Defining Détente: NATO's Struggle for Identity, 1975–1984

My doctoral dissertation examines how the North Atlantic Treaty Organization defined and redefined the concept of détente, even as relations with the Eastern bloc became increasingly difficult. Détente, nevertheless, remained a crucial aspect of NATO's Cold War posture. Accordingly, the Western allies debated détente's roots, purpose, and definition as part of NATO's efforts to 'fight' the Cold War. My dissertation incorporates multi-lingual materials from both sides of the Atlantic, including national archival collections, materials from the NATO Archives, press coverage, and protest materials, to understand the myriad competing perspectives which shaped the transatlantic allies' approach to East-West relations during the late Cold War.

To support this research, I have received funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development (now Global Affairs Canada), the Simons Foundation, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, and the John A. Adams Center for Military History & Strategic Analysis at the Virginia Military Institute, as well as the School of Graduate Studies, Joint Initiative on German and European Studies, Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History, and the Department of History at the University of Toronto.