“It was a recipe for struggles” Vance, Brzezinski and the Decision Making Strucure of the Carter Administration

Presented at the 2016  Transatlantic Studies Association Conference, Plymouth University, this paper analyses how the decision making structure that Carter eventually settled on only served to exacerbate the sense of competition between the State Department and the NSC as well as Vance and Brzezinski with the conflict manifesting itself for the duration of the Carter’s time in office, contributing to a tapestry of inconsistencies that resulted in the administration’s inability to create a settled foreign policy strategy and agenda.

Full copy available on request at

Read my blog post on trip to TSA 2016

‘”They were at sword’s point from day one” Cyrus Vance, Zbigniew Brzezinski and the Bureaucratic Wars of the Carter Administration

This was a paper I presented at the 2016 Roosevelt Study Center International PhD Seminar in Middelburg. This paper examines how the conflict between Vance and Brzezinski, and the rivalry between their respective departments, developed during the early days of the administration’s time in office, looking specifically at their differing ideologies as well as the bureaucratic arrangements that ultimately contributed to the sense of competition. Using the example of SALT II, the aim of the paper is to explain how their animosity led to an inconsistent foreign policy agenda.

Full copy available on request at

Read my blog post on my trip to RSC 2016

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