Hope Harrison

Hope M. Harrison

Associate Professor of History and International Affairs
ESIA 412
Address: 1957 E Street, NW
Phone: 202-994-5439

Areas of Expertise

Cold War History, 20th century German history, East Germany, Soviet History, History and Memory, History and Politics, Collective Memory, Transitional Justice. Commemoration


Hope M. Harrison published a prize-winning book in 2003 on the East German and Soviet decision to build the Berlin Wall. An expanded and updated version of the book was published in Germany in 2011 to glowing reviews. Co-founder and co-director of GW's Cold War Group, she is fluent in Russian and German and worked extensively in archives in Moscow and Berlin. Her current book project examines the Berlin Wall as a contested site of memory in Germany from 1989-2011.   She is currently working on a book manuscript for Cambridge University Press entitled After the Wall: Memory and the New Germany, 1989 to the Present.

She has appeared on CNN, C-SPAN and the History Channel, the BBC, Deutschlandradio, and elsewhere. Professor Harrison has received fellowships from Fullbright, the American Academy in Berlin, the Norwegian Nobel Institute, the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center, the Davis Center at Harvard University, the Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, the Institute for Contemporary History in Postdam, Germany, and the Council on Foreign Relations. From 2000-2001, Professor Harrison served at the National Security Council as Director of European and Eurasian Affairs at the White House under President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush. She worked on US relations with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan.  (Complete C.V.)


Ph.D., Columbia University, 1993.


“The Berlin Wall and its Resurrection as a Site of Memory,” German Politics and Society 29, no. 2 (Summer 2011): 78-106.

“New Evidence on the Building of the Berlin Wall,” Introduction, annotation and translation of a conversation between East German leader Walter Ulbricht and Soviet leader Nikita S. Khrushchev, August 1, 1961, Cold War International History Project e-dossier No. 23, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (August 12, 2011).

Ulbrichts Mauer: Wie die SED Moskaus Widerstand gegen den Mauerbaubrach. Berlin: Propyläen Verlag, 2011.

“Walter Ulbrichts ‘dringender Wunsch’,” Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte 31-34 (August 1, 2011): 8-15.

“Walter Ulbricht und der Bau der Mauer,” Deutschland Archiv 44 (2011): 15-22.

“Die Berliner Mauer an der Bernauer Strasse als ein Ort des Erinnerns, 1989-2011,” Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung XVII, no. 24 (2011):  281-297.

"Teaching and Scholarship on the Cold War in the United States." Cold War History 8, no. 2 (May 2008): 259-284.

"The Berlin Wall-an Icon of the Cold War Era?" In On Both Sides of the Wall: Preserving Monuments and Sites of the Cold War Era, ed. Leo Schmidt and Henriette von Preuschen, 18-27. Berlin and Bonn: Westkreuz-Verlag, GmbH, 2005.

"Ein Superalliierter und eine Supermacht? Sowjetisch-ostdeutsche Beziehungen, 1953 bis 1961." In Militär, Staat und Gesellschaft in der DDR: Forschungsfelder, Ergebnisse, Perspektiven, ed. Hans Ehlert and Matthias Rogg, 83-95. Berlin: Christoph Links Verlag, 2004.

Driving the Soviets Up the Wall: Soviet-East German Relations, 1953-1961. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003. Winner, 2004 Marshall Shulman Prize for the best book on international affairs/foreign policy of the former Soviet bloc by the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies.

"The German Democratic Republic, the Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall Crisis." The Berlin Wall Crisis: Perspectives on Cold War Alliances, ed. John P.S. Gearson and Kori Schake, 96-124. Hampshire and NY: Palgrave/Macmillan Cold War History Series, 2002.

"Driving the Soviets Up the Wall: A Superally, A Superpower, and the Berlin Wall, 1958-61." Cold War History 1, no. 1 (August 2000): 53-74.

Classes Taught

Hist 3045: The International History of the Cold War
Hist 6188: Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917-1991
Hist 6030: The Uses of History in International Affairs
Politics, History and Memory in Berlin (taught occasionally for two weeks in the summer in Berlin)
Hist 6051: Re-thinking Cold War History