SoSe 19: The Cultural Cold War: transatlantic relations post-1945
Most commonly the Cold War is defined as a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with the Eastern Bloc, and the United States with the Western Bloc. However, the confrontation was ... read more
Most commonly the Cold War is defined as a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with the Eastern Bloc, and the United States with the Western Bloc. However, the confrontation was not restricted to proxy wars and showdowns as in the Cuban Missile Crisis between the two superpowers. As the Cold War was an all encompassing conflict, much of the struggles for the hearts and minds of people actually played out within the Western Bloc as the U.S. had to work hard to maintain a hegemonic position amongst its partners in the Atlantic Alliance including the Federal Republic of Germany.
The United States and Germany, in particular, are linked by curious turns of history in the course of the 20th century. They faced each other twice as enemies in the world wars. Despite the strong record of hostility and the atrocities of the Nazi Regime, West Germany became one of the most important partners of the U.S. in Europe during the Cold War. The course intends to revisit the well-studied first half of the Cold War period (1940s to 1970s) looking at transatlantic relations from the angle of a new diplomatic history. In doing so, we will explore individuals, entities, and perspectives that have been neglected by traditional diplomatic historians. Guiding questions for this class include: What has culture to do with international relations? What role played private elites in the conduct of foreign relations during this period? Key concepts that will accompany students throughout the semester include cultural/ public diplomacy, power elite, state-private network.