Dr. Alex Pravda is Senior Research Fellow in Russian and East European Studies at the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies. He is an Emeritus Fellow of the Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre at St Antony’s College. Before joining St Antony’s in 1989, he taught at the University of Reading and held visiting appointments at the University of Michigan and Stanford University.
His research has long centred on the international relations and foreign policy of Soviet and post-Soviet Russia, with particular reference to Central and Eastern Europe. In trying to make sense of the ups and downs in Moscow’s foreign policy over the last four decades, he has focused on the interplay of domestic politics, elite beliefs, and political leadership. How interaction among these factors helped shape policy change is the central analytical thread that runs through the study that he is writing on the transformation of Soviet foreign policy, 1985-1991. He is also interested in examining comparable patterns of interaction in the subsequent development of Moscow’s foreign policy, especially in the Putin era.
Alex is a Senior Adviser to the University Consortium, a project which has since 2015 brought together students, academics and policy specialists from leading universities in the US, Europe and Russia. UC teaching seminars and conferences are designed to explore differences in perspective within and among regions on contested concepts that play a key part in their relations. Such discussions are particularly important in the current climate of confrontation and conflict.
The present state of relations between Russia and the West stands in stark contrast to that of the late 1980s when Alex Pravda was director of the Soviet foreign policy programme at the Royal Institute of International Affairs. At that time, he also served as Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee.
After moving to St Antony’s, he maintained contacts with MPs interested in foreign affairs through the College’s Visiting Parliamentary Fellowship scheme, of which he served as a co-convenor. In his years as Director of the Russian and East European Studies Centre, as well as an Associate Fellow of the Russian programme at Chatham House he developed contacts with a wide range of academic colleagues, policy specialists and business leaders involved in the development of relations between Russia and the West.
Areas of expertise
- International relations and foreign policy
- Soviet and post-Soviet Russia
- Central and Eastern Europe