Skip navigation

Dr Lara Douds

Assistant Professor

Department: Humanities

Lara joined the faculty at Northumbria in 2019 as Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow in History, having previously taught at the Universities of Leeds, York and Durham. 

She is a specialist in the history of government, political practice and political culture in Russia and the Soviet Union. Her research explores continuity across the revolutionary divide of 1917, specifically the Soviet government’s inheritance, in structures, culture and practice, from the Tsarist past and how this legacy interacted with revolutionary ideology and circumstance. 

Her first monograph Inside Lenin’s Government: Power, Ideology and Practice in the Early Soviet Statewas published by Bloomsbury in February 2018. This book is the first English-language, archive-based study to examine the practical functioning and internal culture of the early Soviet cabinet, the Council of People’s Commissars, to explore its period as a coalition government, and to elucidate the process by which governmental decision-making authority migrated from ‘state’ to supreme Communist Party bodies during the early years of Soviet power, in part due to the dysfunction generated by experimental ‘democratizing’ features introduced by Soviet state-builders. 

Lara is co-editor, alongside Professor James Harris (Leeds) and Dr Peter Whitewood (York St John), of the forthcoming book The Fate of the Bolshevik Revolution Illiberal Liberation, 1917-41 (Bloomsbury, 2020)and has contributed a chapter ‘Lenin’s Living Link? Petitioning the Ruler in Russia across the revolutionary divide’ to this volume. 

She is currently at the start of a new project ‘Petitioning the Sovereign in Russia from Paul I to Putin’ which will explore the widespread and sustained practice of subjects and citizens writing letters of request and complaint to leaders and consider how these petitions were handled by those in power. The project aims to show how this form of petitioning served as a crucial interface between government and governed which can help to illuminate the multi-dimensional nature of persistent authoritarian rule across centuries of Russian history.  

Lara Douds

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • The Fate of the Bolshevik Revolution: Illiberal Liberation, 1917-41, Douds, L., Harris, J., Whitewood, P. 23 Jan 2020
  • Inside Lenin's Government: Ideology, Power and Practice in the Early Soviet State, Douds, L. 22 Feb 2018
  • Collegiality in the People’s Commissariats, 1917-1920, Douds, L. 1 Jun 2013, In: Revolutionary Russia

Campus Address

Room 416 Lipman Building,

Northumbria University,

City Campus, Newcastle upon Tyne


  • History PhD
  • History MLitt
  • History BA (Hons)

a sign in front of a crowd

Northumbria Open Days

Open Days are a great way for you to get a feel of the University, the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the course(s) you are interested in.

Research at Northumbria

Research at Northumbria

Research is the life blood of a University and at Northumbria University we pride ourselves on research that makes a difference; research that has application and affects people's lives.

NU World

Explore NU World

Find out what life here is all about. From studying to socialising, term time to downtime, we’ve got it covered.

Latest News and Features

THE Impact rankings
Architecture Apprenticeship Handbook cover
Pictured from left to right are Northumbria University academics Dr Qiang Wu, Dr Juna Sathian, Professor Zabih Ghassemlooy, Dr Yongtao Qu and Dr Xicong Li.
Insights North East
gettyimages/Kobus Louw
Felicia Gottman
More news
More events

Upcoming events

Immunology North East Symposium - 18th June 2024
REVEAL: Industrial Design

Back to top