David R. Marples

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David Marples
David Roger Marples
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Sheffield (PhD)
ThesisColectivization of agriculture in Western Ukraine 1944-1951 (1985)
Academic work
InstitutionsUniversity of Alberta

David Roger Marples is a Canadian historian and Distinguished University Professor at the Department of History & Classics, University of Alberta. He specializes in history and contemporary politics of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.[1]


Marples received his BA Honours from the University of London in 1975, his MA in History from the University of Alberta in 1980, and Ph.D. in Economic and Social History from the University of Sheffield in 1985. The title of his Ph.D. dissertation was Collectivization of agriculture in Western Ukraine 1944-1951.[2]


Marples began his tenure at University of Alberta in 1991. Earlier, he was a Research Analyst for the Ukrainian Service of Radio Liberty in Munich, Germany.

Marples is a former President of The North American Association for Belarusian Studies[3] (2010–15) and was formerly Director of the Stasiuk Program on Contemporary Ukraine at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (2004–14), University of Alberta.[4] In 2014 he was a Visiting Professor at the Slavic and Eurasian Research Center, Hokkaido University, Japan. At the University of Alberta he is a recipient of the J. Gordin Kaplan Award for Excellence in Research (2003) and the University Cup (2008), the university's highest award.

He is regarded as one of the leading Western authorities on the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe (social and political aspects),[5] Lukashenko's regime in Belarus, and contemporary Ukraine. In 2014 he published Our Glorious Past': Lukashenka's Belarus and the Great Patriotic War', the product of an Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. In 2017, he published 'Ukraine in Conflict' with E-International Relations Publishing. In 2020, he co-edited a book with Aya Fujiwara entitled Hiroshima-75: Nuclear Issues in Global Contexts," published by Ibidem-Verlag, and the result of a conference at the University of Alberta. Also in 2020, he published Understanding Ukraine and Belarus, a memoir about his career as a scholar of these states.

As a historian Marples has written extensively on Eastern European history of the 20th Century including such major historical events as the Russian Revolution 1917-1920, Ukrainian Famine 1932-1933, Stalinism, and fall of the Soviet Union. His most recent work concerns the NKVD executions in Belarus in 1937-1941 and mass burials at Kurapaty, Chajsy, and other sites.

Marples also contributed to ongoing debates surrounding Ukrainian nationalism and nationalistic myth-making. In the February 7, 2010 issue of The Edmonton Journal he authored an opinion piece "Hero of Ukraine linked to Jewish killings; Honorary title sure to provoke divisions among Ukrainians today." The piece sparked a new wave of debate surrounding Bandera's figure and his role in Ukrainian history. Eventually, the most important texts of the debate were republished in Ukraine in the collection "Strasti za Banderoiu" (Passions of Bandera, 2010).[6]. More recently, he has been a frequent commentator on the events following the 2020 presidential elections in Belarus for BBC, CBC, and on international webinars.

Marples has written frequently on current political matters of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine for Edmonton Journal, Topchubashov Center,[7] Kyiv Post,[8] Moscow Times,[9] Eurasia Daily Monitor,[10] Open Democracy,[11] Politicon[12] and others.


  • Understanding Ukraine and Belarus (Bristol-E-International Relations Publishing, 2020). 191 pp.
  • Hiroshima-75: Nuclear Issues in Global Contexts (Stuttgart: Ibidem Verlag, 2020). Co-edited with Aya Fujiwara. 306 pp.
  • Ukraine in Conflict: An Analytical Chronicle (Bristol, UK: E-International Relations publishing, 2017). 222 pp. ISBN 9781910814291
  • Ukraine's Euromaidan: Analyses of a Civil Revolution in Ukraine. Co edited with Frederick V. Mills. Stuttgart Germany: ibidem Verlag and Columbia University Press, 2015. 285 pp.[ISBN missing]
  • Our Glorious Past': Lukashenka's Belarus and the Great Patriotic War (Ibidem-Verlag, Hannover, Germany, 2014) ISBN 9783838205748
  • Holodomor: Causes of the Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine (Heritage Press, 2011)[ISBN missing]
  • Russia in the Twentieth Century: the Quest for Stability (Harlow, UK: Pearson-Longman, 2011), 410 pp.[ISBN missing]
  • Heroes and Villains: Creating National History in Contemporary Ukraine (Budapest and New York: Central European University Press, 2007 cloth, 2008 paperback.[ISBN missing]
  • The Lukashenka Phenomenon: Elections, Propaganda, and the Foundations of Political Authority in Belarus (Trondheim, Norway: Trondheim Studies on East European Cultures and Societies, No. 21, 2007).[ISBN missing]
  • Prospects for Democracy in Belarus (Washington, DC: GMFUS-Heinrich Boll, 2006) [Co-edited with Joerg Forbrig and Pavol Demes]. Second revised edition published later in the same year.[ISBN missing]
  • The Collapse of the Soviet Union, 1985-1991 (Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education-Longman, 2004)[ISBN missing]
  • Motherland: Russia in the 20th Century (London: Longman, 2002)[ISBN missing]
  • Lenin's Revolution: Russia 1917-1921 (London: Wesley, Addison, and Longman, 2000)[ISBN missing]
  • Belarus: A Denationalized Nation (Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1999)[ISBN missing]
  • Nuclear Energy and Security in the Former Soviet Union (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1997) [co-edited with Marilyn J. Young][ISBN missing]
  • Belarus: From Soviet Rule to Nuclear Catastrophe (Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan Press; New York, N.Y.: St. Martin's Press; and Edmonton, AB: The University of Alberta Press, 1996).
  • Stalinism in Ukraine in the 1940s (London: The Macmillan Press, 1992)
  • Ukraine Under Perestroika: Ecology, Economics, and the Workers' Revolt (London: The Macmillan Press, 1991)
  • The Social Impact of the Chernobyl Disaster (London: The Macmillan Press, 1988)
  • Chernobyl & Nuclear Power in the USSR (London: The Macmillan Press, 1987).

Personal life[edit]

Marples is married to Aya Fujiwara, director of the Prince Takamado Japan Centre at the University of Alberta. He has four children, Carlton, Keelan (both from an earlier marriage), Akiko, and Kaella.[13][14][15]