Personal profile


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.  

Further Information

Campus Address

Room 416 Lipman Building,

Northumbria University,

City Campus, Newcastle upon Tyne


Education/Academic qualification

History, PhD

History, MLitt

History, BA (Hons)


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