Tomer Nisimov

Graduate Student

Tomer studies the history of twentieth century Eurasia, with a particular focus on Northeast Asia. Broadly speaking, Tomer is interested in political and military history, ethnopolitics, international relations, security, geopolitics, and rogue regimes. His research deals with interstate conflicts of interest, competition and cooperation, the agency of small states, and proxies. Tomer focuses in particular on North Korea and Mongolia, with the aim of understanding these nations’ roles in shaping a geopolitical environment dominated by Soviet and Chinese power.

At Princeton, Tomer investigates how North Korea and Mongolia influenced the ethnopolitical spectrum of China during the civil war period (1945-1949) and the ways in which these small states defied the appellation “proxy,” becoming agents in pursuit of their own interests and goals. Tomer hopes to contribute to the literature on the Chinese Civil War as a broader Northeast Asian phenomenon, shifting emphasis away from much-studied Chinese protagonists. He also seeks to draw larger conclusions about the dynamics of small states in geopolitical arenas, in regional ethnopolitics and in international relations generally. 

Before coming to Princeton, Tomer earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Department of Asian Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Following graduation from the Hebrew University, he spent several years living in East Asia, chiefly in mainland China, Taiwan, and South Korea. Tomer seeks to make utmost use of his linguistic background, being fluent in Chinese, mastering Russian and Korean, and having reading knowledge of Japanese. In recent years, he has been studying the Inner Asian languages of Manchu, Mongolian, and Uyghur. 

Year of Study
Fifth Year
Area of Interest
Military History
Political History
Home Department & Other Affiliations
19th Century
20th Century
Russia and Eurasia