The Diplomacy of Détente: Cooperative Security from Schmidt to Shultz | Wilson Center
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The Diplomacy of Détente: Cooperative Security from Schmidt to Shultz

Stephan Kieninger's book looks into Helmut Schmidt's and George Shultz's statecraft and into their contributions to the longevity of détente in Europe amidst international crisis. Kieninger argues that Schmidt and Shultz managed to maintain cooperatives security policies towards the Soviet Union finding a delicate balance between détente and deterrence against the backdrop of the Euromissile Crisis. Détente survived, it blossomed under Reagan and Gorbachev, and it had a substantial stake in the peaceful demise of the Soviet Union.

Stephan Kieninger is a post-doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins SAIS. He obtained his PhD from Mannheim University. Kieninger's current research investigates the role of Western financial aid for the Soviet Union and its impact for the emergence of the new global order. He published two books: The Diplomacy of Détente. Cooperative Security Policies from Helmut Schmidt to George Shultz (London: Routledge, 2018) and Dynamic Détente. The United States and Europe, 1964-1975 (Lanham (MD), Rowman & Littlefield, 2016).

The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks the Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest and the George Washington University History Department for their support.



  • Christian F. Ostermann

    Director, History and Public Policy Program; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
    Woodrow Wilson Center
  • Eric Arnesen

    Professor of History, The George Washington University