David Holloway

Raymond A. Spruance Professor in International History; Professor of Political Science; Senior Fellow, Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studie

At Stanford Since

BA, University of Cambridge; MA, University of Cambridge; PhD, University of Cambridge

Bio Sketch

David Holloway was born in Dublin, Ireland. He received his undergraduate degree (in Modern Languages and Literature) and his PhD (in Social and Political Sciences) from the University of Cambridge. Before coming to Stanford he taught at the Universities of Lancaster and Edinburgh. He joined the Political Science Department at Stanford in 1986 and in 1996 was appointed professor of history as well.

Since coming to Stanford Holloway has served as chair of the International Relations Program, co-director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation, Associate Dean in the School of Humanities and Sciences, and director of the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies.

Holloway’s research has focused on the politics of science and technology in the Soviet Union, the Soviet atomic project, nuclear weapons and international relations. His Stalin and the Bomb: the Soviet Union and Atomic Energy 1939-1956 (Yale University Press, 1994) was selected by the New York Times as one of the 11 best books of 1994. His current research deals with the international history of nuclear weapons and the role of nuclear weapons in a changing international system.

Research Interests

  • The Soviet Union in World Politics
  • The Politics and Sociology of Science and Technology
  • International History and International Relations theory
  • Current book projects: The International History of Nuclear Weapons and A Twentieth-Century Life: Yu.B. Khariton

Courses Taught

  • International History and International Relations Theory
  • The Challenge of Nuclear Weapons
  • The International History of Nuclear Weapons
  • Peace Studies


  • Stalin and the Bomb: The Soviet Union and Atomic Energy, 1939-1956, Yale University Press, 1994. Paperback edition, 1996. (Published in Polish, Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, Romanian, with a Czech edition to come.)
  • The Reagan Strategic Defense Initiative: A Technical, Political, and Arms Control Assessment, coauthor with Sidney D. Drell and Philip J. Farley, Center for International Security and Arms Control, Stanford University, 1984. Republished by Ballinger: Cambridge, Mass. in 1985.
  • The Soviet Union and the Arms Race, Yale University Press, 1983. A paperback edition with a new introduction was published in 1984. (Also published in Italian and Dutch.)

Recent Work

  • “Paralleli zhizni? Oppengeimer i Khariton,” Priroda, 2005, no. 2.
  • “Science, Technology and Modernity,” to be published in The Cambridge History of Russia Vol. 3: The Twentieth Century, ed. R.G. Suny, Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  • “Jockeying for Position in the Postwar World: Soviet Entry into the War with Japan in August 1945,” to be published in Reinterpreting the End of World War II in the Pacific, ed. Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, Stanford University Press, 2006.

Awards and Fellowships

  • Fellow, Stanford Humanities Center (2005-2006)
  • Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (2000-2001)
  • Fellow, Norwegian Nobel Institute, Oslo (March 1999)
  • Shulman Prize, American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, 1995 (Stalin and the Bomb)
  • Vucinich Prize, American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies 1995 (Stalin and the Bomb)
  • NY Times Book Review, One of the Eleven Best Books of the Year, 1994, (Stalin and the Bomb)
  • Publisher's Weekly Best Books of the Year, 1994, (Stalin and the Bomb)
  • Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1978-79
  • DAAD Fellow, Hessische Stiftung Friedens und Konfliktsforschung, 1973

University Service

  • Director, Institute for International Studies (1998-2003)
  • Cognizant Dean for the Humanities, School of Humanities and Sciences (1997-1998)
  • Co-Director, Center for International Security and Arms control (1991-1997)
  • Chair, International Relations Program (1989-1991)
  • P.I., MacArthur, Consortium on International Peace and Security (1993-2003)

Professional Memberships

  • American Political Science Association
  • American Historical Association
  • American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies
  • Board, Ploughshares Fund
  • Board, Cypress Fund for Peace and Security