Smithsonian Journeys Experts

Alexander J. Motyl

photo of Alexander J. Motyl

Alexander J. Motyl (Ph.D., Columbia University, 1984) is professor of political science at Rutgers University-Newark. He served as associate director of the Harriman Institute at Columbia University in 1992-1998 and of the Division of Global Affairs at Rutgers in 1999-2009; he has taught at Harvard, Lehigh, and Kyiv Mohyla Universities and lectured throughout Europe. Trained as a Sovietologist and East Europeanist, he has expanded his research interests to Western and Central Europe, especially with respect to the historical development of nations and nationalism, the rise and fall of empires, and the causes and consequences of revolutions. He is a regular contributor to Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs and is the author of seven academic books, nine novels, and two collections of poetry; also a painter, Motyl has exhibited in solo and group shows in New York, Philadelphia, and Toronto. Learn more about Alexander Motyl at

What Our Travelers Say

Alex added enormously to the overall trip. He has deep knowledge of the region, excellent presentation skills, and above all, was with us continuously. He greatly enhanced our experience. 

- Previous Journeys Traveler, Old World Europe

By the Expert

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