Miller Center

Miller Center National Fellowship

Beginning in the 2017-2018 academic year, the National Fellowship Program, a longstanding initiative of the Miller Center, will fall under the leadership of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation at U.Va.. The Jefferson Scholars Foundation, created in 1980, currently offers the premier graduate fellowship and undergraduate scholarship at the University. To learn more about the National Fellows Program, including how to apply, click here.

Meet The Fellows

Fritz Bartel - History, Cornell University

Project: "The Privatization of the Cold War: Global Finance and the Fall of Communism"

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Fellowship year: N/A

Mentor: Daniel Sargent, University of California, Berkeley

Fritz Bartel’s dissertation examines the growth of communist states’ sovereign debt to Western banks and governments from the 1973 oil crisis through the end of the Cold War. Between 1970 and 1989, the Eastern Bloc accumulated over $90 billion of sovereign debt to Western banks and governments.  The core argument of the project is that this sovereign debt – and the bankers and policymakers on both sides of the Iron Curtain who managed it – decisively influenced the end of the Cold War.  Through studies of the financial history of Poland, Hungary, East Germany, and the Soviet Union, the project tracks the growth of Western financial power in the Eastern Bloc.  Based on extensive archival research across Europe and North America, it demonstrates the significant role that this Western financial power played in the years of transition from communism to democratic capitalism.  In so doing, The Privatization of the Cold War analyzes the rise of financial capitalism and the end of the Cold War as part of the same global history.  It is a history that illuminates the powerful role of non-state financial actors, as well as the challenges that global financial markets present to democratic governance, state sovereignty, and labor movements.


Seth Center - History, University of Virginia

Project: Spreading the American Dream?: Power, Image, and U.S. Diplomacy, 1968–1976

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Seth Center is a Historian in the Special Projects Division of the Office of the Historian at the U.S. Department of State.

His principal duty consists of conducting policy-supportive historical analyses. He serves as historian for Deputy Secretary William J. Burns. 

Center is researching, writing, and managing the “Iraq History Project” focused on the role of diplomacy and diplomats in Iraq between 2003 and 2012. He is researching and writing the history of public diplomacy and “The War of Ideas” requested by the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. On the request of policymakers, including the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and Under Secretary, he produces short historical analyses and briefs to support budget justifications, policy formulation, and Congressional testimony. He is researching and writing a “Lessons Learned” study on historical case studies of learning in intelligence and policy for the Director of National Intelligence “Lessons Learned” initiative. In this role he supports historically-based departmental “Lessons Learned” projects with other bureaus and interagency partners including the intelligence community and military. Other duties include advising department principals on preserving and managing historical records; serving on the Department’s Electronic Records Working Group for the Under Secretary for Management; conducting oral histories with current and former officials including Secretaries of State, diplomats, military officers, and intelligence professionals; and briefing/lecturing internal government (diplomatic, intelligence, and military) audiences on US foreign policy, military and intelligence policy and history, and State Department history.

Center's dissertation examined how America's image-makers in the United States Information Agency defined America's image problems in the midst of the turmoil and transformations of the 1970s, designed a program focused on the Bicentennial of the American Revolution to allay global anxiety and hostility, and implemented public diplomacy effort overseas. It concluded with an analysis of the international response to the campaign. 

Selected Recent Publications

The Evolution of American Public Diplomacy: Four Historical Insights, State Department Fact Sheet (December 2, 2013).
 


Brendan Green - Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Project: Two Concepts of Liberty: American Grand Strategy and the Liberal Tradition

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Brendan Green is the Stanley Kaplan Visiting Fellow in the Department of Political Science and Leadership Studies at Williams College.

Green's dissertation synthesized and added to scholarly literature that explores the effect of liberal ideology on political life in America and liberalism's influence on American foreign policy traditions. Green argued that differing visions of the concept of liberty led to the splintering of American liberal thought. He developed a theory of liberalism's effects on foreign policy and tested it on American Grand Strategy toward Europe in the 20th century, arguing that the early 20th century and inter-war period featured a back and forth contest between positive and negative versions of liberalism, resulting in the American intervention in World War I, followed by two decades of isolation. After World War II, Green contended, a still relevant conception of negative liberty among American foreign policy elites shaped America's search for an exit from Europe because it was perceived to be less costly; the expansion of the state and the mobilization of resources for foreign policy was perceived to interfere with liberty at home. He argued that by the early 1960s, positive liberty had achieved widespread acceptance among the foreign policy elite, causing a switch to a firm commitment in Europe. Not only was there no longer any perceived trade-off with liberty at home, but the positive conception of liberty implied a need to reinforce and spread market democracy abroad – key prerequisites of achieving a positive notion of political freedom. This led to a continued European commitment and its expansion, through peaceful and warlike means, after the Cold War.

