PATTERN: How Does the Past Matter? The Russian War of Aggression Against Ukraine and the Cold War

Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has severely damaged the European security order and has plunged Europe into a state of confron­tation compa­rable only to the most dangerous phases of the Cold War. While agreeing that some historic ana­logies are well-founded and can be useful for current decisions, PATTERN project argues that these lessons can only be learned within the framework of a reflective histo­rical-poli­tical ana­lysis.

Against this background, it asks the question of what can be learned from the histo­rical experience of the Cold War that may help to transform the current situation of confron­tation with Russia and other anta­gonistic great powers into regulated forms of deterrence, coexistence or cooperation? PATTERN employs an applied history approach, aiming to work out simi­larities and differences from which repeating patterns of conflict are deduced and made available through knowledge transfer to both policy leaders and the public.

The project's focus is on three key policy fields: nuclear threats and risks, hybrid warfare, and crisis management. It involves colla­boration between histo­rical and inter­national relations scholars to explore the appli­cability of Cold War lessons to contem­porary challenges. Emphasizing the need for expertise in both peace and conflict research as well as contem­porary history, the project benefits from the colla­boration between the Leibniz-Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF) and the the Berlin Center for Cold War Studies of the Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History (IfZ), supported by a network of inter­national experts.

This inter­disciplinary project was developed under PRIF's lead in the joint research initiative with the Goethe University Frankfurt “ConTrust: Trust in Conflict”. The project will run for three years and receives funding from the Leibniz Association's program “Leibniz Competition”. It starts on 1 January 2024.

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Russian Foreign Policy Research and War in Ukraine | 2024

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How the EU could support Ukraine – by using Russian state funds | 2024

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Mary Elise Sarotte: Nicht einen Schritt weiter nach Osten: Amerika, Russland und die wahre Geschichte der Nato-Osterweiterung | 2024

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Können wir dem Völkerrecht (noch) trauen? | 2024

Simon, Hendrik (2024): Können wir dem Völkerrecht (noch) trauen? Die russische Aggression gegen die Ukraine und die diskursive Autorität internationaler Normen, in: Soziale Systeme, 28:2, DOI: 10.1515/sosys-2023-0012.

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Putins unmöglicher Krieg: Überlegungen zum Nicht-Rationalen in der internationalen Politik | 2023

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Partners

Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History (IfZ)
Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History (IfZ)
https://www.ifz-muenchen.de/en/

Donors

Leibniz Competition (SAW), Leibniz-Association
Leibniz Competition (SAW), Leibniz-Association
www.leibniz-gemeinschaft.de/en/about-us/leibniz-competition/