The Great Transformation? Reassessing the Causes and Consequences of the End of the Cold War
Pierre du Bois Annual Conference
Maison de la paix, Geneva
This academic conference aims to move beyond the simple identification of individual protagonists (the winners or the losers), while focusing on the processes and interactions that climaxed with the developments of 1989-1991 (from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the collapse of the Soviet Union).
At the moment, the state of research on the causes and consequences of the end of the Cold War – necessarily still at its initial phase – seems to have focused on isolated themes (e.g. the role of such individuals as Ronald Reagan or Mikhail Gorbachev; the impact of the human rights movements; the consequences of the economic reforms in the Soviet bloc), largely independent and detached from each other.
The conference seeks to act as a unique forum for bringing many of these strands together.
The topics addressed at the conference will be diverse and wide-ranging, reflecting the latest developments in the field of Cold War studies. Many of the papers presented at the conference will be based on primary research on previously classified documents.
The conference will produce several publications, and thus make a clear impact on the yet to be fully developed historiography on the causes and consequences of the end of the Cold War.
Moreover, by searching for the roots of some of the issues that have dominated the international scene since the 1990s, the conference will also open a window on the post-Cold War era. Therefore, the conference will link the past to the present, searching for the ‘lessons’ of history that are relevant for today’s policy makers.
This conference is organised by the Institute’s Department of International History, in partnership with the Pierre du Bois Foundation, with support from the Swiss National Science Foundation.