Daniel Chirot

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Daniel Chirot
BornNovember 27, 1942 (1942-11-27) (age 80)
  • Academic
  • writer
Cynthia Kenyon Chirot
(m. 1974)

Daniel Chirot (born 1942) is the Herbert J. Ellison Professor of Russian and Eurasian Studies at the University of Washington. Chirot is also the founder of the journal East European Politics and Societies, and has written and edited many books and articles.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Daniel Chirot was born to Jewish parents in Vichy France on November 27, 1942.[1][2] His parents were able to evade the Nazis until the end of World War II, and in 1948 Chirot and his family immigrated to the United States.[2] Chirot graduated from Harvard University in 1964 and earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1973.[1][3]


Chirot has taught in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington since 1975, and was appointed as the Herbert J. Ellison Professor of Russian and Eurasian Studies in 1980.[1] He has written prolifically on the subject of authoritarian regimes, tyranny,[4] and genocide, publishing 15 books and numerous articles in such scholarly journals as the Journal of Asian Studies, East European Politics and Societies, Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, Journal of Democracy, Society, International Sociology, and Perspectives on Politics. He has been praised in publications from the New York Times to the International Social Science Review for his comprehensive scholarship, lucidity, and nuance.[5][6] Chirot served at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, DC as a Senior Fellow from 2004 to 2005, and has received grants from many organizations including the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the U.S. State Department.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Chirot married Cynthia Kenyon, a banker, in 1974. Together they have two children, Claire and Laura.[1]


  • Social Change in a Peripheral Society: The Creation of a Balkan Colony, Academic Press (New York, NY), 1976.
  • Social Change in the Twentieth Century, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1977.
  • Social Change in the Modern Era, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1986.
  • The Origins of Backwardness in Eastern Europe, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1989. (Editor)
  • The Crisis of Leninism and the Decline of the Left: The Revolutions of 1989, University of Washington Press (Seattle, WA), 1991. (Editor)
  • National Liberations and Nationalist Nightmares: The Consequences of the End of Empires in Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1993.
  • How Societies Change, Pine Forge Press (Thousand Oaks, CA), 1994, 2nd edition, 2012.
  • Modern Tyrants: The Power and Prevalence of Evil in Our Age, Free Press (New York, NY), 1994.
  • Essential Outsiders: Chinese and Jews in the Modern Transformation of Southeast Asia and Central Europe, University of Washington Press (Seattle, WA), 1997. (Editor, with Anthony Reid)
  • Ethnopolitical Warfare: Causes, Consequences, and Possible Solutions, American Psychological Association (Washington, DC), 2001. (Editor, with Martin E.O. Seligman)
  • Why Not Kill Them All? The Logic and Prevention of Mass Political Murder, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2006 (with Clark McCauley)
  • Contentious Identities: Ethnic, Religious, and Nationalist Conflicts in Today's World, Routledge (New York, NY), 2011.
  • Confronting Memories of World War II: European and Asian Legacies, University of Washington Press (Seattle, WA), 2014.
  • The Shape of the New: Four Big Ideas and How They Made the Modern World, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2015.
  • You Say You Want a Revolution? Radical Idealism and Its Tragic Consequences, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2020


  1. ^ a b c d e f Vereecke, Jonathan, ed. (2018). Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series (Vol. 327). Farmington Hills: Cengage Gale. p. 65-67.
  2. ^ a b Olasky, Marvin (November 19, 2020). "Parsing the politics of tyranny: Why conservatives and liberals repeatedly underestimate the revolutionaries". World Magazine. Retrieved December 20, 2020.
  3. ^ "Daniel Chirot". University of Washington. Retrieved December 20, 2020.
  4. ^ Kelley, Peter (April 20, 2020). "A conversation with Dan Chirot about his new book 'You Say You Want a Revolution,' exploring radical idealism". UW News. University of Washington. Retrieved December 20, 2020.
  5. ^ Zakaria, Fareed (August 21, 2015). "The Shape of the New, by Scott L. Montgomery and Daniel Chirot". New York Times. Retrieved December 20, 2020.
  6. ^ Lepley, John (2020). "Daniel Chirot, You Say You Want a Revolution? Radical Idealism and Its Tragic Consequences". International Social Science Review. 96 (3).