Selected Recent Publications

U.S. Military Innovation Since the Cold War: Creation Without Destruction, with Harvey Sapolsky and Benjamin Friedman, (Routledge 2009).


Michael Morgan - History, New York University

Project: The Origins of the Helsinki Final Act, 1954–1975

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Fellowship year: 2008

Mentor: Tony Judt, New York University

Michael Morgan is Assistant Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Morgan’s research focuses on the international history of the twentieth century, especially the Cold War. His current project examines the origins of the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, a 35-country agreement that was a turning point in East-West relations and a landmark in the history of human rights.  He teaches courses on the history of international relations since the seventeenth century and the history of human rights.

Morgan's dissertation argued that the signing of the Helsinki Final Act in August 1975 was a turning point in the history of the Cold War. The brief ceremony in the Finnish capital was the culmination of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), one of the largest and most ambitious diplomatic undertakings in European history. Over the course of nearly three years, 35 countries jointly hammered out an agreement that covered almost every aspect of international affairs, including sovereignty and borders, economic and commercial relations, and human rights. By injecting human rights into geopolitics for the first time, by calling the centuries-old principle of absolute sovereignty into question, and by raising the possibility of reunifying a divided Europe, the Final Act had profound consequences for the future of the Cold War. It crystallized the difference between the political systems of Eastern and Western Europe, secured communist recognition of basic human rights standards, and, most importantly, bolstered dissident movements across Eastern Europe. Since the end of the Cold War, the Final Act's contribution to the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe has been widely acknowledged, and Morgan's dissertation, based on newly-declassified material from North American and European archives, was the first comprehensive account of how and why it came into being.

Selected Recent Publications

The Ambiguities of Humanitarian Intervention.” in Hal Brands and Jeremi Suri, eds., The Power of the Past: History and Statecraft (Brookings Institution Press, 2015)

The Seventies and the Rebirth of Human Rights.” in Niall Ferguson, Charles Maier, Erez Manela, and Daniel Sargent, eds., The Shock of the Global: The International History of the 1970s (Harvard University Press, 2010).
The United States and the Making of the Helsinki Final Act.” in Fredrik Logevall and Andrew Preston, eds., Nixon in the World: American Foreign Relations 1969–1977  (Oxford University Press, 2008).


Douglas O’Reagan - History, University of California, Berkeley

Project: Science, Technology and Diplomacy: American, British, and French Efforts to Extract German Science and Technology During and Following the Second World War

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Fellowship year: 2014

Mentor: James Hershberg, George Washington University

Douglas O'Reagan has been selected as the Ambrose Monell Foundation Funded Fellowship in Technology and Democracy.

Douglas O'Reagan is a postdoctoral fellow in Digital Humanities in the Departmentof History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 2016 where he works closely with faculty members of Humanities subjects (History, Literature, Global Studies and Languages, and Comparative Media Studies/Writing) to produce a comprehensive assessment of the needs, current capacity, and future uses of digital humanities at MIT.  Prior to joining MIT, O'Reagan was visiting Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities in the Department of History at Washington State University

O'Reagan's dissertation, "Science, Technology and Diplomacy: American, British, and French Efforts to Extract German Science and Technology During and Following the Second World War," provided a comparative perspective and analysis of the possibilities and difficulties of international technology transfer.  Following the Second World War, the United States, United Kingdom, and France operated cooperative yet competitive efforts to extract technology, industrial machinery, and scientific personnel from Germany. The United States and United Kingdom began these efforts in a joint study of German military technology for use against Japan, yet they quickly expanded to cover all aspects of civilian industrial technology, and the newly-established Gaullist French government eagerly joined in, each nation anticipating great value from these "intellectual reparations." Some aspects of these programs have become something like common knowledge - the most famous case being the German aeronautical engineers led by Wernher von Braun drafted into American space research through "Operation Paperclip" – but they have rarely been considered in a wider context, as a phenomenon international in character but with key differences in the programs' implementation and goals in each national context. O'Reagan's dissertation also examines the role of access to shared technology in postwar international economic integration; how each nation's postwar challenges, and a growing perception of the importance of science and technology in overcoming them, impacted early Cold War diplomacy; and how these local circumstances shaped each country's experience of the broader phenomenon of the drawing together of industry, academic institutions, and governments experienced by each nation during and quickly following the war.

