Associate Professor


Department Chair,
Undergraduate Coordinator,
Postgraduate Coordinator

BA Northwestern; MA, PhD Chicago

Office: 10.41

Oscar Sanchez-Sibony’s work lies in the intersection between politics and economy, and in the space between socialist and capitalist geographies and their interactions with the postcolonial world. It seeks to understand the contemporary international political economy with special attention to how its different iterations layered one upon the other to produce present-day forms of global power. His research explores the interconnections between money, finance, energy and environment, and how power in these central areas of political governance of the world economy is institutionalized. The vehicle he has used for these explorations is the Soviet experiment, which turned out to have been a faithful traveling companion—and often a crucial crutch – to the historical development of global capitalism over most of the 20th century.


Oscar is currently researching the imbricated crises of political economy and energy that put an end to the postwar period and gave birth to our current mode of economic life at the turn of the 1970s. In studying the Soviet Union’s interactions with bankers, businessmen and state officials from around the world, this book project will reveal, not the ways in which the Soviets failed in the face of an irrepressible capitalism, but the ways in which they helped to transform it.

His second line of inquiry focuses on the political economy of the Soviet-Cuban relationship and the tension-inducing effects that sharply fluctuating international markets had on that relationship, how these were resolved, and what this says about the socialist world. Rather than pursuing a more accurate set of numbers in terms of Cuba’s economic dependence on the Soviet Union, an issue that engaged much of the past scholarship, Oscar’s research will distill the ways in which the hegemony of the US dollar limited and redirected the political choices of both allies.

Research Interests

  • Soviet Union
  • Cold War history
  • Global capitalism
  • Oil and energy regimes
  • Theories and history of money
  • International political economy
  • Decolonization and social movements in the global South.


The Soviet Union and the Construction of the Global Market: Energy and the Ascent of Finance in Cold War Europe, 1964–1971, Cambridge University Press, 2023.

Red Globalization: The Political Economy of the Soviet Cold War from Stalin to Khrushchev, Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Marshall Shulman Book Prize in International Relations from the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, 2015

Honorable Mention, Francesco Guicciardini Prize for Best Book in Historical International Relations from the International Studies Association, 2016


“Toward a Political Economy of Socialist Relations,” European Review of History/Revue européenne d’histoire 30:3 (2023): 473-489.

“Cuba, Soviet Oil, and the Sanctions that Never Were: An Archival Investigation of Socialist Relations,” Journal of Latin American Studies 54:4 (2022): 593-616.

With Cristian Capotescu and Melissa Teixeira, “Austerity without Neoliberals: Reappraising the Sinuous History of a Powerful State Technology,” Capitalism: A Journal of History and Economics 3:2 (2022): 379-420.

“Energie, die Sowjetunion und der Kampf um Kapital nach dem Zusammerbruch des Bretton-Woods-Systems,” [“Energy, the Soviet Union and the Struggle for Capital at the End of Bretton Woods”] Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung (2020): 193-208.

“Global Money and Bolshevik Authority: The NEP as the First Socialist Project,” Slavic Review 78, no. 3 (2019): 694-716.

“Economic Growth in the Governance of the Cold War Divide: Mikoyan’s Encounter with Japan, Summer 1961,” Journal of Cold War Studies 20, no. 2 (2018): 129-154.

“Capitalism’s Fellow Traveler: The Soviet Union, Bretton Woods, and the Cold War,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 56, no 2 (2014): 290-319.

(ed.) Forum: Stalinism and the Economy, “Economy and Power in the Soviet Union, 1917-1939,” Introduction with Andrew Sloin, Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 15, no 1 (2014): 7-22.

“Depression Stalinism: The Great Break Reconsidered,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 15, no 1 (2014): 23-49.

“Soviet Industry in the World Spotlight: The Domestic Dilemmas of Soviet Foreign Economic Relations, 1955-1965,” Europe-Asia Studies 62, no 9 (2010): 1555-1578.

Book chapters

“The Cold War in the Margins of Capital. The Soviet Union’s Introduction to the Decolonized World, 1955-1961,” in James Mark, Artemy Kalinovsky and Steffi Marung, eds., Alternative Globalizations. Eastern Europe and the Postcolonial World (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2020).

“Energy and Soviet Economic Integration: Foundations of a Future Pretostate,” in Elisabetta Bini, Giuliano Garavini and Federico Romero, eds., Oil Shock. The 1973 Crisis and its Economic Legacy (London: I.B. Tauris, 2016).


Rustam Khan, “Unexpected Guests? The Soviet Union and the History of Global Capitalism: An Interview with Oscar Sanchez-Sibony”Toynbee Prize Foundation (12 Feb 2020).


  • HIST2193 A History of energy and humankind: From deep history to the present
  • HIST2103 Russian State and Society in the 20th Century
  • HIST2150 Global Capitalism: The Last 100 Years
  • HIST2152 Late Socialism and the 1989 Revolutions
  • HIST2153 Stalin
  • HIST3078 Cold War Science Fiction


The Soviet Union and the Construction of the Global Market: Energy and the Ascent of Finance in Cold War Europe, 1964–1971

Cambridge University Press

August 2023.