"We All Fall Down" with Simon Miles

Our November 8th colloquium discussion featured a presentation by Dr. Simon Miles on his article “We All Fall Down: The Dismantling of the Warsaw Pact and the End of the Cold War in Eastern Europe.”

After explaining aspects of his research into the decisions of Eastern European anticommunist activists and politicians at the end of the Cold War, Dr. Miles answered questions on a variety of topics, including how to assess the agency of these decision makers given their marginal status within the Cold War geopolitics, whether or not it was possible to distinguish between state and non-state actors, and whether or not the United States won the Cold War. This led into a discussion of the “End of History” thesis and whether Dr. Miles’ writing gave sufficient attention to the outsized power of the United States in shaping Eastern European leaders’ decisions. Participants also asked questions that were smaller in scale, like why Bulgaria sought a military alliance with the USSR.