Selected Recent Publications

"Learning to Code, Learning to Collaborate.Berkeley Digital Humanities blog, July 9, 2015.

"French Scientific Exploitation and Technology Transfer from Germany in the Diplomatic Context of the Early Cold War." International History Review (February 13, 2014)

HistoriCal Outreach Podcast


R. Joseph Parrott - History, University of Texas - Austin

Project: “Struggle for Solidarity: New Left Politics and African Decolonization"”

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R. Joseph Parrott is a Chauncey Postdoctoral Fellow with the International Security Studies program at Yale University. He studies the intersections of decolonization and the Cold War, the effects of transnational activism on Western domestic politics, and Pan-Africanism. He earned his PhD in history from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2016 with a dissertation entitled “Struggle for Solidarity: New Left Politics and African Decolonization.”

Dr. Parrott is currently revising a manuscript that examines the formation of a broad solidarity network in the United States and Europe in support of African nationalism. Drawing on theories of globalization and transnationalism, he argues that the technological and political decentralization of the international system linked peoples across geographical and linguistic borders in ways that directly influenced Euro-American perceptions of the global South. Western activists rallied to the cause of socialist liberation in Mozambique, Angola, and Guinea-Bissau despite official support for North Atlantic ally Portugal. Westerners merged the domestic pursuit of racial equality with goals of African self-determination to craft grassroots movements that articulated an ideology of global social justice and economic reform. The popularity of this New Left internationalism directly influenced policymakers sensitive to public opinion in the wake of the Vietnam War, most clearly evidenced by successful domestic opposition to Gerald Ford’s anti-communist intervention in postcolonial Angola. Cutting across intellectual, diplomatic, and socio-cultural histories of the Cold War, the project argues that the growth of an influential solidarity network helped transform American debates over foreign policy and intervention in the global South.

Before completing his degree, Dr. Parrott held pre-doctoral fellowships with the Miller Center, Yale ISS, and the Black Metropolis Research Consortium at the University of Chicago. He has received grants from three presidential libraries, the Council for European Studies, the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, and the New York Public Library among others. He is currently working to assemble an academic study of Revolutionary Tricontinentalism, and his writings have appeared in the peer-reviewed Race & Class, WGBH’s OpenVault, and on various academic and popular history websites including OZY, the History News Network, and Exeter’s Imperial and Global Forum. Dr. Parrott holds an MPP degree from the University of Virginia. Follow him on Twitter at @RJParrott_

Selected Recent Publications

"When Black Power Went Global." Ozy. 27 May 2016.

"Charleston Shooting Exposes America's Pro-Apartheid Cold War Past." Imperial and Global Forum. 6 July 20165.

A Luta Continua: Radical Filmmaking, Pan-African Liberation, and Communal Empowerment.” Race & Class 57, no. 1 (July-September, 2015): 20-38.


Robert Rakove - History, University of Virginia

Project: Befriending the Nonaligned: Kennedy, Johnson and the Neutral Powers

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Robert Rakove is a Lecturer in History at Stanford University.

Rakove studies the history of U.S. foreign relations.  His book, Kennedy, Johnson, and the Nonaligned World examines a critical period in the history of the relationship between the United States and the postcolonial world.  He is broadly interested in the interaction between the Cold War and decolonization.  

Rakove's dissertation examined the goals and strategies behind the policy of nonalignment, as well as its impact on world events in the 1960s. More broadly, this project pondered the dilemmas posed by efforts to reach beyond existing geopolitical relationships. Inevitably, it must consider basic structural questions: were the nonaligned states, each fielding major regional aspirations, viable partners for Washington? Were there inherent structural obstacles that could not be overcome? The dilemmas of great power status were central to this project, and the lessons we might learn from studying the challenges faced by Kennedy and Johnson bear some relevance in today's multipolar world.

