Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Johns Hopkins SAIS
Website URL
transatlantic relations, Cold War, NATO, nuclear politics, anti-nuclear activism, US foreign relations, Canadian foreign relations, modern Europe, international security
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Personal Info

About Me

Susan Colbourn is a historian of international relations interested in the Cold War, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the role of nuclear weapons in international politics and society. During the 2020-21 academic year, she is a DAAD postdoctoral fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

At present, she is working on an international history of the Atlantic Alliance during the Cold War, An Alliance for Peace. Exploring the first four decades of NATO’s history, An Alliance for Peace traces how the perceived dangers of democracy shaped the thinking of allied policymakers and the policies they pursued. While at SAIS, Susan is also beginning a short history of NATO in the 1990s.

She is the co-editor of The Nuclear North: Histories of Canada in the Atomic Age, a collection of essays on Canadian nuclear history, out with UBC Press in October 2020.

Recent Publications

“NATO as a Political Alliance: Continuities and Legacies in the Enlargement Debates of the 1990s,” International Politics 57, no. 3 (2020): 491-508.

“An Interpreter or Two: Defusing NATO’s Siberian Pipeline Dispute, 1981–1982,” Journal of Transatlantic Studies 18, no. 2 (2020): 131-51.

“‘An Unfortunate Lack of Ideas’: NATO’s ‘Out-Of-Area’ Debate and the Syrian Crisis of 1957,” co-authored with Timothy Andrews Sayle, The International History Review 42, no. 2 (2020): 336-51.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
North America, United States, Western Europe
Expertise by Chronology
Modern, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Diplomacy, Military, Politics