RBA Research Topic: U.S. Perceptions of Germany during the Cold War

My research topic revolves around U.S. perceptions of Germany during the Cold War, specifically the binary rationale that German realities were cast into. As I analyze the U.S.- German alliance as a primarily strategic relationship, I intend to show how this binary logic “watered down” the complex international relations between the U.S. and Germany to a “with us” or “against us” mindset, which resulted in ambiguous and conflicting policies towards Germany.

This is a visual outline of my ideas:




2 thoughts on “RBA Research Topic: U.S. Perceptions of Germany during the Cold War”

  1. Hi Alex,

    I really find your topic about U.S. – German relations very interesting. One thing that stood out to be in your brainstorm/mapping was how you included in Obama’s speech as an outlook into the future of the German-U.S relations. Your organization seems solid, but I would probably try to organize it more in terms of time period so as to avoid confusion. Furthermore, I would address more about what the German-American relationship has come to today, and what implications this has for the future. In other words, it may be beneficial to focus more on the significance of the binary relations. Otherwise, your topic seems really cool, and there should be a good amount of research that you can utilize.


  2. I especially like how you provide a Bridge for us from one sub-topic to the next. The progression of your thinking is very clear and logical. You provide a very thorough and detailed map of the evolution of German-American relations. Having worked with you during peer review for TiC, I know that you have thorough research and that your claims will be backed up; I look forward to your analysis of primary sources that you could not use in your TiC.

    I agree that Obama’s speech in 2008 is a pivotal example of the point which the relations have reached today. I wonder if it would be worth noting that Obama’s final foreign state visit will also be to Germany because he ‘wants to see his friend Angela one last time.’ I also wonder whether the present relationship between the US and Germany is unique to the amicable dynamic between Merkel and Obama and whether it may deteriorate under a Trump presidency.


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