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First Name
Last Name
McGill University
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Soviet history, Russian history, economic history, postwar, money, Cold War, welfare state, copyright, intellectual property, international law
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Personal Info

About Me

Kristy Ironside is a historian of Russia and the Soviet Union and Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Classical Studies at McGill University. Her current book, tentatively entitled A Full-Value Ruble: The Promise of Prosperity in the Postwar Soviet Union, 1945-1964, looks at this society’s intertwined attempts to recover from the war’s damage and move toward a promised state of abundance through the circulation of a ruble with real purchasing power. This project has inspired articles and chapters looking at related economic and social phenomena in Soviet history, exploring the dynamics of coercion, the shift to incentives, the extent of Soviet state capacity, the socialist tax regime, and the nature of the postwar Soviet welfare state. These articles have appeared in Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review, Slavic Review, Europe-Asia Studies, and The Journal of Social History. Her next book-length project, tentatively entitled International Copyright in the Political Economy of Russia and the Soviet Union, looks at Russia/the USSR’s fraught relationship to international copyright protections. The Tsarist government did not join the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, nor did the Soviet government. The latter did not join the 1952 Universal Copyright Convention (UCC) until 1973.  This monograph will examine changing notions of intellectual property, profit, and rights, as well as the Russian state’s engagement with international legal norms from the late 19th century, through the Soviet period, to the return of capitalism in Russia after 1991.

Recent Publications

“‘A Writer Deserves to be Paid for His Work’: Progressive American Writers, Foreign Royalties, and the Limits of Soviet Internationalism in the Mid-to-Late 1950s,” Europe’s Internationalists: Rethinking the Short Twentieth Century, eds. Jessica Reinisch and David Brydan (forthcoming with Bloomsbury in 2019)

“‘I Beg You Not to Reject my Plea’: The Late Stalinist Welfare State and the Politics of One-Time Monetary Aid, 1946-1953,” Journal of Social History, Vol. 51, No. 4 (2018): 1045–1068

“Between Fiscal, Ideological, and Social Dilemmas: The Soviet ‘Bachelor Tax’ and Post-war Tax Reform, 1941-1962,” Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 69, No 6 (2017): 855-878

“Stalin’s Doctrine of Price Reductions during the Second World War and Postwar Reconstruction,” Slavic Review, Vol. 75, No. 3 (2016): 655-677

“Khrushchev’s Cash-and-Goods Lotteries and the Turn toward Positive Incentives,” The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review, Vol. 41, No. 3 (2014): 296–323

“Rubles for Victory: The Social Dynamics of State Fundraising on the Soviet Home Front,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, Vol. 15, No. 4 (2014): 799-828

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Russia/Soviet Union, Eastern Europe
Expertise by Geography
Eastern Europe, Russia
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, Modern, 20th century, 21st century
Expertise by Topic
Capitalism, Economic History, Government, Politics, World War II