Professor Sara  Lorenzini

Professor Sara Lorenzini

Visiting Fellow

Department of International History

English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
Key Expertise
Cold War History, Development, History of European Integration

About me

I am a Professor of Contemporary History at the School of International Studies, University of Trento (Italy), where I teach courses on Cold War History, the History of European Integration (as a Jean Monnet Chair until 2022), the History of the Cold War, and on Development and Security. I held fellowships and visiting positions at LSE, Harvard University, the European University Institute, the University of Prague (Charles University and VSE Prague), the University of Konstanz, and, as a DAAD fellow, at Humboldt University and the Universität der Bundeswehr. As a Cold War historian with a marked interest in transnational history and an emphasis on economic and social history, I specialize in North-South relations and the place of Europe in the World, focusing on the history of development during the Cold War, East, and West. My most recent book, Global Development: A Cold War History (2019), is the product of years of studies on this broad topic. While studying development, I have been working on the intersections with environmentalism. I am interested in how scientists deal with the ecological consequences of infrastructural projects. I coordinate a national research project (PRIN) entitled 'Inventing the Global Environment: Science, Politics, Advocacy, and the Environment-Development Nexus in the Cold War and Beyond.' It tackles the complicated relationship between science (biology, geology, genetics, and physics) and policymaking during the Cold War. I am currently working on a book project on 'Women in leadership. Ideas on how to balance development, social justice, and the environment'. 

Expertise Details

History of Development; East-South relations; Europe in the World; German Foreign Policy (especially East Germany); Italian Foreign Policy



  • S. Lorenzini, Global Development: A Cold War History, Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ 2019 (paperback edition 2022) A Japanese translation appeared for The University of Nagoya Press, 2022 
  • S. Lorenzini, Una strana guerra fredda, il Mulino, Bologna 2017.  
  • S. Lorenzini, L’Italia e il trattato di pace del 1947, il Mulino, Bologna 2007. 
  • S. Lorenzini, Due Germanie in Africa. La cooperazione allo sviluppo e la competizione per i mercati di materie prime e tecnologie, Polistampa, Firenze 2003. 
  • S. Lorenzini, Il rifiuto di un'eredità difficile. La Repubblica Democratica Tedesca, gli ebrei e lo stato di Israele, La Giuntina, Firenze 1998. 

Edited Volumes 

  • S. Lorenzini, U. Tulli, I. Zamburlini (eds), The Human Rights Breakthrough of the 1970s, London: Bloomsbury, 2021 
  • S. Lorenzini and S. A. Bellezza (eds.), Sudditi o cittadini? L’evoluzione delle appartenenze imperiali nella Prima guerra mondiale, Roma: Viella, 2018. 
  • S. Lorenzini (ed.), Ideas of Empire after the First World War: Identity and Citizenship, Comparativ - Zeitschrift für vergleichende Geschichtsforschung 26 (2016), Heft 6. 

Selected Journal Articles and Book Chapters (in English) 

  • S. Lorenzini, Global Europe at the End of the Cold War: The Demise of the North-South Dimension?. In: Di Donato, M., Pons, S. (eds) European Integration and the Global Financial Crisis. Security, Conflict and Cooperation in the Contemporary World. Palgrave Macmillan, 2023. 
  • S. Lorenzini, “Development and the Security Paradox. How development was born to grant security but failed to do so”. In Corinna R. Unger, Iris Borowy, Corinne A. Pernet (eds) Routledge Handbook on the History of Development, 2022, p.329-343. 
  • S. Lorenzini, “Global Development in the Cold War”, Annali dell'Istituto storico italo-germanico in Trento, 2021/1, p.109-126, DOI: 10.7387/101168 
  • S. Lorenzini, “Ace in the Hole or Hole in the Pocket? The Italian Mezzogiorno and the Story of a Troubled Transition from Development Model to Development Donor”, Contemporary European History, vol. 2017 (26, III),p.441-263, DOI: 
  • S. Lorenzini, “The First World War and the Global Transformation of Colonial Empires”, Comparativ. Zeitschrift für vergleichende Geschichtsforschung 26 (2016), Heft 6, p.7-14. 
  • S. Lorenzini, “Comecon and the South in the Years of Détente: A Study on East–South Economic Relations”, European Review of History: Revue européenne d'histoire, 21:2 (2014), p.183-199, DOI: 10.1080/13507486.2014.888708  
  • S. Lorenzini, “At the Origins of European Foreign Policy: European Exceptionalism and the Case of European Development Aid” In Antoniolli, Bonatti, Ruzza (eds.), Highs and Lows of European Integration, Springer International 2018, p.11-25. 
  • S. Lorenzini, “The Socialist Camp and the Challenge of Economic Modernization in the Third World,” in Naimark, Norman; Pons, Silvio; Quinn-Judge, Sophia (eds.), The Cambridge History of Communism, vol.2, Cambridge University Press, 2017, p.341-363. 
  • S. Lorenzini, “The Emergence of Global Environmentalism: A Challenge for Italian Foreign Policy?”, Palgrave Macmillan, A. Varsori and B. Zaccaria (eds), Italy in the International system from Détente to the end of the Cold War. The Underrated Ally, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017, p.207-226.