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Kamran Scot Aghaie, Chair CAL 528 | 204 W 21st St F9400 | Austin, TX 78712-1029 • 512-471-3881

Jeremi Suri

Professor Ph.D. in History, 2001, Yale University

Professor; Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs
Jeremi Suri


  • Phone: 512-475-7242
  • Office: GAR 2.122/ SRH 3.378
  • Office Hours: Fall 2013: T 1:30-3 p.m. in SRH 3.378; W 1:30-3 p.m. in GAR 2.122
  • Campus Mail Code: B7000


Dr. Jeremi Suri is an international historian of the modern world, fascinated by the connections between peoples, ideas, and societies. His work focuses on policy-making, governance, social movements, and cultural (mis)understandings.

Dr. Suri has a joint appointment in the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and the University of Texas at Austin Department of History. Suri was previously with the University of Wisconsin, where he was the E. Gordon Fox Professor of History, the Director of the European Union Center of Excellence, and the Director of the Grand Strategy Program.

He has received numerous awards for his research and teaching, and Smithsonian Magazine named him one of America's "Top Young Innovators" in the Arts and Sciences in 2007. He is the author of four books, including the widely acclaimed biography of one of America’s most distinguished diplomats, Henry Kissinger and the American Century (Harvard University Press, 2007). His latest book, Liberty's Surest Guardian: American Nation-Building from Washington to Obama, will be the Free Press/ Simon and Schuster's lead non-fiction release in the fall of 2011.

Suri earned his B.A. in history from Stanford University in 1994 and an M.A. in history from Ohio University in 1996. He then earned his PhD from Yale University in 2001.

Professor Suri blogs on foreign policy and contemporary politics at His research interests include the formation and spread of nation-states; the emergence of modern international relations; the connections between foreign policy and domestic politics; the rise of knowledge of institutions as global actors; contemporary foreign policy; international security; protest and dissident movements, and globalization.

Please visit and his LBJ faculty profile for more information.


The formation and spread of nation-states; the emergence of modern international relations; the connections between foreign policy and domestic politics; the rise of knowledge institutions as global actors.

MES 384 • Strat/Ideas/Statcrft: Amer Exp

41973 • Spring 2013
Meets T 900am-1200pm SRH 3.124
(also listed as GOV 388L, HIS 381 )
show description

*Co-taught with Dr. Peter Trubowitz*

Course Description

This seminar examines the sources, implementation, and consequences of American foreign policy strategy. Drawing on the work of historians and political scientists, we will explore how geopolitics, domestic politics, and strategic ideas have shaped America’s international priorities and policy practice. To this end, the seminar will focus on several critical junctures in the American experience to consider how new understandings of the nation’s international purposes arise, and the contours of debates over how best to pursue them. A portion of the course will be set aside to examine contemporary visions of the evolving geopolitical landscape and what these visions mean for U.S. statecraft in the present and near future.


Course requirements

Weekly seminar participation Two 5-page reaction papers and weekly Blackboard postings 10 page research proposal or policy brief
 Take home final exam    


Course readings

John Lewis Gaddis, Strategies of Containment

James Goldgeier and Derek Chollet, Between the Wars

Jeffrey Legro, Rethinking the World

Edward Luce, Time to Start Thinking

Charles Kupchan, No One’s World

James Mann, Rise of the Vulcans

John Mearsheimer, Tragedy of Great Power Politics

Christopher McKight Nichols, Promise and Peril

Jeremi Suri, Henry Kissinger and the American Century

Marc Trachtenberg, The Craft of International History

Peter Trubowitz, Politics and Strategy


Liberty’s Surest Guardian: American Nation-Building from the Founders to Obama (Simon and Schuster, 2011)
        Suri's webpage for Liberty's Surest Guardian

American Foreign Relations since 1898 (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010)

Henry Kissinger and the American Century (Harvard, 2007)

The Global Revolutions of 1968 (Norton, 2007)

Power and Protest: Global Revolution and the Rise of Detente (Harvard, 2003)

How do We Talk to One Another? The Future of Diplomacy

Read this article: Global Brief Magazine (Spring/Summer 2011), 14-18.

Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy

Read this article: History Now 27 (March 2011).

Conflict and Cooperation in the Cold War: New Directions in Research

Read this article: Journal of Contemporary History 46 (January 2011), 5-9.

Where are the Kissingers for the 21st Century?

Read this article: Global Brief (Winter 2010), 32-35.

Disarmament Attempts Past: Successes and Failures

Read this article: U.S. Department of State ejournal 15 (February 2010), 20-24.

Orphaned Diplomats: The American Struggle to Match Diplomacy with Power

Read this article: in The Prudent Use of Power (Tobin Project, 2010), 13-30.

American Grand Strategy After the Cold War’s End to 9/11

Read this article: Orbis 53 (Fall 2009), 611-27.

