Towards a Study of Memory in US Transatlantic Relations: The Late Cold War
Probing the intersection of Memory Studies and International Relations, this article traces the uses of collective memory in late Cold War US Transatlantic relations. First it surveys the existing scholarly literature on the topic and critiques some selected methodological models. Next it discusses the politics of cultural memory in the United States itself. In its main body, the study focuses on the core of the use of memory in US Transatlantic relations: historical reasoning in the fields of 1) foreign policy decision-making, and 2) public or cultural diplomacy. The author argues that while the US government may not have had a centrally articulated and overarching policy for the use of collective memory in US diplomacy, such a policy can nevertheless be assembled out of its foreign policy training and the cultural diplomacy practices of the United States Information Agency, both of which continued throughout the 1990s, the first period of the post-Cold War era.
Keywords: United States, Cold War, memory, foreign policy, cultural diplomacy, transatlantic relations