Hope M. Harrison

Headshot of Hope Harrison

Hope M. Harrison

Professor of History and International Affairs

Full-time Faculty

Department: Faculty, GW Cold War Group


Office Phone: 202-994-5439
Fax: 202-994-0335
801 22nd St., NW Washington, DC 20052

Hope M. Harrison is Professor of History and International Affairs at The George Washington University where she has been since 1999. She is an expert on Germany, Russia, the Cold War, the Berlin Wall, and the politics and culture of memory. She is the author of After the Berlin Wall: Memory and the Making of the New Germany, 1989 to the Present (Cambridge University Press, 2019) and the prize-winning, Driving the Soviets up the Wall: Soviet-East German Relations, 1953-1961 (Princeton University Press, 2003), which was published to wide acclaim in German translation (Ulbrichts Mauer: Wie die SED Moskaus Widerstand gegen den Mauerbau brachte, Propyläen, 2011).  Dr. Harrison is the recipient of fellowships from Fulbright, the Norwegian Nobel Institute, the American Academy in Berlin, Harvard, and the Wilson Center. She has published a variety of articles in scholarly journals (Cold War History, German Politics and Society, Deutschland Archiv, Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte) and in the media (Washington PostFrankfurter Allgemeine ZeitungTagesspiegel, Welt am Sonntag, Berliner Zeitung). Dr. Harrison has appeared on CNN, C-SPAN, BBC, Voice of America, the History Channel, the Science Channel, ZDF, Deutschlandradio, and CCTV. Many of her public lectures can be found on youtube.

Dr. Harrison served as a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow at the White House where she was Director for European and Eurasian Affairs on the National Security Council staff from 2000-2001. She currently serves on the board of three institutions in Berlin connected to the Cold War and the Berlin Wall (the Allied Museum, the Berlin Wall Association, and BlackBox Cold War), and in Washington she is Co-chair of the Advisory Council of the Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program and a member of the Academic Council of the Victims of Communism Foundation. At GW’s Elliott School, Dr. Harrison has been the Associate Dean for Research (2015-2016), Director of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (2005-2009), Director of the M.A. Program in European and Eurasian Studies (2008-2009), and Director of the Summer Institute and then Program on Conducting Archival Research (2005-2011).

Modern Europe, Germany, Russia, Cold War, Memory Politics, Berlin Wall

Ph.D., Columbia University

B.A., Harvard University, 1985.

HIST 3045 The International History of the Cold War

HIST 3168 Divided and United Germany since 1945

HIST 6188 Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917-1991

HIST 6030 History and its Uses in International Affairs

HIST 6051 Rethinking the Cold War


After the Wall: Memory and the Making of the New Germany, 1989 to the Present. Cambridge University Press, 2019.

Ulbrichts Mauer: Wie die SED Moskaus Widerstand gegen den Mauerbau brach. Berlin: Propyläen Verlag, 2011.

Driving the Soviets Up the Wall: Soviet-East German Relations, 1953-1961. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003. Winner, 2004 Marshall Shulman Prize for the best book on the international affairs of the former Soviet bloc, American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies.


Scholarly articles and book chapters

“Berlin’s Gesamtkonzept for Remembering the Berlin Wall,” in Konrad H. Jarausch, Christian F. Ostermann, Andreas Etges, eds., The Cold War: Historiography, Memory, Representation (Oldenbourg: de Gruyter, 2017), pp. 239-266.

“Berlin and the Cold War Struggle over Germany,” in Artemy Kalinovsky and Craig Daigle, eds., Routledge Handbook of the Cold War (Oxford, England: Routledge, 2014), pp. 56-72.

“The Berlin Wall and its Resurrection as a Site of Memory,” German Politics and Society 29, no. 2 (Summer 2011), pp. 78-106.

Walter Ulbricht, der Bau der Mauer und der Umgang damit seit 1989” (“Walter Ulbricht and the Building of the Wall”), Deutschland Archiv 44, pp. 15-22.

Walter Ulbrichts ‘dringender Wunsch’” (“Walter Ulbricht’s ‘Urgent Desire’”), Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte (Politics and Contemporary History) (31-34/2011, August 1, 2011, pp. 8-15.

“Teaching and Scholarship on the Cold War in the United States,” Cold War History, Vol. 8, no. 2 (May 2008), pp. 259-284.

“Ulbricht und der XX. Parteitag der KPdSU: Die Verhinderung politischer Korrekturen in der DDR, 1956-1958” (“Ulbricht and the 20th Party Congress of the CPSU: Resisting Political Changes in the GDR, 1956-1958”), Deutschland Archiv 1 (2006), pp. 43-53.

"Driving the Soviets Up the Wall: A Superally, A Superpower, and the Berlin Wall, 1958-61," Cold War History, Vol. 1, No. 1 (August 2000), pp. 53-74.


Media articles

“Meistererzählung mit Leerstellen” (“Master Narrative with Blank Spaces”), Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, September 19, 2019.

Berlin: The Border and Memory,“ special issue on Borders and Beyond, Wilson Quarterly, Fall 2019.

“Mit Gefühl. Erst verschwand die Mauer, dann verblasste der Schrecken.” (“With Feeling. First the Wall disappeared, then the horror faded”), Der Tagesspiegel, Nov. 9, 2014.

Five Myths about the Berlin Wall,” Washington Post, October 30, 2014.

From Shame to Pride: The Fall of the Berlin Wall through German Eyes,” The Wilson Quarterly, November 4, 2014.