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Edwin Bacon


Reader in Comparative Politics

Edwin Bacon is Reader in Comparative Politics and has specialisms in the politics of Russia and of religion, and in political pedagogy. He has published seven books on Russian politics, history, and society, and many articles in peer-reviewed journals. Edwin has taught in universities for over two decades and is a holder of the Birkbeck Excellence in Teaching Award. He also worked briefly as a Senior Research Officer for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and as a Parliamentary Special Adviser to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, the House of Commons. He held a Visiting Fellowship at the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki in autumn 2014, is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow of the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Birmingham, and is a member of the international editorial board of Religion, State and Society.

Edwin has spoken widely on Russian politics at academic conferences in the UK, Western Europe, Russia, and North America - including being an invited speaker at conferences in Helsinki and Paris.

Alongside his academic work, Dr Bacon has engaged with the policy and business communities, writing over 70 consultancy reports and advising policy-makers in the UK, Finland, Italy and the European Parliament.

Edwin Bacon has an MBA in higher education management from the University of London. He has held a number of management positions in UK universities. He directed the Leadership Foundation funded Management of Small Higher Education Institutions Network until 2013, and has published and served as a consultant in the field of higher education management. His paper ‘Neo-collegiality: restoring academic engagement in the managerial university’ has been published in the Leadership Foundation’s ‘Stimulus Paper’ series.



    (Most of Edwin Bacon's research articles can be read via the BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online - website)

