• Courses

    • Global Cold War
    • Global Sixties
    • African American Freedom Struggle
    • US Foreign Relations Since 1898
    • US in the World

  • Projects

    • The Civil Rights Struggle, African American GIs & Germany
    • The Nuclear Crisis
    • Family Business Histories & Legacies in the GCC/MENASA Regions

  • Books

    • with Chen Jian, Masha Kirasirova, Mary Nolan, Marilyn Young, and Joanna Waley-Cohen, eds., “Handbook of the Global Sixties" (Routledge, February 2018)

  • Events

    • 01/17/18: "The Global Sixties," University of Marburg
    • 05/24-26/18: ""A Vision of Politics/The Politics of Vision: 1968 and Since,” NYU Berlin


My name is Martin Klimke and I am the Associate Dean of Humanities and Associate Professor of History at New York University Abu Dhabi, as well as an associated faculty member in the Department of History at New York University.

In addition, I am an associated researcher at the Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA) at the University of Heidelberg and in Transatlantic Cultural History (TCH) at the University of Augsburg, Germany.

My research focuses on the intersection of political and cultural history, with a particular emphasis on diplomatic and transnational history. The increasingly global cultural, political, and military presence of the U.S., especially after World War II, as well as the country’s complex entanglement with other forces of globalization, are at the center of my scholarly interests.

I am currently working on the "global sixties", as well as the nuclear crisis, U.S. foreign policy, and grassroots activism during the Cold War of the 1980s. I am also writing a transnational biography of Petra Kelly, international peace activist and co-founder of the German Green Party.

Coming Soon (February 2018): “Handbook of the Global Sixties”

Routledge Handbook of the Global Sixties

Edited by Chen Jian, Masha Kirasirova, Martin Klimke, Mary Nolan, Marilyn Young, Joanna Waley-Cohen

Abingdon: UK: Routledge, forthcoming February 2018

As the fiftieth anniversary of 1968 approaches, this book reassesses the global causes, themes, forms, and legacies of that tumultuous period.

While existing scholarship continues to largely concentrate on the US and Western Europe, this volume focuses on Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. International scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds explore the global sixties through the prism of topics that range from the economy, decolonization, and higher education, to forms of protest, transnational relations, and the politics of memory.

This handbook thus attempts to inspire a new scholarly reflection on the politics of memory and historiographical narratives of the “long sixties” in preparation of the 50th anniversary of 1968 that is decidedly global and offers in-depth perspectives on previously neglected themes and geographical areas.

For more, please see here.

Out Now: “Nuclear Threats, Nuclear Fear & the Cold War of the 1980s”

Edited by Eckart Conze, Martin Klimke, and Jeremy Varon
New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016

This book brings together cutting-edge scholarship from the United States and Europe to address political as well as cultural responses to both the arms race of the 1980s and the ascent of nuclear energy as a second, controversial dimension of the nuclear age.

Diverse in its topics and disciplinary approaches, Nuclear Threats, Nuclear Fear and the Cold War of the 1980s makes a fundamental contribution to the emerging historiography of the 1980s as a whole. As of now, the era’s nuclear tensions have been addressed by scholars mostly from the standpoint of traditional security studies, focused on the geostrategic deliberations of political elites and at the level of state policy. Yet nuclear anxieties, as the essays in this volume document, were so pervasive that they profoundly shaped the era’s culture, its habits of mind, and its politics, far beyond the domain of policy.

For more, please see here.

Out Now: “The Nuclear Crisis”


The Arms Race, Cold War Anxiety, and the German Peace Movement of the 1980s

Edited by Christoph Becker-Schaum, Philipp Gassert, Wilfried Mausbach, Martin Klimke, and Marianne Zepp
New York/Oxford: Berghahn Books, forthcoming October 2016

In 1983, more than one million Germans joined together to protest NATO’s deployment of nuclear missiles in Europe. International media overflowed with images of marches, rallies, and human chains as protesters blockaded depots and agitated for disarmament. Though they failed to halt the deployment, the episode was a decisive one for German society, revealing deep divisions in the nation’s political culture while continuing to mobilize activists.

This volume provides a comprehensive reference work on the “Euromissiles” crisis as experienced by its various protagonists, analyzing NATO’s diplomatic and military maneuvering and tracing the political, cultural, and moral discourses that surrounded the missiles’ deployment in East and West Germany.

For introduction (full text, PDF) and table of contents, please see here.

Out Now: “Trust, but Verify”


The Politics of Uncertainty & the Transformation of the Cold War Order, 1969-1991

Edited by Martin Klimke, Reinhild Kreis, and Christian Ostermann
Washington, DC/Redwood City, CA: Wilson Center Press/Stanford University Press, forthcoming November 2016

U.S. President Ronald Reagan once famously quipped, “Nations do not mistrust each other because they are armed. They are armed because they mistrust each other.” Yet although Cold War angst (e.g., of nuclear annihilation) shaped the relationship between the ideological blocs, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s, the final two decades of the era—from the period of détente starting in the late 1960s to the gradual rapprochement between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1980s—saw Cold War policy grow more flexible and diverse as each side sought to escape the orthodoxy of mutual assured destruction and deterrence.

These transformations profoundly affected relations between the two superpowers and caused uncertainties within both blocs, so that the second half of the Cold War was characterized by a complex mixture of fear and trust, which manifested itself, among other things, in confidence-building and risk-taking.

This volume uses the categories of trust and confidence to explore and reevaluate these dynamics for the final two decades of the Cold War.

For more, please see here.