Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor of Business Administration, Business, Government, and the International Economy Unit, Harvard University / Harvard Business School

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2008
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, Princeton University
The Fate of the Left: The Sino-Soviet Split and the Third World

This dissertation attempts to explore the political and ideological competition for supremacy in the socialist world, leadership of so-called "leftist" forces, and ownership over the very concept of "revolution" itself between the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China as it played out in Africa, Asia, and Latin America in the 19·60s and 1970s. In particular, I have chosen Chile and Angola as two geographically, chronologically, and ideologically disparate case studies in which to examine Soviet and Chinese aid projects and competition for influence. Chile in the early 1970s, as the one real example of the democratic election of a socialist president, represented a tremendously important alternative to armed struggle and was seen especially by the Soviets as a possibly model for Latin American and Western Europe. Angola represented the final stage of the de-colonial struggle in Southern Africa, as well as the battle against racism and apartheid, due in part to the involvement of South Africa, and as such was seen by both Moscow and Beijing as crucial to achieving the mantle of the true leader of progressive forces in the world. This dissertation seeks to achieve two major syntheses. The first is an attempt to connect arguably the two most important global structures of the second half of the twentieth century, namely the Cold War and decolonization. The second, more methodological synthesis is an attempt to re-integrate the intellectual and political history of the "Left" during what was arguably the period of its greatest flowering as well as its fracturing.