photo: Hope Harrison

Hope M. Harrison

Associate Professor of History and International Affairs
Suite 412
Address: Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, N.W.
Phone: 202-994-6342
Fax: 202-994-5436

Areas of Expertise

International history of the Cold War, Russian foreign policy, German foreign policy, the influence of history on policy making in international affairs, the politicization of history, truth and reconciliation, historical justice, transitional justices, the collapse of East Germany and German unification, Germany since reunification, the Caucasus, and the U.S. foreign and security policymaking process


Dr. Harrison received her bachelor's degree from Harvard University (cum laude, Social Studies) and obtained her master's and doctorate degrees in Political Science from Columbia University, including a Certificate from the Harriman Institute. She taught at Brandeis University and Lafayette College where she was an assistant professor. Professor Harrison has held research fellowships at the American Academy in Berlin, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Norwegian Nobel Institute, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Davis Center at Harvard University, and the Free University of Berlin.

Dr. Harrison's current book project examines how Germans are dealing with the East German communist past. Her work focuses on recent debates about different approaches to depicting the Berlin Wall and other remnants of the division and the former communist regime.

In 2003, Princeton University Press published Professor Harrison's book, Driving the Soviets up the Wall: Soviet-East German Relations, 1953-1961. Based on her extensive work in archives of the former Soviet Union and East Germany, the book examines the process leading up to the building of the Berlin Wall and demonstrates the ways the weaker East Germans were able to exert leverage on the Soviets to persuade the reluctant Soviets to build the Berlin Wall. Professor Harrison has appeared on CNN, C-SPAN and the History Channel and has been interviewed on the Wilson Center's "Dialogue" radio show to discuss her work on the cold war. Harrison's book won the 2004 Marshall Shulman Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies for the best book on the international behavior of the countries of the former communist bloc.

Professor Harrison was on leave for the 2000-2001 academic year and served in the White House on the National Security Council in both the Clinton and Bush Administrations. She was Director for European and Eurasian Affairs with responsibility for U.S. policy toward Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan. Among the issues she focused on were the peace process between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, the reconciliation process between Turkey and Armenia, and Georgian ties with the U.S. and Russia.


Ph.D., Columbia University

Classes Taught

HIST 3045 The International History of the Cold War

HIST 3168 The Two Germanys and the Cold War

HIST 6188 Readings Seminar: Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917-1985

HIST 6030 The Uses of History in International Affairs

HIST 6051 Rethinking the Cold War