About the Conference. Willy Brandt and the Americas
The deadline for proposals (in English) is September 30, 2015. Proposals should include a title, a single-spaced one page abstract (no more than 500 words), and a one page CV with a list of relevant major books and articles. Please make sure to send your files as attachments with the your name clearly visible on top of each page to: Prof. Dr. Klaus Larres, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, or Dr. Bernd Rother, Bundeskanzler-Willy-Brandt-Stiftung Berlin.
Willy Brandt remained active in foreign policy beyond his resignation as Chancellor. Among his objectives were his attempts to turn Social Democracy and (western) Europe into serious global players. Brandt did not intend to leave peace and security to the superpowers. This included the United States who he was not shy to criticize frequently. As early as the debate over President Carter's neutron bomb proposal in 1978 severe differences of opinion occurred. This dispute escalated during the controversy about NATO's dual track decision, 1979-1983. At the same time the proposals of the North-South Commission, chaired by Brandt, were highly unpopular in Washington.
New global challenges occurred in the course of the events of 1989-1991. Brandt largely agreed with Washington's policy toward the unfolding process of German unification. He was less enamored by the Bush administration's intention to resolve the 1991 Kuwait crisis by military means. Instead, Brandt recommended pursuing all peaceful means of reversing Iraq's annexation of Kuwait. This conflict strengthened Willy Brandt's endeavors to develop the debate about a new world order and enhance the role of the United Nations. He also reflected on the role of the U.S. as the sole remaining superpower and the post-Cold War tasks of NATO.
Possible topics include, but are not limited to the following:
- Europe as a global player? Willy Brandt's international project(s) after 1974
- U.S. view of Willy Brandt as elder statesman
- The U.S. perspectives on Social Democracy in Europe: unbridgeable divides?
- Willy Brandt's network of contacts in the U.S. and Latin America
- Debates within Social Democracy about western policy toward the "Third World" in the 1970s and 1980s
- Social Democracy as a "third way" between communism and capitalism?
- Latin America, SPD and Socialist International - support for liberation movements or loyalty to the U.S.?
- The Brandt report as a manifesto against Reaganomics and Thatcherism: objectives, reception (especially in the U.S.) and legacy
- The conflict between Central European Social Democrats and the Reagan administration over NATO's dual track decision and Dissent in Eastern Europe
- Was Willy Brandt "anti-American"?
- The role of Germany, the U.S., and the U.N. in the post-Cold War world: Brandt's vision for a new global order.