Yanni Kotsonis

Professor of History, Russian & Slavic Studies

Columbia University, PhD 1994

Office Address: 

19 University Place, Room 218



Field of Study: 

Modern Europe

Research Interests: 

Imperial Russia; political economy; history of the modern state; history of taxation in Russia and the world

Curriculum Vitae


Yanni Kotsonis was educated in Athens, Montreal, Copenhagen, London, Moscow, and New York. He taught in England before coming to NYU in 1994. He pursues his interest in modern Russia through political economy, which he expressed in his first books on agrarian change and his recent book of taxation in Russia, the USSR, and Europe. In his teaching too he is concerned with the ways we can make intelligent comparisons between one time period and another (Imperial and Soviet Russia), and one country and another (Russia and other parts of Europe). His studies of taxation and his introduction to the book Russian Modernity reflect these interests. So does the range of courses he teaches and the variety of topics researched by his PhD students: Siberia, Harbin, Soviet Roma, Mozambique, and political Utopianism. He works with only a few students at a time; as someone once said, "Better fewer, but better." He is founding director of the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia.


Wallace K. Ferguson Prize, 2015, Canadian Historical Association for the best book in a topic outside Canadian history, for States of Obligation.

States of Obligation: Taxes and Citizenship in the Russian Empire and Early Soviet Republic, has been awarded the Ed A. Hewett Book Prize for an outstanding monograph on the political economy of Russia, Eurasia, and/or Eastern Europe. 

States of Obligation also received Honorable Mention for The Davis Center Book Prize, sponsored by the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard, for an outstanding monograph on Russia, Eurasia or Eastern Europe in anthropology, political science, sociology, or geography.

Selected Works:


StatesofObligationYanniKotsonis2014.jpgStates of Obligation: Taxes and Citizenship in the Russian Empire and the Early Soviet Republic (Toronto, 2014)

yanni.jpgKak krest'ian delali otstalimi (NLO, 2006)





RusianModernityBOOK.jpgRussian Modernity. Politics, Knowledge, Practices (Macmillan, 2000), co-edited with David Hoffmann.




MakingPeasantsBOOK.jpgMaking Peasants Backward. Agricultural Cooperatives and the Agrarian Question in Russia, 1861 - 1914 (Macmillan, 1999)


"Ordinary People in Russian and Soviet History," Kritika, 12:3 (Summer 2011),

"The Problem of the Individual in the Stolypin Reforms," Kritika, 12:1 (Winter 2011), pp.25-52

"'No Place to Go': Taxation and State Transformation in Late Imperial and Early Soviet Russia," The Journal of Modern History, 76 (Summer 2004), pp.531-577

"'Face to Face': The State, the INdividual, and the Citizen in Imperial Russian Taxation, 1863-1917," Slavic Review, 63:2 (Summer 2004), pp.221-46

"The Ideology of Martin Malia," Russian Review, 58:1 (January 1999), pp.124-30.

"A European Experience: Human Rights and Citizenship in Revolutionary Russia," in Human Rights and Revolutions (Bowman and LIttlefield, 2007).


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Updated on 04/04/2016