The Cold War Studies Programme events provide a forum for dissemination and discussion of the latest research on the Cold War and its contemporary repercussions.


Previous Events


An Awkward Alliance: West Germany and Portugal at the End of the Portuguese Empire

Wednesday 11 February 2015, 6.30 – 8.00pm, TW2, room 9.04
Speakers: Dr Rui Lopes, Dr Kristina Spohr; Chair: Professor Arne Westad


2015_02_03_Leslie- NEW!

George Padmore and Decolonisation from Below

Tuesday 3 February 2015, 6.30 - 8.00pm, room B.13, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields
Speaker: Dr Leslie James; Discussants: Professor Richard Drayton, Professor Bill Schwarz; Chair: Professor Arne Westad


Henry Kissinger: Debating his legacy in the 21st century

Thursday 15 January, 6.30-8.00pm, TW2.904, Tower Two
Speakers: Mario Del Pero, Jussi Hanhimäki; Chair: Piers Ludlow



International Conference - Southern European Socialism in the 1980s

5-6 December 2014, EUI, Florence, Italy

This conference is organised in collaboration with the European University Institute and Oxford University. 


God Save the Community: Greece's Entry into the EEC

Wednesday 5 November, 6.30-8.00pm, TW2.904, Tower Two
Speaker: Dr Eirini Karamouzi; Discussant: Dr Piers Ludlow; Chair: Professor Michael Cox 


25 Years After the End of the Cold War: Its Legacy in a New World Order

Monday 27 October, 6.30-8.00, New Theatre, East Building
Speakers: Professor Beatrice Heuser, Dr Andrew Monaghan, Professor Vladislav Zubok; Chair: Professor Michael Cox


The Polish Round Table Talks & the End of the Cold War - 25 Years On

Wednesday 4 June 2014, 6.30-8.00, Wolfson Theatre, NAB
Speakers: Anne Applebaum, Eugeniusz Smolar, Nigel Thorpe, Vladislav Zubok; Chair: Piers Ludlow


US Power in the Cold War

Thursday 20 February, 6.30-8.00, B.13, 32 LIF
Speakers: Professor Matthew Jones, Dr Barbara Zanchetta; Chair: Dr Piers Ludlow


The Crisis of EU Enlargement: Ottawa Launch

Wednesday 8 January, 16:00-17:30, Carleton University, Ottawa
Speakers: Luc-André Brunet, David Long, Crina Viju, Piotr Dutkiewicz, Joan DeBardeleben


Inviting Europe to Reform China?

Friday 13 December, Cambridge University
Speakers: Professor Arne Westad, Sir Christopher Hum


The Future of EU Enlargement

Tuesday 26 November, 18:30-20:00, Hong Kong Theatre
Speakers: Lawrence Meredith, John Peet, Dimitar Bechev; Discussant: Robert Cooper; Chair: Piers Ludlow


The Strategy of EU Enlargement

Tuesday 26 November, 13:00-17:30, B.07, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields

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The Power of Radio and the Cold War

Wednesday 19 June, 18:00-20:00, LG.18, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields
Speakers: Lord Peter Hennessy, Phil Tinline, Dr. Hilary Footitt, Dr. Alban Webb


60 Years after the end of the Korean War

Monday 3 June 2013, 2:00-6:00pm, COL 2.01, Columbia House
Speakers: Dr. Robert Barnes, Mr. Aidan Foster-Carter, Professor Heonik Kwon, Dr. James Hoare, Professor Hazel Smith


Fifty Years without JFK: Rethinking global diplomacy

Wednesday 13 March 2013, Senate House, University of London
Keynote Speaker: Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman


A Europe Made of Money - The Emergence of the European Monetary System

Tuesday 22 January 2013, 7pm, Graham Wallas Room (OLD550), Old Building
Speaker: Dr. Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol, Chair: Dr. Piers Ludlow


Historians at work: Inside the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

Monday, 22 October 2012, 4pm, COL 2.01
Speaker: Dr William B. McAllister; Chair: Dr Roham Alvandi


