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Edgar S. Furniss Book Award Winner
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Lorenz Lüthi
The Rise of the Post-Cold War World
Monday, April 05, 2010, 12:00pm - 01:30pm
Mershon Center for International Security Studies
1501 Neil Ave., Columbus, OH 43201

Lorenz Lüthi

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Lorenz Lüthi is assistant professor of history at McGill University in Montreal. His interests include international relations; the Cold War as a superpower conflict; the regional Cold Wars in East Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; the Socialist World (Soviet Union, China, Vietnam); and U.S. foreign relations.

Lüthi is author of The Sino-Soviet Split, 1956-1966: The Cold War in the Communist World (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008), winner of the Edgar S. Furniss Book Award, which recognizes authors whose first books make an exceptional contribution to the study of national and international security.

In The Sino-Soviet Split, Lüthi tells the story of the rupture between the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China a decade after they established their formidable alliance in 1950. Escalating public disagreements between them broke the international communist movement apart, a split that became one of the defining events of the Cold War.

Identifying the primary role of disputes over Marxist-Leninist ideology, Lüthi traces their devastating impact in sowing conflict between the two nations in the areas of economic development, party relations, and foreign policy. The source of this estrangement was Mao Zedong's ideological radicalization at a time when Soviet leaders, mainly Nikita Khrushchev, became committed to more pragmatic domestic and foreign policies.

Using a wide array of archival and documentary sources from three continents, Lüthi presents a richly detailed account of Sino-Soviet political relations in the 1950s and 1960s. He explores how Sino-Soviet relations were linked to Chinese domestic politics and to Mao's struggles with internal political rivals. Furthermore, Lüthi argues, the Sino-Soviet split had far-reaching consequences for the socialist camp and its connections to the nonaligned movement, the global Cold War, and the Vietnam War.

Since the publication of The Sino-Soviet Split in 2008, Lüthi has been working on a new book project about the rise of the post-Cold War world in the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s. Thanks to research grants from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Fonds Quebecois de la Recherche sur la Societe et la Culture, he has conducted research in Chinese, East German, Swiss, British, and American archives. Lüthi will speak about his new research at the Mershon Center.

Lüthi has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University, and a National Security Fellow at the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies and Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University. He has a Ph.D. as well as M.Phil. and M.A. degrees in History from Yale University.

The Furniss Book Award was given for the first time in 1983 and has been awarded to several of the field's most prominent scholars early in their careers. Past winners include John Mearsheimer, Barry Posen, and Stephen Walt.

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