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Eugene Finkel

Associate Professor

Academic and Faculty Liaison, SAIS Europe


Eugene (Evgeny) Finkel works at the intersection of political science and history and strives to promote a better dialogue between the two disciplines. He was born in Ukraine and grew up in Israel. He 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: violence, state collapse, and rapid change.

Finkel is the author of Ordinary Jews: Choice and Survival during the Holocaust (Princeton University Press, 2017) and, together with Scott Gehlbach, of Reform and Rebellion in Weak States (Cambridge University Press, 2019). 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, Democratization, and several other journals and edited volumes.




  • 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