Born and educated in Montreal, Quebec, Raymond Taras received his postgraduate degrees at universities in Europe in the 1970s and began publishing scholarly books in the 1980s. He has authored or edited over twenty books: on the collapse of the USSR, Russia's identity in international relations, the rise of liberal and illiberal nationalisms, the internationalization of ethnic conflicts, the dangers of xenophobia, the critique of multiculturalism, the impact of fear on European foreign policy, and the makings of nationhood.
Ray has served on the faculty of universities in North America and Europe including Harvard, Stanford, Michigan, the European University Institute, Malmö, Warsaw, and Sussex. He has been living in New Orleans since 1984 and teaches at Tulane University. He also spends part of each year in Salt Lake City, Utah. His personal interests include world literature and cinema, skiing, running, and border collies.