Events

Webcast

Death and Redemption: The Gulag and the Shaping of Soviet Society

May 19, 2011 // 4:00pm5:30pm
Death and Redemption examines the Gulag's role defining the border between reintegration into society and permanent removal through death. Steven Barnes focuses on Kazakhstan's Karaganda region, a location that hosted a number of Soviet detention institutions, and suggests that the Gulag should be construed as a "corrective facility," which gave its occupants a final chance to prove themselves through forced labor. Those who succeeded returned home after years of brutal, forced labor; the ones who "failed" died. Barnes traces the evolution of the Gulag from its origins post-1917, immediately following the Russian Revolution up to the death of Stalin in 1953. The author draws on recently declassified materials from Russia and Kazakhstan, including memoirs of survivors, to show that the Gulag as an institution remained closely linked to the Soviet idea of creating an utopian socialist society.
Webcast

Cold War on the Home Front: The Soft Power of Midcentury Design

May 18, 2011 // 4:00pm5:30pm
Greg Castillo, Associate Professor, University of California, Berkeley will discuss his latest book, an in-depth history of how domestic goods and environments were exploited on both sides of the Iron Curtain to promote either capitalism or socialism.
Webcast

From Historian to Incidental Diplomat: The Writing of History Before and After Participating in its Making

May 18, 2011 // 2:30pm3:30pm
Former deputy foreign minister and negotiator for Armenia Gerard J. Libaridian will present a talk entitled From Historian to Incidental Diplomat: The Writing of History Before and After Participating in its Making drawing extensively on his own experience and revelations as a diplomat for Armenia and as a historian of Armenian foreign policy.

Talking Turkey: On the Heels of Elections and in the Midst of Arab Turmoil

May 18, 2011 // 11:00am12:00pm
“When it comes to the Arab revolts and Turkey’s relations with its near abroad, there are more questions than answers to be found,” claimed Cengiz Candar. He argued that Turkey’s foreign policy agenda seems to be complicated by its inconsistent approach to the revolutions in the Middle East and Turkey’s publicity-seeking Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu.
Webcast

The Invention of Ecocide

May 12, 2011 // 4:00pm5:30pm
As the American public began to question the war in Vietnam, a group of scientists deeply concerned about their government's use of Agent Orange and other herbicides started a movement to ban what they called "ecocide." U.S. Deptartment of State Historian David Zierler in his latest book entitled The Invention of Ecocide, traces this movement, from the 1940s, when weed killer was developed in agricultural circles and when theories of counterinsurgency were studied by the military.

Upheaval in the Middle East: What Is the Turkish Strategy?

May 12, 2011 // 3:00pm4:30pm
As a predominantly-Muslim democracy, ally of the West, a booming market economy and emerging “soft power”, Turkey has long been identified as a model for the political transformation in the Middle East. However, once the revolutions began, Turkey’s ability to contribute to democracy and stabilization appeared more limited than many thought.
Webcast

South Africa and the End of Apartheid

May 02, 2011 // 4:00pm5:30pm
Upon his release from prison, Nelson Mandela led the crowd in a rousing chant of the old resistance phrase, "Come Back Africa." Now, twenty years later, we may begin to ask what kind of Africa is coming back. The question can be addressed by looking beyond the struggle of the African National Congress to focus on ordinary people's mobilizations in the past. A history of generational conflict, chiefship, and trans-ethnic solidarity continues to be felt in the present.

An Incoherent Policy: Rule of Law Reform in Central Europe and Beyond

April 29, 2011 // 12:00pm1:00pm
Stephen Humphreys's analysis of rule of law theory and practice identified a wide gulf between the theory and the manner in which "rule of law" is promoted abroad. Moreover, according to Humphreys, the extraordinarily ambitious rule of law promotion project has devolved into an incoherent policy because it is treated simply as a technocratic exercise, with few resources and little controversy.

The Bush Administration's Decision for War in Iraq, 2003

April 27, 2011 // 4:00pm5:30pm
Wilson Center Public Policy Scholar Melvyn P. Leffler will review prevailing interpretations and suggest how his current research may refine our understanding of the decision to intervene militarily in Iraq in 2003.
Webcast

America's International Civil War

April 25, 2011 // 4:00pm5:30pm
While the military contest between North and South dragged on inconclusively over four years, an equally crucial contest of diplomacy, ideology, and propaganda was waged abroad. Powerful economic interests and anti-democratic sympathies favored the South. On the other hand there was a reservoir of popular good will toward the "Great Republic" and widespread antipathy toward human slavery. Each side sought to shape foreign debate over the "American Question." The Union won only when it learned to align its cause with what foreigners understood to be an ongoing international struggle for liberty, equality, and self-government.

Pages

Experts & Staff

  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • James Person // Deputy Director, History and Public Policy Program; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • Pieter Biersteker // Editorial Assistant
  • Laura Deal // Catalog Specialist
  • Charles Kraus // Program Associate
  • Evan Pikulski // Program Assistant
  • Roy O. Kim // Program Assistant