History | Wilson Center


The Dangerous Business of Defining Trade Threats

It’s been just over three decades since members of Congress smashed a Toshiba boombox with great fanfare on the footsteps of Capitol Hill in protest against the flood of Japanese exports into the United States. The visual of three Congressmen and women wielding sledgehammers made clear the U.S. legislators’ wrath against the ever-growing trade imbalance between Japan and the United States at the height of the trade war in 1987.

Capital Relocation and the Making of Soviet Kazakhstan, 1920-1929

In the first decade of its existence, Soviet Kazakhstan had three different capitals (Orenburg, Kzyl-Orda, and Alma-Ata), and several other cities were considered as potential centers for the republic. Why did Soviet authorities undergo the difficulty and expense of relocating the administrative center of a vast, sparsely populated republic not just once, but twice within the span of nine years? Title VIII Research Scholar Maria Blackwood discussed the motivations and the extensive negotiations behind these decisions to move and the various options considered for Kazakhstan’s capital.

Why Did Stalin Kill (Not All) the Lawyers?


In the late 1930s, about 160 lawyers in Moscow alone were accused of counterrevolutionary plots, sentenced to death, and shot, with a few having died in custody, and an additional sixty sent to labor camps or exiled to far-away Russian regions.

The Blind Eye: U.S. Non-Proliferation Policy towards Pakistan from Ford to Clinton

Known as the torch-bearer of arms control and non-proliferation, the United States is largely believed to be the global leader of the non-proliferation regime. To that effect, non-proliferation has remained high on its foreign policy agenda.

The Implications of Declaring an End to the Korean War

It should be said at the outset that I am very supportive of diplomacy with North Korea. I have written about the dangers of preventive strikes on North Korea and the risk of military escalation, and testified to my support for diplomacy with North Korea before Congress. Yet to support diplomacy is not to support it blind to the risks and costs involved.

The Arc of Containment: Britain, the United States, and Anticommunism in Southeast Asia

Major studies of American foreign relations treat US failures in Vietnam as the end of both a short-lived American empire and western imperialism in Southeast Asia. Ngoei argues that Vietnam was an exception to the region’s overall pro-US trajectory after 1945, that British neo-colonialism and Southeast Asian anticommunism melded with pre-existing local antipathy toward China and the Chinese diaspora to usher the region from formal colonialism to US hegemony.