Gijs Kessler (1969) studied history at the Free University of Amsterdam (MA, 1994) and the European University Institute, Florence (PhD, 2001). Specialist in the social history of Russia and the Soviet Union. Gijs worked on short assignments for the IISH in Moscow during 1994 and 1995, and returned to the Institute in 2002 to lead two consecutive Dutch-Russian research projects in twentieth century Russian social and labour history. In 2010 he assumed the position of Senior Research Fellow at IISH.
Gijs is a participant in the Global Collaboratory on the History of Labour Relations 1500-2000, member of the organising committee of the Global Migration History Programme, and a founding member of the Electronic Repository of Russian Historical Statistics.
From 2002 till 2016 Gijs was based in Moscow. Next to his work for the IISH he taught Russian social and economic history at the New Economic School in Moscow, and was one of the founders of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Studies in History, Economy and Society (2004-2014).
Current and past projects
- 2012-2015: Exhibition "Together and Apart. The Urban Family in Russia in the Twentieth Century"
- 2010-2015: Electronic Repository of Russian Historical Statistics.
- Gijs Kessler, Karin Hofmeester, and Christine Moll-Murata (eds.), Conquerors, Employers and Arbiters: States and Shifts in Labour Relations, 1500-2000 (Cambridge, 2016).
- Gijs Kessler, “Sources for Writing the History of Russia and the Soviet Union. National and Transnational Perspectives”, in Aad Blok et al. (eds), A Usable Collection. Essays in Honour of Jaap Kloosterman on Collecting Social History (Amsterdam, 2014), pp. 376-385.
- Gijs Kessler, “Measuring Migration in Russia: A Perspective of Empire, 1500-1900”, in Jan Lucassen and Leo Lucassen (eds), Globalising migration history : the Eurasian experience (16th-21st centuries), Studies in Global Social History, 15 (Leiden, 2014), pp. 71-88.
- Gijs Kessler, “Migration and Family Systems in Russia and the Soviet Union, Nineteenth to Twentieth Centuries”, in Dirk Hoerder and Amarjit Kaur (eds), Proletarian and gendered mass migrations : a global perspective on continuities and discontinuities from the 19th to the 21st centuries, Studies in Global Social History, 12 (Leiden & Boston, 2013), pp. 133-150.
- Gijs Kessler and Jan Lucassen, “Labour Relations, Efficiency and the Great Divergence. Comparing pre-industrial brick-making across Eurasia, 1500-2000”, in Maarten Prak and J. L. van Zanden (eds), Technology and Human Capital Formation in East and West (Leiden & Boston, 2013), pp. 259-322.
- Bosma, Ulbe, Gijs Kessler and Leo Lucassen (eds), Migration and membership regimes in global and historical perspective : an introduction, Studies in Global Social History, 13 (Leiden & Boston, 2013)
- Gijs Kessler, “Wage Labor and the Household Economy: a Russian Perspective, 1600-2000”, in Marcel Van der Linden and Leo Lucassen (eds), Working on Labor. Essays in Honor of Jan Lucassen, Studies in Global Social History, 9 (Leiden & Boston, 2012), pp. 353-369.
- Gijs Kessler, “The Origins of Soviet Internal-Migration Policy: Industrialization and the 1930s Rural Exodus.”, in John Randolph and Eugene M. Avrutin (eds), Russia in Motion: Politics, Society and the Culture of Human Mobility, 1850-Present (Champaign, IL, 2012), pp. 63-79.
- Gijs Kessler, “Russian and Ukrainian Seasonal Laborers in the Grain Belt of New Russia and the North Caucasus in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries”, in Klaus J. Bade, Pieter C. Emmer, Leo Lucassen and Jochen Oltmer (eds), The encyclopedia of migration and minorities in Europe : from the seventeenth century to the present (Cambridge & New York, 2011), pp. 658-659.
- L.I. Borodkin, Gijs Kessler and A.K. Sokolov (eds), "Sovetskoe nasledstvo". Otrazhenie proshlogo v sotsial'nykh i ekonomicheskikh praktikakh sovremennoi Rossii, Sotsial'naia istorii Rossii XX veka (Moskva, 2010)
- Gijs Kessler, "The Rural-Urban Nexus in Russian Labour History, 1860s-1930s: Suggestions for a Global, Comparative Perspective", in Marcel Van der Linden and Prabhu P. Mohapatra (eds), Labour matters: towards global histories. Studies in honour of Sabyasachi Bhattacharya (New Delhi, 2009), pp. 207-225.
- Donald Filtzer, Wendy Goldman, Gijs Kessler and Simon Pirani (eds), A Dream Deferred: New Studies in Russian and Soviet Labour History, International and Comparative Social History 11 (Bern, Switzerland ; New York, 2008)
- Sergey Afontsev, Gijs Kessler, Andrei Markevich, Victoria Tyazhel'nikova and Timur Valetov, "The Urban Household in Russia and the Soviet Union, 1900-2000. Patterns of Family Formation in a Turbulent Century", The History of the Family, 13(2) (2008), pp. 178-194.
- Gijs Kessler, "The 1932-1933 Crisis and Its Aftermath beyond the Epicenters of Famine: The Urals Region", in Halyna Hryn (ed), Hunger by design : the great Ukrainian famine and its Soviet context (Cambridge, MA, 2008), pp. 117-129.
- Gijs Kessler, "Russische und ukrainische Saisonarbeitskräfte in den Getreideanbaugebieten Neurußlands und des nördlichen Kaukasus im späten 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhundert", in Klaus J Bade et al. (eds), Enzyklopädie Migration in Europa: Vom 17. Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart (Paderborn, 2007), pp. 902-904.
- Gijs Kessler and Gennadii Egor'evich Kornilov (eds), Kolkhoznaia zhizn' na Urale, 1935-53 gg. Sbornik dokumentov, Dokumenty sovetskoi istorii (Moskva, 2006)
- Gijs Kessler, "Work and the household in the inter-war Soviet Union", Continuity and Change, 20(3) (2005), pp. 409-442
- Sergey A. Afontsev et al., Urban Households in Russia and the Soviet Union, 1900-2000. Size, Structure and Composition, IISH Research Paper 44 (Amsterdam, 2005) (PDF file attached, 84pp., 908Kb)
- Gijs Kessler, 'The Passport System and State Control over Population Flows in the Soviet Union, 1932-1940', in: Cahiers du Monde Russe, Vol. 42, no. 2-4 (Avril-Décembre 2001), pp. 477-504
- Gijs Kessler, 'Krest'yanskaya migratsiya v Rossiiskoi Imperii i Sovetskom Soyuze. Otkhodnichestvo i vykhod iz sela', in Sotsial'naya istoriya. Ezhegodnik 1998/99 (ROSSPEN, Moscow, 1999), pp. 309-336
- Gijs Kessler, The 'Schools of Communism' under Neo-Liberal Reform. Russia's traditional trade union movement in the transition to a free market (IISG-Research Paper, Amsterdam, 1996) (PDF file attached, 40pp., 153Kb)