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Announcing NPIHP Fellow Giordana Pulcini

The Evolution of Neoconservative Thinking on US Nuclear Policy in the 1970s and 1980s

The Nuclear Proliferation International History Project is pleased to welcome Giordana Pulcini to the project as a 2010 NPIHP Fellow.

Pulcini's research centers upon the relationship between US strategic arms control policy and the rise of the neoconservative movement in the US in the 1970s and 1980s.

Many US nuclear and foreign policy experts (including Paul Nitze, Eugene Rostow, Albert Wohlstetter and Richard Perle) and some leading figures in the Democratic Party (including Senators Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson and Daniel Patrick Moynihan) believed that the United States' failure to modernize its nuclear forces in the 1970s combined with detente-era arms control agreements might place the US in a substantially weaker position vis-a-vis the Soviet Union in the 1980s.

In addition to exploring this dynamic and its impact upon the SALT II treaty and the election of Ronald Reagan to the presidency, Pulcini also aims to explore how neoconservative thinking shaped the broader debate on nuclear weapons and arms control for the last two decades of the Cold War, as well as how a characteristically neoconservative theoretical approach to foreign and security policy impacted US policy following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Giordana Pulcini is an NPIHP Fellow based at the University of Roma Tre in Rome Italy. She earned her Ph.D. in 2008 in political science from Roma Tre with a dissertation on US domestic opposition to strategic arms control during the 1970s. During a recent conference hosted by the American Studies Association of Italy she contributed to a roundtable on US foreign policy history entitled Ten Ways of Doing American Studies.

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Nuclear Proliferation International History Project

The Nuclear Proliferation International History Project is a global network of individuals and institutions engaged in the study of international nuclear history through archival documents, oral history interviews, and other empirical sources. At the Wilson Center, it is part of the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program.  Read more

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy ProgramĀ uses history to improve understanding of important global dynamics, trends in international relations, and American foreign policy.  Read more