forging a Unitary State: Russia’s Management of the Eurasian Space, 1650-1850 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2020). The Marc Raeff Prize is given each...

image of map

In 1790, in St. Paul's Churchyard, London, Henry Carington Bowles and Samuel Carver looked about their busy printshop and decided it was the right moment to introduce the English-speaking world to a new game called "A "Geographical Game of the World."

Harvard Yard

For the 2021–2022 academic year, the Davis Center will award one postdoctoral fellowship in history and one postdoctoral fellowship in literature and culture. We welcome research proposals on topics related to the study of Eurasia.

security cameras

We’ve all read 1984. We’re all aware of how governments can use technology and surveillance to shift state-societal relations. Thanks to Edward Snowden, we’re also aware that the mass monitoring of citizens is no longer just science fiction. It’s a reality in our own country today. 

Lenka Bustikova

The winner of ASEEES 2020 Davis Center Book Prize is Lenka Bustikova (REECA AM '04) for her book, Extreme Reactions: Radical Right Mobilization in Eastern Europe (Cambridge U Press).

speaker at ASEEES

The annual Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) convention will run virtually November 5-8 and 14-15.

group of people

My first encounters with Central Asia occurred in 1995-1997 while I was serving as Special Assistant to Ambassador Jim Collins, the State Department’s Ambassador-at-Large for the New Independent States. Before assuming this position, I had witnessed the collapse of the Soviet Union working out...

iceland house

Six academic institutions from the United States, Russia, and Europe welcome the inaugural cohort of the Arms Control Negotiation Academy (ACONA), a new, highly selective program that will train 16 emerging international security leaders in arms control history, technology, and negotiations

Dirk van der Kley

Earlier this year, before the pandemic hit Central Asia, the Davis Center hosted a talk China’s Belt and Road Initiative in the region by Dirk van der Kley. It was based on a thorough multiyear study drawing on findings of field research in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.

NTF collage

When Harvard announced that the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester would be completed online, educators were pressed to alter their carefully crafted curricula for the digital sphere. For Arvid Bell, lecturer on government at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, virtual lectures ​in lieu ​of in-...