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“Trust, but Verify” Confidence and Distrust from Détente to the End of the Cold War

“Trust, but Verify” Confidence and Distrust from Détente to the End of the Cold War, co-sponsored by the German Historical Institute (DC) and the History and Public Policy Program.


Nov. 7 – 9, 2011
4:00pm – 12:00pm ET


5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
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The History and Public Policy Program co-hosted “Trust, but Verify” -- Confidence and Distrust from Détente to the End of the Cold War with the German Historical Institute (GHI) on November 7-9, 2011. The conference was convened by Martin Klimke (GHI), Reinhild Kreis (University of Augsburg), Sonya Michel (Wilson Center) and Christian Ostermann (Wilson Center).

Monday, November 7
Location: German Historical Institute
(Please note, a webcast is not available for Panel 1 and the Keynote on Monday, November 7.)

4:15 – 5:30 pm PANEL 1: The Personal Factor
Chair: Andreas Daum (University of Buffalo, SUNY)

Patrick Vaughan (Jagiellonian University), Zbigniew Brzezinski as Mediator between the U.S., Poland, and Solidarity in the 1980s Soviet-Chinese Dimension
presented by: Laura Considine, Nicholas Wheeler

J. Simon Rofe (University of Leicester), Trust between Adversaries and Allies: President George H.W. Bush, Trust, and the End of the Cold War
presented by: Joseph P. Harahan

6:00 – 7:15 pm Keynote Address
Ute Frevert (Max Planck Institute for Human Development), Emotions in History

Tuesday, November 8

Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

9:00 – 10:30 am Keynote Address
Deborah Welch Larson (UCLA), Trust and Mistrust during the Cold War

11:00 – 12:00 am PANEL 2: Framing Trust: The Blocs at the Negotiating Table
Chair: Reinhild Kreis (University of Augsburg)

Michael Cotey Morgan (University of Toronto), The Closed Society and Its Enemies: Confidence and Distrust at the CSCE, 1969-1975
presented by: Arvid Schors

Sarah Snyder (University College London), No Crowing: Reagan, Trust, and Human Rights
presented by: Rinna Elina Kullaa

2:00 – 3:00 pm PANEL 3: Inside the Blocs: East and West I
Chair: Sonya Michel (Woodrow Wilson Center)

Jens Gieseke (Centre for Contemporary History, Potsdam), Whom Did East Germans Trust? Popular Opinion on Threats of War, Confrontation, and Détente in the GDR, 1968-1989
presented by: Aryo Makko

Jens Boysen (GHI Warsaw), “Brothers in Arms,” But Not Quite: East Germany and People’s Poland between Mutual Dependency and Mutual Distrust, 1975-1990
presented by: Martin Klimke

3:30 – 4:30 pm PANEL 4: Inside the Blocs: East and West II
Chair: Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center)

Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol (University of Glasgow), Institutionalizing Trust? Regular Summitry (G7s and European Councils) from the Mid-1970s until the Late 1980s
presented by: Patrick Vaughan

Noel Bonhomme (Université Paris, Sorbonne), Summitry and (Mis)trust: The Case of the G7 Summits, 1975-1990
presented by: J. Simon Rofe

5:00 – 6:30 pm PANEL 5: On the Sidelines or in the Middle? Small and Neutral States
Chair: Bernd Schäfer (Woodrow Wilson Center)

Effie G. H. Pedaliu (University of the West of England), “Footnotes” as an Expression of Distrust? The U.S. and the NATO “Flanks” in the Last Two Decades of the Cold War
presented by: Michael Cotey Morgan

Aryo Makko (University of Oxford), A Neutral Trust Regime? Sweden and the Cold War, 1969-1991
presented by: Sarah Snyder

Rinna Elina Kullaa (University of Jyväskylä), Foreign Policy of Neutralism as a Trust-Building Mechanism: Finland, the Soviet Union, and the United States, 1961-1975
presented by: Jens Gieseke

Wednesday, November 9

Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

9:00 – 10:30 am PANEL 6: Implementation and Verification
Chair: Jan Logemann (GHI)

Arvid Schors (University of Freiburg), Substituting Trust to Convince Doubting Thomases: Trust and Mistrust and the Verification of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks in the 1970s
presented by: Jens Boysen

Laura Considine, Nicholas Wheeler (Aberystwyth University), Reagan May Have Had Trust in Gorbachev, but the United States Demanded Verification of the Soviet Union: Lessons from the Making of the INF Treaty
presented by: Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol

Joseph P. Harahan (U.S. Department of Defense), Building Confidence and Trust between the United States and the Soviet Union during Implementation of the INF Treaty
presented by: Noel Bonhomme

11:00 – 12:00 pm Concluding Discussion
Chair: Martin Klimke (GHI)



Andreas Daum

University of Buffalo, SUNY

Patrick Vaughan

Former Short-Term Scholar;
Professor, Institute for American Studies, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland

J. Simon Rofe

University of Leicester

Ute Frevert

Max Planck Institute for Human Development

Deborah Welch Larson


Reinhild Kreis

University of Augsburg

Michael Cotey Morgan

Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of North Carolina
Sarah B. Snyder

Sarah B. Snyder

Member, History and Public Policy Program Advisory Board
Sonya Michel

Sonya Michel

Senior Scholar;
Professor Emerita of History, American Studies and Women's and Gender Studies, University of Maryland, College Park

Jens Gieseke

Centre for Contemporary History, Potsdam

Jens Boysen

GHI Warsaw
Christian F. Ostermann

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

Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol

University of Glasgow

Noel Bonhomme

Université Paris, Sorbonne
Bernd Schaefer

Bernd Schaefer

Global Fellow, Former Senior Scholar;
Professional Lecturer, The George Washington University

Effie G. H. Pedaliu

University of the West of England

Aryo Makko

University of Oxford

Rinna Kullaa

Associate Professor of Modern European History and International Relations, University of Jyvaskyla

Jan Logemann

German Historical Institute

Arvid Schors

University of Freiburg

Laura Considine

Aberystwyth University

Nicholas Wheeler

Former Short-Term Scholar;
Ph.D.candidate, Department of Politics, University of Virginia
Joseph P Harahan

Joseph P Harahan

Former Fellow;
Senior Historian, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, U.S. Department of Defense

Martin Klimke

German Historical Institute

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History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program makes public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, facilitates scholarship based on those records, and uses these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

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