Dr Robert Brier’s research focuses on the intersection between international politics, intellectual history, and transnational relations in contemporary European history, with a particular focus on the history of human rights, the Cold War, and Central Europe. He is currently finishing a book manuscript on Soviet bloc dissidents—especially the Polish Solidarity Movement—and western human rights policies during the 1970s and 1980s. Based on documents in five languages, the manuscript challenges views of human rights advocacy as part of a strategy to ‘win’ the Cold War. Instead, it explores human rights as a contested moral and political language which actors in East and West adopted to redefine their political identities after the crises of the 1970s.
Dr Brier has edited Entangled Protest (Fibre, 2013), a collection of essays examining transnational perspectives on the history of dissent, co-edited a special issue of East European Politics and Societies, and has written over two dozen journal articles and book chapters in three languages on human rights history, the Cold War, and the East European dissent. In addition to teaching at LSE, Dr Brier is currently co-organizing a cycle of conferences exploring “Spaces of Globalization in Socialist Societies from the 1970s-present”.
A German native, Dr Brier received his graduate and post-graduate training at the universities of Frankfurt(Main), Wroclaw, and Marburg and obtained his PhD degree from the European University Viadrina. Before joining LSE, he worked as a senior researcher at the German Historical Institute in Warsaw and taught courses in contemporary international history at the University of Warsaw. He has received grants and scholarships from the German Academic Exchange Service, the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation, the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation, and the Gerda-Henkel-Foundation.
Dr Robert Brier teaches the following courses in the department:
At undergraduate level:
HY320: The Cold War Endgame
At masters level:
HY432: From Cold Warriors to Peacemakers: The End of the Cold War Era, 1979-1999
Aquila Polonica Best Article Award in Polish Studies (Honorable Mention), Polish Studies Association
Travel grant for research trip to the U.S., Gerda-Henkel-Foundation
Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Foundation for German-Polish Cooperation
Post-Doctoral Fellowship (declined), Gerda-Henkel-Foundation
Doctoral Fellowship, Konrad-Adenauer Foundation
Scholarship for German Students to Poland, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)