Dr Rees is a specialist on Russian/Soviet history. He is the author of 3 monographs and ten edited volumes on the development of the Soviet political system, including studies of the formation of the Stalinist system, the study of economic policy making, the study of centre-local relations, the study of the role of individuals, and the function of the leader cult.
He is the author of a study on political thought in Russia that focuses on the reception of the ideas of Machiavelli. He has recently completed political biography of one of Stalin’s principal deputies – Lazar Kaganovich. He has also taught and published work on East European history, particularly on the process of the Sovietization of the region after 1945. He has an interest in comparative studies of revolutions, and on totalitarian and authoritarian regimes of the twentieth century.
He is currently working on two projects: one analysing the debate on political terror in Russia in the late tsarist era, and a second studying Stalin’s language as way of exploring the nature of the Soviet regime and Stalin’s own personal role in its developments. Outside of Russian history, Dr Rees has published two major monographs on Welsh history
From 1999 to 2008 Dr Rees was granted leave from the University of Birmingham, during which time he held the post of Professor of East European History at the prestigious European University Institute in Florence. Whilst there he supervised 25 postgraduate students who completed their doctorates on Russian and East European history.