NATO’s expansion eastward is one of the most contested and hotly debated elements of the post–Cold War order. Since 1989, the North Atlantic alliance has doubled the number of members — and counting — and the consequences for European security remain the subject of considerable debate, particularly in the wake of Russia’s renewed invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. In this talk, Susan Colbourn and Simon Miles will discuss why the alliance expanded, how that expansion took place, and why it has been so controversial.


Susan Colbourn is Associate Director of the Triangle Institute for Security Studies based at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. She is the author of ‘Euromissiles: The Nuclear Weapons That Nearly Destroyed NATO’ (Cornell, 2022). At present, she is writing a history of efforts to transcend the Cold War division of Europe from the 1940s to the present: ‘Whole, Free, At Peace: The Struggle to Overcome the Division of Europe.’

Simon Miles is Assistant Professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. He is the author of ‘Engaging the Evil Empire: Washington, Moscow, and the Beginning of the End of the Cold War’; of articles in ‘Diplomacy and Statecraft’, ‘Diplomatic History’, the ‘Journal of Cold War Studies’, and ‘Slavic Review’; and commentary in ‘Foreign Policy’, the ‘Globe and Mail’, ‘War on the Rocks’, and ‘The Washington Post’. Simon’s current project, ‘On Guard for Peace and Socialism’, is an international history of the Warsaw Pact.

Chair: Andrew Preston is a Professor of American History at University of Cambridge.




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