The Rise and Fall of an International Counterculture, 1960–1975

…Existential angst was not unique to the period, but it became pervasive in a context of heightened promises about a better life and strong fears about the political implications of social deviance. Ideological competition in the Cold War encouraged citizens to look beyond material factors alone, and to seek a deeper meaning in their daily activities.

Read this article:  The American Historical Review, 114:45–68, February 2009

Henry Kissinger, the American Dream, and the Jewish Immigrant Experience in the Cold War

Read this article:  Diplomatic History 32 (November 2008), 719-47.

Nuclear Weapons and the Escalation of Global Conflict since 1945

Read this article: International Journal 63 (Autumn 2008), 1013-29.

Détente and Human Rights: American and West European Perspectives on International Change

Read this article: Cold War History 8 (November 2008), 527-45.

The Nukes of October: Richard Nixon’s Secret Plan to Bring Peace to Vietnam

On the morning of October 27, 1969, a squadron of 18 B-52s — massive bombers with eight turbo engines and 185-foot wingspans — began racing from the western US toward the eastern border of the Soviet Union…Codenamed Giant Lance, [President] Nixon’s plan was the culmination of a strategy of premeditated madness he had developed with national security adviser Henry Kissinger.

Read full article at (25 Oct 2008) …

Henry Kissinger’s Lessons for George W. Bush

Although Kissinger’s insights from fighting the Vietnam War have not helped in Iraq, his maneuvers with China do provide a model for navigating relations with Iran. Here is a roadmap for President Bush and Kissinger’s closest contemporary counterpart, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, to begin their historic opening to Iran.

Read more at History News Network (July, 20, 2007)

The Cold War, Decolonization, and Global Social Awakenings: Historical Intersections

Read this article: Cold War History 6 (August 2006), 353-63.

The Promise and Failure of ‘Developed Socialism:’ The Soviet ‘Thaw’ and the Crucible of the Prague Spring, 1964-1972

Read this article: Contemporary European History 15 (May 2006), 133-58.

The world the superpowers made

The devastation of Europe and Asia in 1945 left two states with inordinate influence on the future course of international affairs – the United States and the Soviet Union. These were the only two countries to emerge from the Second World War stronger than before they entered it. They had mobilised their vast resources for maximum effect: building more weapons and placing more citizens under arms than ever before in either nation’s history. They had also expanded their territorial control and influence far beyond previous limits. When US President Harry Truman and Soviet General Secretary Josef Stalin met in Potsdam, Germany in July 1945 most observers recognised that the decisions of these two men would determine the future course of world history.

Read more at History in Focus (Spring 2006)

Non-Governmental Organizations and Non-State Actors

From Palgrave Advances in International History, ed. Patrick Finney (2005)

The Cultural Contradictions of Cold War Education: The Case of West Berlin

Read this article: Cold War History 4 (April 2004), 1-20.

Reinventing NASA, Part Two: ‘New frontiers’ and the tempests along the way

Historians will look back on early 2004 as a momentous period in the life of our universe. The landing of two exploratory vehicles on Mars and President Bush’s speech at NASA headquarters indicate that the world has embarked on a new age of exploration…At first glance, Bush’s words evoke parallels with President John F. Kennedy’s muscular rhetoric in the early 1960s.

Read more at San Francisco Chronicle (February 1, 2004, page D-5)

Explaining the End of the Cold War: A New Historical Consensus?

Read this article: Journal of Cold War Studies 4 (Fall 2002), 60-92.

America’s Search for a Technological Solution to the Arms Race: The Surprise Attack Conference of 1958 and a Challenge for “Eisenhower Revisionists”

Read this article: Diplomatic History 21 (Summer 1997), 417-51.

Co-taught Courses

HIS 381 | The Long Cold War, 1919-1991


The Cold War continues to influence contemporary global politics and policy-making. The institutions that govern our world today from domestic national security structures to international organizations like the UN, NATO, and even international financial institutions were largely shaped by the Cold War. Our ways of understanding international relations were likewise influenced by the omnipresence of military threats, real or imagined, to our security and well-being, which may help explain the over-militarized U.S. response to many post-Cold War security challenges.Today's students and policy-makers must understand the key elements of the Cold War in order to manage contemporary institutions and challenges. This seminar will study the "long history of the Cold War," going back to the early twentieth century and up to the present, for the purpose of illuminating powerful political, economic, social, cultural, and ideological dynamics that continue to shape global power. The course will seek to offer knowledge of origins, an appreciation for inherited legacies, and a recognition of often overlooked opportunities, born of prior experiences. As a whole, this course will use close historical analysis to build a foundation for looking to the future of domestic and especially foreign policy.

Unique: 39650
Meets W 200pm-500pm SRH 3.316
(also listed as REE 385)

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