New CWIHP Publication: "A Chance for Peace? The Soviet Campaign to End the Cold War, 1953-1955" by Geoffrey Roberts

Nov 18, 2008

CWIHP is pleased to announce the publication of the latest addition to the CWIHP Working Paper Series, Working Paper No. 57, "A Chance for Peace? The Soviet Campaign to End the Cold War, 1953-1955" by Geoffrey Roberts.

In his paper, Roberts suggests that the "‘chance for peace' after Stalin's death was actually a prolonged process rather than a momentary opportunity."

Drawing heavily upon documents from the Arkhiv Vneshnei Politiki Rossiiskoi Federatsi (AVPRF), the Rossiiskii Gosudarstvennyi Arkhiv Noveishei Istorii (RGANI), and the Rossiiskii Gosudarstvennyi Arkhiv Sotsial'no-Politicheskoi Istorii (RGASPI), Roberts argues that between 1953 and 1955, Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov put forth several good-faith proposals to unify the divided Germany, and to "replace the Cold War blocs with pan-European collective security structures."

Greeted with skepticism in the West, these proposals were initially rejected as propaganda, and it was not until late 1955 that "the Western powers themselves proposed pan-European collective security arrangements in exchange for all-German elections leading to German unity." Prospects for an early end to the Cold War faded, however, when "Khrushchev, supported by the rest of the Soviet leadership, blocked any deal involving a trade-off of German unity for pan-European collective security."

Click here to read Working Paper No. 57, or browse the entire CWIHP Working Paper series.

Experts & Staff

  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • Laura Deal // Catalog Specialist
  • Pieter Biersteker // Editorial Assistant
  • Charles Kraus // Program Assistant
  • Evan Pikulski // Program Assistant
  • Roy O. Kim // Program Assistant
  • James Person // Deputy Director, History and Public Policy Program; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project