The Cuban Missile Crisis - regional perspectives 50 years on

Thursday, 18 October 2012, 6:30pm, Hong Kong Theatre
Speakers: Professor Antony Kapcia, Professor Hal Klepal, Dr Carlos Alzugaray Treto; Chair: Dr N. Piers Ludlow 

Negotiating While Fighting: Peace initiatives, British Policy, and the Vietnam War

Wednesday, 9 May 2012, FCO
Speakers: Sylvia Ellis, Richard Fyjis-Walker, Professor James Herschberg, Andrew Preston, Professor Patrick Salmon, Sir Robert Wade-Gery, Professor John Young; Chair: Matthew Jones, Alex Ellis

10th Annual LSE-GWU-UCSB International Graduate Conference on the Cold War

19-21 April 2012
LSE IDEAS-Cold War Studies Programme


25 years after: Soviet lessons for security transition in the Afghanistan of 2014

Wednesday, 22 February 2012, 6.30pm, NAB 2.04, New Academic Building
Speakers: Sir Rodric Braithwaite, Jorrit Kamminga; Chair: Dr N. Piers Ludlow


The Soviet Union's Collapse: Causes and Consequences

Tuesday, 24 January 2012, 6.30 pm, Hong Kong Theatre
Speakers: Sir Rodric Braithwaite, Andrei Grachev, Professor Margot Light; Chair: Professor Michael Cox


Dissidents and Diplomats: The Helsinki Final Act and the End of the Cold War

Monday, 24 October 2011, 7.00 pm, COL 2.01
Speaker: Dr Sarah Snyder; Chair: Dr Arne Hofmann 


3rd Annual European Summer School on Cold War History

7-10 September 2011
Padova, Italy


A Long Goodbye: The Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan

19 May 2011, 6.30pm, COL.B212
Speaker: Dr Artemy Kalinovsky; Chair: Dr Arne Hofmann


Catch-Up History and the Cold War

Wednesday, 23 February 2011, 6.30pm, Hong Kong Theatre
Speaker: Professor Peter Hennessy; Chair: Dr Arne Hofmann

David Hoffman

Gorbachev, Reagan and new evidence on strategic weapons and the end of the Cold War.

Monday, 7 February 2011, 7.00 pm, B212
Speaker: David Hoffman; Chair: Dr Arne Hofmann


Launch of The Cambridge History of the Cold War

20 May 2010, 6:30pm, B212
Speakers: Professors Melvyn Leffer, Arne Westad
Chair: Mr Gordon Barrass


Soviet Capitulation

Soviet Capitulation: Kabul, Berlin-Warsaw, Moscow

20 May 2010, 12:30pm, B212
Speaker: Professor Stephen Kotkin; Chair: Professor Arne Westad


LSE IDEAS Cold War Studies Seminar


Peace and the Human Person: The "Foreign Policy" of the Polish Catholic Intelligentsia Clubs with France, Belgium, and West Germany, 1956-1978

9 March 2010, 6.30pm

Speaker: Piotr H. Kosicki; Chair: Professor Arne Westad


In December 1967, Poland's Ministry of Confessional Affairs circulated to the leadership of the Polish United Workers' Party a memorandum in which it argued that the network of liberal Catholic journals and discussion groups had achieved such international prominence that the Catholic intellectuals were in fact conducting a "separate foreign policy" that "functioned in distinct contradiction with the warranted requirements of policies in this sphere mandated by the State."  Within the world of Catholic intellectuals – this movement contributed to the intellectual and political foundations of both Karol Wojtyła (John Paul II), and the Solidarity movement, and they led efforts towards Polish-German reconciliation. In their quest to be both good Catholics and good socialists, they regularly parted the Iron Curtain and problematized Cold War bipolarity, laying the groundwork for Poland's "return to Europe" in 1989.

Piotr H. Kosicki is a Centennial Fellow and ABD in the Department of History at Princeton University.

Listen to the podcast.  