Selected Recent Publications

Kennedy, Johnson, and the Nonaligned World (Cambridge University Press, 2012).

Two Roads to Belgrade: The United States, Great Britain and the First Nonaligned Conference.” Cold War History 14, No. 3 (2014) 337-357


Sarah E. Robey - History, Temple University

Project: The Atomic American: Citizenship in a Nuclear State, 1945-1963

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Fellowship year: 2016

Mentor: Brian Balogh, University of Virginia

Robey has been selected as the Ambrose Monell Foundation Funded Fellow in Technology and Democracy .

Nuclear weapons altered the relationship between the American state and its citizens in the early Cold War. From the Trinity Test forward, Americans grappled with the consequences of the nuclear weapons revolution. Among other challenges facing the nation, it was clear that military defense against a nuclear strike was nearly impossible and civilian preparation programs could cost billions of dollars. Should deterrence peacekeeping fail, Americans would face an attack without military protection, making large-scale civilian casualties unavoidable. “And yet,” Senator Brien McMahon puzzled in 1950, “the first duty of a sovereignty is to protect its people.” Nuclear weapons unsettled Americans’ ideas about federal protection, individual responsibility, and public safety. Under the threat posed by nuclear weapons technology, these conflicting concerns shaped domestic and international policy and framed national identity in the Atomic Age.

“The Atomic American: Citizenship in a Nuclear State, 1945-1963” explores the ways American policymakers, civilians, and scientists understood nuclear survival to be a product of the democratic relationship between the citizen and the state. Many new voices of authority emerged at the intersection of nuclear science and American civic culture: scientists became policy experts, science fiction marshaled moral critique, politicians assumed unpopular platforms for disarmament, and housewives became environmental advocates. By examining how nuclear survival was both a grassroots phenomenon and a top-down federal project, this dissertation demonstrates that the state, its citizenry, and science were interconnected agents of change in American Cold War society.


Joy Rohde - History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania

Project: "The Social Scientists' War": Expertise in a Cold War Nation

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Joy Rohde is Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan

Rohde specializes in U.S. national security policy and the history of science. She is interested broadly in the role that scientific experts—especially social scientists—play in American national security and foreign policy. Her book, Armed with Expertise: The Militarization of American Social Research during the Cold War, investigates the Cold War origins and contemporary consequences of the Pentagon’s social research contracting system. Her current research projects include a study of the role social scientists play in the Global War on Terror and a longitudinal study of the myriad ways the American state has deployed cultural knowledge over the last century to understand, manage, and control its perceived enemies.

In the late 1950s, Army officials and civilian social scientists joined forces to combat the spread of communism to the so-called "emerging nations" of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. This fusion of social science and statecraft reached its acme at the Special Operations Research Office (SORO), an interdisciplinary research institute created in 1956 by the Army and American University. For 15 years SORO's political scientists, social psychologists, sociologists and anthropologists worked with Pentagon officials to illuminate the complex social processes involved in the creation of stable, democratic nations. But as the Vietnam War intensified in the late 1960s, a vocal community of academicians lambasted their Army-funded peers as servants of a war-mongering state, forcing SORO's closure in 1969. Rather than severing their close ties to the American state, however, SORO's experts relocated to a network of Washington think tanks and consulting agencies. From there, social scientists continued to influence American national security policy while the authority of their academic counterparts waned. Rohde's dissertation used the case of SORO to examine the multifaceted ways that social knowledge and state power extended, shaped, and reinforced one another during the Cold War.

Selected Recent Publications

"Police militarization is a legacy of cold war paranoia." The Conversation, October 22, 2014.

Armed with Expertise: The Militarization of American Social Research during the Cold War (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013). 

From Expert Democracy to Beltway Banditry: How the Anti-War Movement Expanded the Military-Academic-Industrial Complex.” in Mark Solovey and Hamilton Cravens, eds., Cold War Social Science: Knowledge Production, Liberal Democracy, and Human Nature (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2012): 137-53.

The Last Stand of the Psychocultural Cold Warriors: Military Contract Research in Vietnam.Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 47 (2011): 232-50.


