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The Strategic and Military Consequences of the End of the Cold War

Les conséquences stratégiques et militaires de la fin de la guerre froide

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Published on Monday, May 10, 2021


The Service Historique de la Défense (Historical Branch of the Ministry of Defense), the Centre d’Histoire de Sciences Po, Paris, and the Sir Michael Howard Centre for the History of War, King’s College London, are organizing an international conference on the military and strategic impact of the end of the Cold War (late 1980s-early 1990s).




By 1991, the Soviet Union was officially dissolved but this event was only the climax in a much wider set of transformations in the field of international relations and national public policies. Original scholarship in political science, economics and history have discussed this upheaval. However, little attention has been paid to the military and strategic consequences of the end of the Cold War. Unsurprisingly, difficulties to access primary sources has often hindered a careful historical examination of these issues. Nevertheless, an expanding body of primary sources has been made available to historians in the last decade. By gathering historians and other social scientists interested in the topic, we hope to discuss key issues of the strategic reshaping of Europe and the world at the turn of the 1990s. In particular, we hope to discuss alliances and military cooperation, WMDs, sea and air power, emerging military actors, new justifications for the use of force, defense experts and theoreticians, armies in politics, terrorism and counter-terrorism, strategic planning, intelligence, counter-intelligence, information operations, budgetary issues, armament policies including disarmament and technological innovation. The reorganization of European armies is of particular interest, as half of the continent shifted from a communist military system to a new, Westernized, paradigm. However, the changes affected military institutions and societies globally, reflecting the world-wide impact of the Cold War.

The conference will take place at Sciences Po, Paris, on 13-14 December 2021. We invite especially early career researchers and PhD students to submit proposals.

Proposals are welcome in – but not limited to – the following domains:

Sources for the end of the Cold War

  • Categories of sources: military records, public documents, oral history,
  • Access issue – legal and practical aspects
  • National and international resources: NATO archives, Warsaw Pact records, SEATO records,

The military aspect of political transitions at the end of the Cold War

  • The role and potential interventions of communist armies during the 1989 sequence, including the fall of Ceaușescu in Romania and the participation of the Chinese military in repression
  • Military forces and political transitions in Latin America, Africa and Asia
  • The army in the political transition in Russia and CIS members
  • The German reunification and its consequences for the Bundeswehr and NVA

The reorganization of defense policies

  • The reorganization of post-communist armies
  • Military reform in democracies
  • Budgetary issues and strategic planning
  • Nuclear deterrence, WMDs, armament policies, disarmament and technological innovation
  • Sea power, air power, militarization of the outer space
  • Military bases and zones: redeployments and new geographies of the military

A democratic horizon? Political and social debate around the military

  • Democratization and the military: political monitoring of the military, armies in politics
  • Army and society: public opinions, NGOs, nukes, antimilitarism and the conscription issue
  • Social history of the military: professionalization, nationalities, generational change, pensioning, privatization
  • Gender issues: feminization and LGBT+ at the end of the Cold War

Balance of power in the global post-Cold War

  • The dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the withdrawal of Soviet forces in Europe and the world
  • Emerging military actors
  • Old and new military influences in Africa, Latin America and Asia
  • Alliances and military cooperation: NATO persistence and enlargement, European defense, regional organizations, coalition warfare (Gulf War)

New conflicts, resurgent conflicts

  • The military situation in the Balkans on the eve of the civil war
  • The resurgence of conflicts at the borders of Europe (Caucasus, Middle-East)
  • Terrorism and counter-terrorism at the end of the Cold War
  • Nuclear and conventional arms’ dissemination
  • New forms of conflict, asymmetric or hybrid warfare, intelligence and information warfare, humanitarian interventionism
  • Thinking the new era: defense experts and theoreticians, jus bellum

Submission guidelines

Those interested in presenting are invited to send a provisional title, an abstract no longer than 500 words, and a short biographical note to paul.lenormand@sciencespo.fr

by 10 June 2021.

Applicants will be notified by 15 July 2021.

Selected papers from the conference will be considered for publication in a special issue of The Journal of Strategic Studies.

Scientific Committee

  • Walter Bruyère-Ostells (SHD)
  • Mario Del Pero (Sciences Po, Paris)
  • Sabine Dullin (Sciences Po, Paris)
  • Flavia Gasbarri (KCL)
  • Paul Lenormand (SHD)
  • Joe Maiolo (KCL)
  • Céline Marangé (SHD)
  • Guillaume Piketty (Sciences Po, Paris)
  • Barbara Zanchetta (KCL)

Funds and bursaries

Travel and accommodation bursaries will be available to selected participants, especially junior scholars.

The workshop is funded by the Service Historique de la Défense, the Centre d’Histoire de Sciences Po, Paris, and the Sir Michael Howard Centre for the History of War, King’s College London.

More information

More information on the SHD, the CHSP and the Sir Michael Howard Centre for the History of War, KCL, can be found here:



  • Sciences Po, Paris
    Paris, France (75)


  • Thursday, June 10, 2021


  • guerre froide, armée, militaire, stratégique, Union soviétique, transition, Cold War, army, strategic, Sovietic Union


  • Paul Lenormand
    courriel : plenorma [at] parisnanterre [dot] fr

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Paul Lenormand
    courriel : plenorma [at] parisnanterre [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« The Strategic and Military Consequences of the End of the Cold War », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, May 10, 2021, https://calenda.org/871784

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