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Kristina Spohr

Helmut Schmidt Distinguished Professor

Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs


Dr. Kristina Spohr is Senior Fellow at the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs (HKC) and Professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. In 2018-2020 she was the inaugural Helmut Schmidt Distinguished Visiting Professor at SAIS, a unique position made possible through the generosity of the German Foreign Ministry and DAAD. Spohr is a specialist in the International History of Germany since 1945 and interested in questions of World Order, Diplomacy & Strategy and the practice of Applied History.

Dr. Spohr is the author of a dozen books or edited volumes, in 2019/21 her monograph Post Wall, Post Square: Rebuilding the World the World After 1989 (WilliamCollins, 2019 and Yale UP, 2020) was published together with the German edition Wendezeit: Die Neuordnung der Welt nach 1989 (Deutsche Verlags Anstalt, 2019) and the Spanish Edition Después del Muro: La reconstrucción del mundo tras 1989 (Taurus, 2021). Wendezeit won the prestigious German award “Das politikwissenschaftliche Buch” 2020 for the best political science book published Germany. She also released the edited books The Arctic and World Order (Brookings Institution Press, 2020), Open Door: NATO and Euro-Atlantic Security after the Cold War (Brookings Institution Press, 2019), and Exiting the Cold War, Entering a New World (Brookings Institution Press, 2019) with Daniel S. Hamilton. In 2016 appeared The Global Chancellor: Helmut Schmidt and the Reshaping of the International Order (Oxford University Press, 2016) and its extended German edition Helmut Schmidt: Der Weltkanzler (Theiss, 2016). She also co-edited Transcending the Cold War: Summits, Statecraft, and the Dissolution of Bipolarity in Europe, 1970-1990 (Oxford University Press, 2016) with David Reynolds. Her previous books include Germany and the Baltic problem after the Cold War: The Development of a New Ostpolitik, 1989-2000 (London: Routledge, 2004; paperback 2013); Building Sustainable and Effective Capabilities: A Systemic Comparison of Professional and Conscript Forces (IOS Press, 2004 - as editor and contributor); Journal of Contemporary History Special Issue: At the Crossroads of Past and Present — ‘Contemporary’ History and the Historical Discipline (London: Sage – vol. 46, 3 (2011 - as co-editor and contributor). She is now writing a global history on the Arctic.

Spohr studied at the University of East Anglia, Sciences Po Paris, and Cambridge University where she earned her PhD in History at Peterhouse and held a post-doctoral fellowship at Christ’s College. She also worked as a Research Fellow in the Secretary General’s Private Office at NATO headquarters in Brussels. External Awards include a Leverhulme Fellowship (2017) and generous grants from NATO Public Diplomacy Division, Gerda Henkel Stiftung (Germany), Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD, Germany), the British Academy/Leverhulme Foundation, Journal of Contemporary History, CRASSH, and Cambridge University Mellon Fund. Spohr is a former Archives Fellow of Churchill College (Cambridge), a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (U.K.), and serves on the board of the Stiftung Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Bonn).


In the News

A new guide to the heating arctic.

Book edited by Daniel Hamilton and Kristina Spohr reviewed in Lawfare, 05/20

Baltic states 1939-1940.

Kristina Spohr participated in University of Cambridge webinar, 6/25

The wall, the square, and the post-Cold War order

Kristina Spohr interviewed on American Interest podcast, 4/7

China’s new Silk Road.

Kristina Spohr wrote in New Statesmen, 4/1

Impeachable or not, Trump’s foreign policy is reckless.

Kristina Spohr quoted in The Wall Street Journal, 12/16

Pompeo tours sites where he served with NATO forces, as U.S. casts doubts over the alliance.

Mary Elise Sarotte and Kristina Spohr quoted in The Washington Post, 11/8

Brookings experts’ reading list on the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War.

Mary Elise Sarotte and Kristina Spohr cited by Brookings Institution, 11/6

Thirty years after the Berlin Wall fell, Western order faces new strains.

Daniel Hamilton and Kristina Spohr quoted in Los Angeles Times, 11/6

Legacy of the ‘Hinge’ years: 1990 to today.

Kristina Sphor interviewed on American Institute for Contemporary German Studies The Zeitgeist podcast, 5/1