Jennifer See - History, University of California

Project: American Cold War Policy in its Wider International and Domestic Context, 1945–47

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Fellowship year: 2003

Mentor: Melvyn Leffler, University of Virginia

Jennifer See is a Faculty Fellow in the Department of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

See's dissertation examined American diplomacy at the origins of the Cold War. It explored a brief two-year period, beginning in summer 1945. Fluidity and contingency characterized these months that marked the end of one world conflict and the beginnings of another. By the end of these two years, in relations with the Soviet Union, once ally against Germany and now bitter rival, containment had replaced collaboration in the American policy lexicon. She discussed three main threads that were apparent through her studies: the connection between American domestic politics and foreign policy decisions; the international context of U.S. policy; and the importance of ideology in defining the Cold War world for decision-makers.


Simon Stevens - History, Columbia University

Project: “Strategies of Struggle: International Pressure and the End of Apartheid, 1958-1994”

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Simon Stevens is the Max Webber Post-doctoral Fellow in History at the European University Institute, St. John's College at the University of Cambridge.  He carried out his PhD research in the Department of History at Columbia University in New York. Previously he received his BA and MPhil in History from the University of Cambridge. Stevens was a Choate Memorial Fellow at Harvard University, and held pre-doctoral fellowships at the Center for the US and the Cold War at New York University in addition to his Miller Center National Fellowship.

Stevens will submit hisdissertation in August 2015. Entitled ‘Strategies of Struggle: Boycotts, Sanctions, and the War Against Apartheid,’ his project analyzes the role in the strategy and tactics of the global anti-apartheid movement of campaigns for consumer, sports, and cultural boycotts, governmental trade sanctions, and corporate disinvestment.  He explores the multiple shifts in how the core constituents of the anti-apartheid movement believed apartheid might be ended, and how various forms of international action might best contribute to that end.

Stevens' research interests include transnational activism and activist movements, African political and diplomatic history, American foreign relations, Britain's post-imperial international relations, decolonization, the Cold War, internationalisms, human rights, and humanitarianism. While a doctoral candidate Stevens serves as a Teaching Fellow on courses in international, African, and American history.

Simon's publications include "'From the Viewpoint of a Southern Governor': The Carter Administration and Apartheid, 1977-1981" in Diplomatic History (2012), and  "Why South Africa? The Politics of Anti-Apartheid Activism in Britain in the Long 1970s" in The Breakthrough: Human Rights in the 1970s, edited by Jan Eckel and Samuel Moyn (Pennsylvania University Press, 2014). He has presented papers in venues including the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations annual meeting, the Ghana Studies Association conference, the Center for the United States and the Cold  War Seminar at New York University, the Department of Historical Studies Seminar at the University of Cape Town, and the Cold War Research Seminar at the London School of Economics.


James G. Wilson - History, University of Virginia

Project: Bolts from the Blue: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the End of the Cold War

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James Graham Wilson is a Historian at the U.S. Department of State.

He received his B.A. from Vassar College in 2003, and subsequently worked as a research assistant to Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. He has presented portions of his dissertation in Rome, Geneva, Cologne, and Amsterdam, and has received the U.Va Award for Excellence in Scholarship in the Humanities & Social Sciences as well as the U.Va Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. Recent articles have appeared in Diplomacy and Statecraft, Presidential Studies Quarterly, and the Journal of American Studies.

James's first book, The Triumph of Improvisation: Gorbachev's Adaptability, Reagan's Engagement, and the End of the Cold War was published by Cornell University Press in 2013.  It was based upon his dissertation, which drew upon fresh archival evidence that illuminates decision-making in Washington and Moscow during the last ten years of the Cold War. It contends that policymakers neither formulated a strategy for victory nor even articulated what victory meant—at least until the Berlin Wall crumbled in November 1989; that the revolutions of 1989-1990 were made possible by broad historical forces such as changes in the international economy and the nascent information age; and that the twilight struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union ended peacefully because of Gorbachev's devotion to new thinking, new faces, and the Soviet leader's (ill-founded) belief that he could reconfigure communism to adapt to a new era.

Selected Recent Publications

"Key Figures at the End of the Cold War." C-Span Discussion, April 28, 2014.

The Triumph of Improvisation: Gorbachev's Adaptability, Reagan's Engagement, and the End of the Cold War (Cornell University Press, 2013)


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