“Through the Cracks of Détente: The Superpowers, the Arab ‘Radicals,’ and the Coming of the Second Cold War, 1977–1984”
Pierre and Patricia Bikai Fellowship, 2023–2024
University of Texas at Austin
Benjamin V. Allison is a PhD student in history and a Graduate Fellow at the Clements Center for National Security at the University of Texas at Austin, specializing in the history of U.S. foreign and national security policy, especially toward the Middle East and Russia. His dissertation examines relations between the United States, Soviet Union, and so-called radical Arab states in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Among other things, he argues that the peace process and the coming of the Second Cold War were intimately connected. Ben hopes to continue this project for his dissertation, using sources in Arabic, Bulgarian, and Russian to paint a fuller picture of the transnational and international dimensions of this critical juncture in modern history.
In addition to his historical work, Ben has also dabbled in political science methods. His work has been published in Perspectives on Terrorism and by the International Centre for Counter-terrorism. As for his public-facing work, he has bylines at the Washington Post, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Not Even Past, Inkstick, RealClearHistory, the Wilson Center, and the Institute for Faith and Freedom at Grove City College.