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Eugene Finkel

Eugene Finkel

Kenneth H. Keller Professor of International Affairs

Academic and Faculty Liaison


Eugene (Evgeny) Finkel works at the intersection of political science and history. He was born in Ukraine and grew up in Israel. Finkel received a BA in Political Science and International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a PhD in Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focuses on how institutions and individuals respond to extreme situations: mass violence, state collapse, and rapid change.

Finkel's most recent book is Intent to Destroy: Russia's Two-Hundred-Year Quest to Dominate Ukraine (Basic Books, 2024). He is also the author of Ordinary Jews: Choice and Survival during the Holocaust (Princeton University Press, 2017), Reform and Rebellion in Weak States (Cambridge University Press, 2020, co-authored with Scott Gehlbach) and Bread and Autocracy: Food, Politics and Security in Putin’s Russia (Oxford University Press, 2023, co-authored with Janetta Azarieva and Yitzhak M. Brudny). His articles have appeared in the American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Comparative Politics, East European Politics and Societies, Slavic Review, and several other journals and edited volumes. Finkel also published articles and op-eds in The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Affairs, The Spectator and other outlets. For a recent curriculum vitae including a full list of publications, click here.



  • Israel
  • Poland
  • Russia
  • Ukraine


  • Conflict
  • Genocide
  • Political Violence
  • Reforms
  • Regimes


  • Hebrew
  • Polish
  • Russian

In the News

Kazakhstan reminds Putin what he really needs to fear.

Eugene Finkel wrote in Washington Post, 01/06

Pasta and sugar, not Navalny, are Putin’s main worries.

Eugene Finkel wrote for PONARS Eurasia, 02/11

What Joe Biden could learn about reform from Tsar Alexander II.

Eugene Finkel wrote in Broadstreet, 02/10

Is Russia lying to WHO on virus data?

Eugene Finkel quoted in EUobserver, 3/19

Politicizing the Holocaust is a danger to us all.

Eugene Finkel wrote in The Hill, 2/2

The U.S. president asks you for ‘a favor’. How could it hurt your country?

Eugene Finkel wrote in The Washington Post Monkey Cage blog, 10/2

An open letter to the director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Eugene Finkel cited in the New York Review of Books, 7/1