The Transformation of American International Power in the 1970s | Wilson Center
6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

The Transformation of American International Power in the 1970s

In her latest book, Barbara Zanchetta analyzes the evolution of American-Soviet relations during the 1970s, from the rise of détente during the Nixon administration to the policy's crisis and fall during the final years of the Carter presidency. This study traces lines of continuity among the Nixon, Ford, and Carter administrations and assesses its effects on the ongoing redefinition of America's international role in the post-Vietnam era. Against the background of superpower cooperation in arms control, Dr. Zanchetta analyzes aspects of the global bipolar competition, including U.S.-China relations, the turmoil in Iran and Afghanistan, and the crises in Angola and the Horn of Africa. In doing so, she unveils both the successful transformation of American international power during the 1970s and its long-term problematic legacy.

The book launch will be chaired by Christian F. Ostermann, director of the Cold War International History Project, and will feature commentary by James Hershberg.

Dr. Zanchetta earned her PhD in History of International Relations at the University of Florence in 2007, and her Italian university degree in Political Science at the University of Urbino in 2003. Before joining the Graduate Institute, she was a researcher at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs in Helsinki and, previously, at the University of Tampere. Dr. Zanchetta is also a scholar at the Machiavelli Center for Cold War Studies in Italy and in 2012 was a Visiting Fellow at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. 


  • Barbara Zanchetta

    Senior Research, The Graduate Institute Geneva
  • 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
  • James G. Hershberg

    Public Policy Scholar
    Professor of History and International Affairs at George Washington University