America and Romania in the Cold War: A Differentiated Détente, 1969-80, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

America and Romania in the Cold War

A Differentiated Détente, 1969-80, 1st Edition

By Paschalis Pechlivanis


200 pages

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Hardback: 9781138393714
pub: 2019-04-24
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This book examines the US foreign policy of differentiation towards the socialist regimes of Eastern Europe as it was implemented by various administrations towards Ceausescu’s Romania from 1969 to 1980.

Drawing from multi-archival research from both US and Romanian sources, this is the first comprehensive analysis of differentiation and shows that Washington’s Eastern European policy in the 1970s was more nuanced than the common East vs. West narrative suggests. By examining systemic Cold War factors such as the rise of détente between the two superpowers and the role of agency, the study deals with the dynamics that shaped the evolution of American-Romanian relations after Bucharest’s opening towards the West, and the subsequent embrace of this initiative by Washington as an instrument to undermine the unity of the Soviet bloc. Furthermore, it revises interpretations about Carter’s celebrated human rights policy based on the Romanian case, pointing towards a remarkable continuity between the three administrations under examination (Nixon, Ford and Carter). By doing so, this study contributes to the field by highlighting a largely neglected aspect of US foreign policy and uncovers the subtleties of Washington’s relations with one of the most vigorous actors of the Eastern European bloc.

This book will be of much interest to students of Cold War Studies, US foreign policy, Eastern European politics and International Relations in general.


'An absorbing examination of the US policy of differentiation towards Eastern Europe as manifested in the approach adopted by successive administrations to Romania between 1969 and 1980. Based on detailed research in US and Romanian archives, it provides an incisive analysis of the dynamics that determined the development of US-Romanian relations after Bucharest’s decision to pursue an autonomous line in foreign policy. The most graphic illustration of those relations is the fact that Nicolae Ceau?escu made three state visits to the US between 1970 and 1978, an unprecedented record of such visits for the leader of a Warsaw Pact country.'-- Dennis Deletant, Visiting Professor, Georgetown University, USA

'This is a timely study of US-Romanian relations that introduces much-needed nuance into our understanding of both the East-West relationship and the limits on Moscow’s control of its "satellites" in Eastern Europe. By highlighting the continuities between the Nixon, Ford and Carter administrations, Pechlivanis demonstrates how realism and geopolitics consistently trumped human rights as a driving force in Washington’s foreign policy, at least insofar as Eastern Europe was concerned. A must-read for students of Cold War history.'-- Prof. Sergey Radchenko, Cardiff University, UK

Table of Contents


1. Richard Nixon in Romania

2. Romania Looks Further West

3. From Nixon to Ford

4. Gerald Ford and US–Romanian relations

5. Jimmy Carter’s Foreign Policy and Eastern Europe

6. Jimmy Carter and US–Romanian relations


About the Author

Paschalis Pechlivanis is a Lecturer in the History of International Relations at Utrecht University, the Netherlands, and a Research Fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities, University of Bucharest, Romania.

About the Series

Cold War History

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Europe / Eastern
HISTORY / Military / General
HISTORY / United States / 20th Century
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Diplomacy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security