Professor Archie Brown, CMG, FBA
Archie Brown is Emeritus Professor of Politics at Oxford University and Emeritus Fellow of St Antony’s College, Oxford. He is a former Director of the Russian and East European Centre at St Antony's. After undergraduate and graduate studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science, he was a Lecturer in Politics at Glasgow University (1964-71) and has been at Oxford since 1971. He has held Visiting Professorships of Political Science at a number of major American universities – Yale, the University of Connecticut, Columbia University (New York), and the University of Texas at Austin where he held the Frank C. Erwin, Jr, Centennial Chair of Government. Professor Brown was also Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies of the University of Notre Dame (Indiana) in the Fall semester, 1998. He made frequent study visits to the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and China, including five visits to Czechoslovakia during the Communist era – in 1965, 1968, 1969, 1976 and 1983. He was most recently in Prague in 2009. That was also the year of his most recent visit to China.
Professor Brown's writing and research interests have been broad-ranging, including the study of Communism, the Cold War, democratization, political leadership, post-Soviet Russian politics, British politics, and the Scottish Enlightenment. He has published eighteen books as author or editor/contributor. For two of them, The Gorbachev Factor (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1996; paperback 1997) and The Rise and Fall of Communism (Bodley Head, London, 2009; Vintage paperback, 2010) he received the W.J.M. Mackenzie Prize of the Political Studies Association of the UK for best political science book of the year. The Gorbachev Factor won also the Alec Nove Prize for best book or article on Russia, Communism, post-Communism. The Rise and Fall of Communism has been, or is being, translated into eight other languages, including Czech (publication Spring 2011). His other books include (as editor and major contributor), Contemporary Russian Politics: A Reader (Oxford University Press, 2001); (as co-editor, with Jack Hayward and Brian Barry, and as author of the chapter on 'The Study of Totalitarianism and Authoritarianism'), The British Study of Politics in the Twentieth Century (The British Academy, in association with Oxford University Press, 1999; paperback 2003); and (as sole author), Seven Years that Changed the World: Perestroika in Perspective (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007; paperback, 2008).
Archie Brown has been involved also in the real world of politics. He was the initiator and co-ordinator of a Visiting Parliamentary Fellowship at St Antony's College and jointly ran a seminar on topical issues with Members of the British Parliament over a ten-year period. He has been consulted by many British political leaders and has given evidence both to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee and the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington, DC. At a seminar held at the British Prime Minister’s country residence, Chequers, on 8 September 1983, he drew the attention of the British premier Margaret Thatcher to the likely emergence of a reformer, Mikhail Gorbachev, in the office of General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party. That meeting was the genesis of the invitation to Gorbachev to visit Britain (in December 1984, three months before he became Soviet leader).
Professor Brown was elected to a Fellowship of the British Academy in 1991 and from 1999 to 2002 was Chair of its Political Studies Section. He was chosen to be a founding academician of the Academy of Social Sciences of the UK in 1999. In 2003 he was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2005 he was appointed CMG (Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List ‘for services to UK-Russian relations and the study of political science and international affairs’.
- Chaired the famous Europaeum Lecture by Dr. Grigory Yavlinsky on the Future of Russia held at St Antony's College, 2003;
- Delivered Europaeum Lecture on Why did Communism end in Europe? Why did it mutate in Asia? held at Charles University, Prague, May 2011
Russian and Soviet politics, Communist politics, the Cold War and political leadership
- Emeritus Fellow of St Antony’s College, Oxford
- Former Director of St Antony’s Russian and East European Centre
- The Gorbachev Factor (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1996; paperback 1997)
- Seven Years that Changed the World: Perestroika in Perspective (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007; paperback, 2008)
- The Rise and Fall of Communism (Bodley Head, London, 2009; Vintage paperback, 2010)