IAEA History Research Project (University of Vienna)

Institut für Geschichte
Universität Wien
Universitätsring 1
1010 Vienna

Dr. Elisabeth Röhrlich
Tel. +43 (0)1 4277 440830



The IAEA History Research Project was founded in 2011. Since then it has acted as an umbrella for different research activities on the history of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Understanding the history of the IAEA has great significance for the study of global governance. Created at a time of the intense global tensions precipitated by the Cold War, the establishment of the IAEA stands out as a great success in international cooperation.

The IAEA History Research Project, directed by Dr. Elisabeth Röhrlich, is based the University of Vienna. The project is supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), the Austrian Central Bank, and the Carnegie Corporation of New York. It is partner of the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project (NPIHP) at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.

Cold War Interests: 

Scholarship in the growing field of international nuclear history has produced a remarkable range of new studies on national nuclear programs and histories, yet an empirically based history of the IAEA is still missing.

Against this background, the IAEA History Research Project aims to establish international research dialog among scholars in the field, and provide insight into a unique international organization. The project organizes annual workshops and conferences and has hosted visiting fellows.

The project's oral history series seeks to establish a web-based oral history resource comprising of interviews with former IAEA senior officials, scientists, and diplomats. Its goal is to contribute to an enhanced understanding of the IAEA's role during the Cold War, preserve institutional memory, and serve as a key resource for policymakers, academics, and the interested public. The first version of the digital archive was launched on the occasion of the IAEA's 60th anniversary, 2016-2017.