Skip to:

Gail W. Lapidus

Gail W. Lapidus, PhD

Professor of Political Science, Emerita
CISAC Faculty Member
FSI Senior Fellow, Emerita

Stanford University
Encina Hall, C236
Stanford, CA 94305-6165

(650) 723-2435 (voice)
(650) 723-0089 (fax)

Research Interests

ethnic conflict in the former Soviet Union; the Russian-Chechen war; Soviet society, politics and foreign policy


Gail Lapidus is a Senior Fellow Emerita at the Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. Lapidus is also Professor Emerita of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, and served as Chair of the Berkeley-Stanford Program in Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies from 1985 to 1994. A specialist on Soviet society, politics and foreign policy, she has authored and edited a number of books on Soviet and post-Soviet affairs, including The New Russia: Troubled Transformation (Westview Press, 1995), From Union to Commonwealth: Nationalism and Separatism in the Soviet Republics, with Victor Zaslavsky and Philip Goldman (Cambridge University Press, 1992), The Soviet System in Crisis, with Alexander Dallin (Westview, 1992), and Women in Soviet Society (University of California Press, 1979). A graduate of Radcliffe College, she received her MA and PhD from Harvard University.

Lapidus is also the author of numerous articles and chapters, including "The War in Chechnya as a Paradigm of Russian State-Building Under Putin," Post-Soviet Affairs, March 2004; "Putin's War on Terrorism: Lessons From Chechnya," Post-Soviet Affairs, January-March 2002; "Accommodating Ethnic Differences in Post-Soviet Eurasia," in Crawford Young and Mark Beissinger, eds., Beyond State Crisis? Post-Colonial Africa and Post-Soviet Eurasia in Comparative Perspective; "Transforming the 'National Question': New Approaches to Nationalism, Federalism and Sovereignty," in Archie Brown, ed., The Demise of Marxism-Leninism in Russia (Palgrave, 2004); "Transforming Russia: American Policy in the 1990s," in Robert Lieber, ed., America Rules? Foreign Policy and American Primacy in the 21st Century (Prentice Hall, 2001); and "Reagan and the Russians: American Policy Toward the Soviet Union," with Alexander Dallin, in Kenneth Oye et al., eds., Eagle Resurgent? The Reagan Era in American Foreign Policy (Little, Brown, 1987).

Lapidus is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations, as well as of several scholarly associations. She has held a variety of scholarly and administrative appointments, including president of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, chair of the Social Science Research Council's Joint Committee on Soviet Studies, the Advisory Council of the Woodrow Wilson Center's Kennan Institute, the Committee on International Political Science of the American Political Science Association, and the board of Trustees of the World Affairs Council of Northern California. She has held research fellowships at the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, at the Harriman Institute at Columbia University and at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. A frequent visitor to the USSR and now to a number of successor states, Professor Lapidus is currently working on a book on the impact of the Soviet legacy on patterns of conflict in the post-Soviet states.

Stanford Affiliations

Political Science

Other Affiliations

University of California, Berkeley