American Diplomacy and the End of the Cold War*

Robert Hutchings (University of Texas, Austin)

Thu, 11/5/2015, 6:00 pm
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Hauptgebäude, Hörsaal 1072
Unter den Linden 6
10117 Berlin


Admission is free. Registration is not necessary.

Prof. Dr. Gabriele Metzler
Friedrichstraße 191/193, Raum 5005
Tel. +49 (0)30 209370595


This lecture is part of the series "New Research on the Cold War"
Chair: Klaas Voß (Hamburg Institute for Social Research)

The swift and peaceful end of the Cold War in Europe was among the most remarkable developments of the twentieth century. American diplomacy has been widely credited with successfully navigating this tumultuous period, forging consensus within the Western alliance while also helping Soviet leaders come to accept the precipitous loss of empire. This presentation, based on new archival evidence as well as the speaker's personal role in these events, explores the strategic planning that guided American policy, but also the improvisation and experimentation that was needed as revolutionary events outpaced even the most carefully considered plans. It also examines aspects of successful diplomacy that are often overlooked by historians: skillful management of the foreign policy bureaucracy, creation of effective decision-making processes, and careful alignment of diplomats, experts, and negotiators with policy-makers at the highest levels.

Robert Hutchings, Dr., is the Walt and Elspeth Rostow Chair in National Security and Professor of Public Affairs at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs (University of Texas). Before joining the LBJ School, he was Diplomat in Residence at Princeton University. His combined academic and diplomatic career included service as Director for European Affairs with the National Security Council, Special Adviser to the Secretary of State with the rank of ambassador, and Chairman of the U.S. National Intelligence Council. He is author of four books, including Foreign Policy Breakthroughs: Cases in Successful Diplomacy (Oxford University Press, 2015).

The lecture series "New Research on the Cold War" is a joint project of the Humboldt University of Berlin and the Berlin Center for Cold War Studies.

*The lecture is in English.