Neutrality in the Early Cold War: Arms Import and Neutrality

26 January 2010, 6.00pm, B212
Speaker: Marco Wyss; Chair: Professor Nigel Ashton


The onset of the Cold War called into question whether neutrality was viable in an international system dominated by the East-West conflict. In addition, the mounting technological sophistication required to conduct modern warfare significantly contributed to the difficulty of a practicable permanent neutral policy in the early Cold War. This seminar will address these issues through the study of Switzerland's armament policy. It will examine how Switzerland's self-imposed policy of armed neutrality increased Swiss dependence on Western armaments and thereby endangered its claims to political neutrality. The Swiss were able to maintain their status of a permanent neutral after the Second World War and thus succeeded in upholding a centuries long policy. Their armed neutrality, however, required modern weaponry, and it was in search of this material that Switzerland turned to the West – mainly to the United Kingdom – in the early years of the Cold War.

Currently a Visiting Fellow at IDEAS, Marco Wyss is a PhD candidate at the University of Nottingham (Politics and International Relations) and at the University of Neuchâtel (History) where he is an Assistant in Contemporary History. Marco holds a fellowship for prospective researchers from the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Public Lectures 

Defence of the Realm

The Defence of the Realm (click to listen)

15 October 2009, 6.30pm, Old Theatre
Speaker: Christopher Andrew; Chair: Professor Arne Westad


For the first time, the British Security Service has opened its archives to an independent historian – Christopher Andrew. He will be here to speak about his book, The Defence of the Realm.

His book marks an unprecedented publishing event: to mark the centenary of its foundation, the British Security Service, MI5, has for the first time opened its archives to an independent historian. The book reveals the precise role of the Security Service in twentieth-century British history, from its foundation by Captain Kell of the British Army in October 1909, through two world wars, up to and including its present roles in counter-espionage and counter-terrorism. The book describes how MI5 has been managed, what its relationship has been with government, where it has triumphed and where it has failed. In all of this no restriction has been placed on the judgements made by the author, the eminent historian, Christopher Andrew.

Christopher Andrew is Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at Cambridge University and the world's leading scholar of intelligence history. He is also chair of the British Intelligence Study Group, co-editor of Intelligence and National Security, former Visiting Professor at Harvard, Toronto and the Australian National University, and a regular presenter of BBC Radio and TV documentaries. His thirteen previous books include The Mitrokhin Archive, and a number of path-breaking studies on the use and abuse of secret intelligence in modern history.

Dominique Lieven

The Tsar Liberates Europe? Russia against Napoleon, 1807-1814 (click to listen)

8 October 2009, 6.30pm, Sheikh Zayed Theatre
Speaker: Professor Dominic Lieven; Chair: Professor Arne Westad


In 1812-14 Alexander I defeated Napoleon's invasion of Russia and then created and led a European alliance all the way to Paris. This lecture explains why and how he did this. It discusses Russian grand strategy, diplomacy and espionage, as well as the tsarist military machine, and the mobilisation of the home front. In both Western and Russian historiography the Russian achievement in 1813-14 is greatly underestimated, which seriously distorts understanding of European power politics and the causes of Napoleon's demise. The lecture explains this underestimate partly as a legacy of Leo Tolstoy but also because while 1812 was traditionally seen by Russians as a national war, the victories of 1813-14 were interpreted as the triumph of the dynasty and empire.

Dominic Lieven graduated first in the class of 1973 in history from Cambridge University and was a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard in 1973/4. Subsequently, he has been inter alia a Humboldt Fellow in Germany, and a visiting professor at Tokyo University and Harvard.

Witness Seminar


29 May 2009, A316, Old Building 

The Cold War in the Caribbean: The Grenada Intervention, 1983
Chair: Professor Paul Sutton, Senior Professor of Caribbean Studies at London Metropolitan University

The event is co-hosted by Centre for Contemporary British History and LSE IDEAS. It will examine British policy during the crisis. By examining the fundamental differences between the USA's and the UK's view of the Grenada intervention, we will be able to see what the differences were between the two countries perceptions and conception of the Cold War. Seminar Programme

CWSP Events Archive (by year):