    • Inside Russian Politics, London: Biteback Publishing 2017
    • Teaching applied politics: from employability to political imaginary’ (2017) Politics journal
    • ‘Perspectives for Russia’s Future: The Case for Narrative Analysis’ in  Richard Sakwa and Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska (eds)  Ukraine and Russia: People, Politics, Propaganda and Perspectives, E-International Relations e-book, February 2015
    • ‘Putin’s Crimea Speech, 18th March 2014’ Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society 1/1 2015
    • ‘The Futures of Russia: The picture of Russia through scenarios’ (2014) Part 1 of H. Smith (ed) Russia as a Neighbour Helsinki: Parliament of Finland  (ISBN 978-951-53-3575-3 (paperback)) 7-38 (with Hanna Smith)
    • Contemporary Russia (revised and updated 3rd edition) Basingstoke: Palgrave 2014
    • ‘Public Political Narratives: Developing a Neglected Source through the Exploratory  Case of Russia in the Putin-Medvedev Era’ Political Studies 60/4 2012 768-786
    • ‘Writing Russia’s Future: Paradigms, Drivers, and Scenarios’ Europe-Asia Studies 64/7 2012 1165-1190
    • ‘Comparing Political Futures: The Rise and Use of Scenarios in Future-Oriented Analysis’ Contemporary Politics 18/3 2012 270-285
    • ‘The youth movement Nashi: contentious politics, civil society, and party politics’ East European Politics 28/3 2012 256-266 (with Maya Atwal)
    • ‘Electoral Manipulation in Contemporary Russia’ East European Politics 28/2 2012 105-118
    • ‘Brezhnev Reconsidered’ in A. Kocho-Williams (ed.) The Twentieth Century Russia Reader Routledge 2011
    • Contemporary Russia (revised and updated 2nd edition) Basingstoke: Palgrave 2010
    • ‘Do professional managers have a profession? The specialist/generic distinction amongst higher education professional services staff’ Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education 13/1 January 2009 10-15
    • ‘High-Level Political Dimensions of the UK-Russia relationship’ in V. A. Guseinov and A. Monaghan (eds) Russia-UK Relations in the European Context Moscow and London: ISOA  & The Russia Research Network Ltd, 2007
    • Securitising Russia: the Domestic Politics of Putin (with Bettina Renz) Manchester University Press 2006
    • Contemporary Russia Basingstoke: Palgrave 2005
    • ‘Church and Civil Society in Russia’ in Evans A, Henry L and McIntosh-Sundstrom L (eds) Russian Civil Society: A Critical Assessment M E Sharpe 2005
    • ‘State and Civil Society: Russia’s Law on Political Parties’ in Ross C (ed) Russian Politics Under Putin Manchester University Press 2004
    • ‘Conceptualising Contemporary Russia’ Slavonic and East European Review 81/2 April 2003 293-301
    • Brezhnev Reconsidered Basingstoke: Palgrave 2002 (with Mark Sandle, eds)
    • ‘Church and State in Contemporary Russia: Conflicting Discourses’ Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics 18/1 March 2002 97-116
    • ‘Church and State in Contemporary Russia: Conflicting Discourses’ in Fawn R and White S (eds) Russia after Communism London: Frank Cass 2002
    • ‘The Power Ministries’ in Robinson N (ed) Institutions and Political Change in Russia Basingstoke: Macmillan 2000
    • ‘Religion and Politics’ in Bowker M and Ross C (eds) Russia After the Cold War London: Longman 2000
    • ‘Party Formation in Russia’ in Davies P and White J (eds) Political Parties and the Collapse of Old Orders New York: SUNY Press 1999
    • Review Article ‘Jerry Hough Democratization and revolution in the USSR, 1985-91 and Geoff Murrell Russia’s Transition to Democracy: an Internal Political History’, International Affairs 74/1 January 1998 228-30
    • ‘The Church and Politics in Russia: A Case Study of the 1996 Presidential Election’ Religion, State and Society 25/3 September 1997 253-265
    • ‘Russia’s Security Council: Institutional Continuity During Transition’ in Stanyer J and Stoker G (eds) Contemporary Political Studies 1997 Nottingham: Political Studies Association of the United Kingdom 1997 761-771
    • Review Article ‘Afghanistan’ Contemporary Security Policy 17/2 August 1996
    • The Gulag At War: Stalin’s Forced Labour System in the Light of the Archives Basingstoke: Macmillan 1994 (p/b edition 1996).
    • ‘Soviet Military Losses in World War II’ Journal of Slavic Military Studies 6/4 December 1993 613-633
    • ‘Arms Exports in a Post-Soviet Market’ The DISAM Journal of International Security Assistance Management 15/2 Winter 1992-93 65-73 (with Peter Almquist)
    • ‘Arms Exports in a Post-Soviet Market’ Arms Control Today July/August 1992 12-17 (with Peter Almquist)
    • ‘Glasnost and the Gulag: New Information on Soviet Forced Labour around World War Two’ Soviet Studies 44/6 1992 1069-1086
    • ‘L’importance du travail forcé dans l’Union soviétique à la époque de Staline’ Revue d’Études Comparative Est-Ouest 23/2-3 June-September 1992 229-249
    • ‘The Former Soviet Union and Analysis of the 1991 Gulf War’ Journal of Soviet Military Studies 5/2 June 1992 169-186


    Edwin Bacon has gained the Birkbeck Excellence in Teaching Award for his course The Practice of Politics, an applied politics course in which students focus on political engagement in relation to their own skills, values, and normative preferences.

    Dr Bacon has taught at four UK universities, and has served as an external examiner at Oxford University, University College London, Oxford Brookes University, and the University of Lincoln. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

    Edwin has published on political pedagogy, as well as speaking on this subject at events organised by the Higher Education Academy and by the Political Studies Association. He was a key-note speaker at the 10th Annual Political Studies Association/British International Studies Association Teaching and Learning Conference in 2017.

    Dr Bacon’s current and recent teaching includes:

    • The Practice of Politics (undergraduate)
    • Comparative Government (undergraduate)
    • Russian Politics and Society (undergraduate)
    • Democracy and Authoritarianism (undergraduate)
    • Religion and Politics (postgraduate)
    • Emerging Powers (postgraduate)
    • Political Change in Contemporary Russia (postgraduate)

PhD Supervision

  • Dr Bacon has supervised to completion four PhD students and co-supervised two further successful PhD students. Three of his supervisees hold academic posts in leading UK  universities - Luke MarchBettina Renz, and David White.
  • He currently supervises two research students, both of whom are studying the politics of socio-economic transitions in contemporary Russia.
  • He regularly serves as external examiner for PhD theses.


Edwin Bacon

Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7631 6388


Twitter: @edwintbacon

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