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Title: Freedom talks : the United States and Vietnam, 1975-95
Author: Jenner, C. J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2730 1110
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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This doctoral thesis is the first internationally researched study on the evolution of United States- Vietnam relations from war to nascent strategic partnership. It is contracted for international publication. Comprised of archival and oral history research, including unprecedented access to Vietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the U.S. National Security Council, the thesis examines Hanoi's and Washington's bilateral diplomacy in relation to the second half of the Cold War (1947-91). The study provides an original and archive-based contribution to the historiography on relations between the United States and East Asia. In particular, it provides new information on and analyses of one of the most significant diplomatic engagements in the second half of the twentieth century. The interdisciplinary methodology utilized in this thesis originates in the scholarship of pluralist historians of international relations, such as Pierre Brocheux, David Elliott, Nayan Chanda, Daniel Hemery, Michael Leifer, and Rana Mitter. At the core of my work is the finding that the United States and Vietnam constructed full diplomatic relations from a complex cluster of seemingly opposing and incompatible parts. The relationship's bilateral diplomacy engaged hard and soft power, political ideologues and pragmatic realists, communism and democracy, a special presidential emissary and non-governmental organizations, cabinet secretaries and mid-level practitioners, quiet dialogue and mass media campaigns, secret intelligence and public opinion, nationalism and supra-nationalism, global Cold War strategy and domestic politics. My doctoral researches identified three new approaches for examining relations between East Asia and the United States: the agency of non-governmental organizations, especially those led by women; the structures, functions, and institutional worldviews of foreign policy-making institutions, with particular focus on the cross-cultural diplomacy of mid-level practitioners; and intelligence's role in bilateral, international, and transnational diplomacy. There has been no comprehensive examination of the evolution of United States-Vietnam relations during the two decades following the Second Indochina War (1959-75). The policy- making and practice of Hanoi's foreign affairs institutions and many of their counterparts in Washington remain unstudied. Historians have overlooked the definitive roles of the Asian affairs practitioners in the U.S. National Security Council, the Indochina Interagency Group, and mid-level Vietnamese and American operatives. These significant gaps in current historiography are studied in this thesis, which is the first broadly based examination of how the United States and Vietnam built full diplomatic relations from their legacies of war.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available