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Alexander Cooley

Director, Harriman Institute


Alexander Cooley is Director of Columbia University’s Harriman Institute for the study of Russia, Eurasia and Eastern Europe and a professor of Political Science at Barnard College. Professor Cooley’s research examines how external actors have influenced the sovereignty, governance and development of the former Soviet states, with a focus on Central Asia and the Caucasus. His books include Great Games Local Rules: The New Great Power Contest In Central Asia (Oxford 2012), an examination of Russian-US-Chinese competition for influence in Central Asia that was described byAsia Policy as “possibly the most cogent critique of post-Cold War orthodoxy published to date.” His latest book Ranking the World: Grading States as a Tool of Global Governance (Cambridge 2015), co-edited with Jack Snyder, explores the use of international rankings as public policy tools by non-governmental and international organizations. In addition to his academic work, Professor Cooley has testified before Congressional committees about Eurasian issues and serves on international advisory committees and working groups engaged with the region. He is a regular commentator for international media outlets and his opinion pieces have appeared in the New York Times, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy. His work has been supported with fellowships from the Open Society Foundations, Carnegie Corporation, Smith Richardson Foundation, and the German Marshall Fund of the United States, among others. Cooley earned his Ph.D. (1999) from Columbia University.

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