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Charles Kraus is the Deputy Director of the History and Public Policy Program at the Wilson Center.

Full Biography

Charles Kraus, Ph.D., is the Deputy Director of the History and Public Policy Program at the Wilson Center.

An accomplished scholar in the fields of modern Chinese history, international history, and Cold War studies, Kraus spearheads many of the Wilson Center's efforts to expand the public's access to declassified archival sources, provide training to next-generation historians and other historically-minded experts, and bring historical context to public policy issues. He has worked at the Wilson Center since 2012.

Kraus oversees the Wilson Center Digital Archive, a critically acclaimed research and teaching resource utilized by hundreds of thousands of individuals each year. He also coordinates the work of the Cold War Archives Research (CWAR) Institute, the Cold War International History Project, the North Korea International Documentation Project, and the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project. He leads efforts to obtain and publish archival documents from hard-to-access archives in China and other countries about PRC foreign relations, as well as the Wilson Center's other archival work related to Taiwan, Japan, the Koreas, and Southeast Asia. 

Kraus has published widely in peer reviewed journals and other outlets. His research covers topics as diverse as population resettlement and migration in Asia, 20th century Xinjiang, China's Cold War-era foreign relations, decolonization, North Korea's formative state-building years, ethnic and national identity in China, and the history of Coca-Cola in the PRC.

Fluent in Chinese, Kraus has conducted research in over 25 archives on Mainland China, as well as at dozens of others in the United States, Burma, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. He earned his M.A. (2014) and Ph.D. (2017) from The George Washington University and graduated summa cum laude from Hiram College (2010).

Major Publications

“Failure to Change the Status Quo: Jimmy Carter, the Two Koreas, and the International Pursuit of Dialogue, 1977-1979,” Journal of American-East Asian Relations 26, no. 2 (2019): 141-164.

“Laying Blame for Flight and Fight: Sino-Soviet Relations and the ‘Yi-Ta’ Incident in Xinjiang, 1962,” The China Quarterly (First View, 18 January 2019).

“More Than Just a Soft Drink: Coca-Cola and China’s Early Reform and Opening,” Diplomatic History 43, no. 1 (January 2019): 107-129.

"‘The Danger is Two-Fold’: Decolonisation and Cold War in Anti-Communist Asia, 1955–7," International History Review 39, no. 2 (April 2017), 256-273, doi: 10.1080/07075332.2016.1199441.

"Researching the History of the People's Republic of China," CWIHP Working Paper 79 (April 2016).

"American Orientalism in Korea," Journal of American-East Asian Relations 22, no. 2 (2015): 147-165.

Sino-European Relations during the Cold War and the Rise of a Multipolar World, co-edited with Enrico Fardella and Christian F. Ostermann (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center, 2015).

"Bridging East Asia’s Revolutions: The Overseas Chinese in North Korea, 1945-1950," The Journal of Northeast Asian History 11, no. 2 (Winter 2014): 39-70.

“To Die On the Steppe: Sino-Soviet-American Relations and the Cold War in Chinese Central Asia, 1944-1952,” Cold War History 14, no. 3 (August 2014): 293-313, doi: 10.1080/14682745.2013.871262.

“Nation, Ethnicity, and the Post-Manchukuo Order in the Sino-Korean Border Region,” co-authored with Adam Cathcart, in Key Papers on Korea: Essays Celebrating 25 Years of the Centre of Korean Studies, SOAS, University of London, edited by Andrew David Jackson (Boston: Global Oriental, 2013), 79-99, doi: 10.1163/9789004265226_007.

“A Border Region ‘Exuded with Militant Friendship’: Provincial Narratives of China’s Participation in the First Indochina War, 1949-1954,” Cold War History 12, no. 3 (August 2012): 495-514, doi: 10.1080/14682745.2011.627919.

“The Bonds of Brotherhood: New Evidence on Sino-North Korean Exchanges, 1950-1954,” co-authored with Adam Cathcart, Journal of Cold War Studies 13, no. 3 (Summer 2011): 27-51, doi: 10.1162/JCWS_a_00141.

“Creating a Soviet ‘Semi-Colony’? Sino-Soviet Cooperation and Its Demise in Xinjiang, 1949-1955,” Chinese Historical Review 17, no. 2 (Fall 2010): 129-165, doi: 10.1179/tcr.2010.17.2.129.

“Peripheral Influence: The Sinuiju Student Incident of 1945 and the Impact of Soviet Occupation in North Korea,” co-authored with Adam Cathcart, Journal of Korean Studies 13 (2008): 1-28, doi: 10.1353/jks.2008.0002.

“Internationalist Culture in North Korea, 1945-1950,” co-authored with Adam Cathcart, The Review of Korean Studies 11, no. 3 (September 2008): 123-148.