Dr Mark B. Smith

University Senior Lecturer in Modern European History
Faculty of History Director of Graduate Studies
Dr Mark B. Smith
  • the history of how people lived in and understood the Soviet Union, especially in the post-1945 period, including such topics as the housing programme, property relations, architecture, the working class, pensions reform, cities, elections, and rights;
  • more broadly: the Western view of Russia; Russian history in the longue durée;
  • illustrative snippets of research and reflection are available at the blog Beyond the Kremlin.
  • MPhil in Modern European History: 'The Soviet Union and Russia since 1970: Contemporary History in Practice'
  • Part II: ‘Connected Histories of the USA, USSR and Russia since 1945’
  • Part I: Papers 17, 18
  • Director of Studies in History and History & Modern Languages (Part II), King's College


Tags & Themes


Key Publications


The Russia Anxiety: And How History Can Resolve It (Allen Lane / Penguin, 2019, 446pp)

Property of Communists: The Urban Housing Program from Stalin to Khrushchev (Northern Illinois University Press, 2010, 240pp)

Journal special issue

Edited with Moritz Foellmer, Urban Societies in Europe, in Contemporary European History 24:4 (2015)

Articles & chapters

  • 'Faded red paradise: welfare and the Soviet city after 1953', Contemporary European History 24:4 (2015): 597-615
  • ‘The withering away of the danger society: the pensions reforms of 1956 and 1964 in the Soviet Union’, Social Science History 39:1 (2015): 129-48
  • with Moritz Foellmer, 'Urban societies in Europe since 1945: towards an historical interpretation', Contemporary European History 24:4 (2015): 475-91
  • ‘The life of the Soviet worker’, in Simon Dixon (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Modern Russian History (Oxford University Press, 2016; currently available online)
  • ‘Peaceful coexistence at all costs: Cold War exchanges between Britain and the Soviet Union in 1956’, Cold War History 12:3 (2012): 537-58
  • ‘Social rights in the Soviet dictatorship: the constitutional right to welfare from Stalin to Brezhnev’, Humanity 3:3 (2012): 385-406
  • ‘Popular sovereignty and constitutional rights in the USSR’s Supreme Soviet elections of February 1946’, in Ralph Jessen and Hedwig Richter (eds), Voting for Stalin and Hitler: Elections under Twentieth Century Dictatorships (Campus Verlag, 2011): 59-80
  • ‘Khrushchev’s promise to eliminate the urban housing shortage: rights, rationality and the communist future’ in Melanie Ilic and Jeremy Smith (eds), State and Society Under Nikita Khrushchev (Routledge, 2009): 26-45
  • ‘Individual forms of ownership in the urban housing fund of the USSR, 1944-64’, Slavonic and East European Review, 86:2 (2008): 283-305

Book reviews

  • Cultural and Social HistoryDemocratization, English Historical ReviewEurope-Asia StudiesH-MemoryJournal of Contemporary HistoryJournal of Modern HistoryReviews in HistoryRussian ReviewSlavonic and East European ReviewSlavic ReviewSlovo, Social History of Medicine, Soviet and Post-Soviet Review