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Will Whitworth

Ph.D. in History

I am a Ph.D. candidate whose dissertation explores international reactions to social movements and domestic unrest in Cold War West Germany. My dissertation asks how dissenting voices from the streets affected high policy decision-making by examining reports, dossiers and gossip produced about the former by international actors. My research will take me to archives in the U.K, France, Germany and the USA, as I look to add a historiographical approach to a field largely defined by works of social movements studies and international relations. In particular I seek to understand how anti-establishment unrest affects concrete policy decisions. My dissertation also seeks to ask as to the ways in which the government in Bonn used domestic unrest to gain concessions from the occupying nations. By highlighting their own instability, successive West German governments sought to win concessions from their occupiers. I wish to examine this tactic to help us to understand how weaker nations can accomplish policy goals in the face of crises. The twin goals of asking how social movements succeed and how weaker nations can flourish will help add nuance to our understanding of anti-establishment unrest and its role in Cold War diplomacy.

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Cohort: 2016

Research Interests: Social Movements in Cold War Germany and International Diplomacy

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