Gabriel Mesa

Gabriel Mesa's picture
Research interests: 

Russian and Soviet history; European diplomatic history; history of ideological espionage and subversion; intellectual history of nineteenth-century conservatism; Soviet-Japanese relations

Gabriel Mesa is a PhD student in the History Department focusing on the early Soviet Union and late Imperial Russia. He graduated from Yale in May 2023 with an M.A. in History and a B.S. in both Physics and History. Currently, Gabriel is studying Soviet strategy in the Pacific in the leadup to the Second World War. In particular, he is tracing how intelligence and diplomacy both served the strategic ends of weakening Japan, courting the United States, and protecting Soviet regional interests. 
More broadly, Gabriel’s research questions revolve around the fusion of diplomatic and political history with the history of ideas, contending with the question of how historians can characterize periods in world history without being reductive or deterministic. He is interested in a historicism that considers individual agency and personality to be central to causal narratives rather than exceptional. This approach has led to more diverse questions about both Russian and Global History: How do ideological conceptions of state and nation impact diplomatic decisions and grand strategy? What is the nature of civil-military relations in non-democratic forms of government? What was the relationship between philosophical objections to revolutionary activity and government policy in nineteenth century Europe?
Gabriel is serving as one of the 2024-25 co-presidents of the Andrews Society and sings/conducts in the Yale Russian Chorus. He is happy to talk to anyone interested in similar research questions or the PhD program at Yale.