UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)

Dr Pete Duncan

Dr Pete Duncan

Honorary Associate Professor



Joined UCL
1st Apr 2021

Research summary

In the field of Russian foreign policy, my book The Soviet Union and India provides a detailed analysis of a relationship between the USSR and a major partner in what was then known as the Third World. It provided a perspective on Gorbachev's foreign policy innovations, at a time when there was much debate as to where these would lead. In internal Russian politics, my contributions to the co-authored The Road to Post-Communism: Independent Political Movements in the Soviet Union, 1985-1991 explained the dynamics of change within the Russian Republic. My Russian Messianism brought together themes from the history of Russian philosophy and political thought, the internal evolution of the Russian state, and Russia's geopolitical role.

My current research is on the relationship between internal change and foreign policy development in the Russian Federation, under El'tsin, Putin and Medvedev. This considers the rise and nature of Russian nationalism, the rise and fall of the oligarchs, the effects of leadership change and the impact of authoritarianism. I am writing a book on this for Routledge.

Teaching summary

I teach on Russian Foreign Policy (since 1917) and Russian Politics (since 1985). I currently supervise five research students in these fields, on the post-Soviet period.

Courses taught

SESS3102 Soviet and Russian Foreign Policy (BA)

SEESGS18 Russian Foreign Policy (MA)

SEESGS19 Russian Politics (MA)


I am a Political Scientist studying first the Soviet Union and now the Russian Federation. I taught at Glasgow University as a part-time tutor, then became a temporary lecturer at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, before being appointed to the Soviet Foreign Policy Programme at Chatham House. Since 1988 I have been teaching contemporary Russian politics and foreign policy at SSEES.