Fear, Sean: Travel Grant - 2016-2017

College of Arts and Sciences
Project Title: 
Republican Saigon’s Clash of Constituents: Domestic Politics and Civil Society in US-South Vietnamese Relations, 1967-1971
Project Abstract: 
My dissertation examines the South Vietnamese state’s failure to win legitimacy in the eyes of its diverse anti-communist political and religious groups. Combining traditional state-centered foreign relations history with attention to domestic politics and civil society, my work fuses the “high politics” of statecraft with local and social history. This innovative methodology contributes to a new interpretation of the Cold War, challenging the conventional view of a binary ideological clash between rival blocs of superpowers and like-minded local allies. My work on U.S.-South Vietnamese relations reveals how external Cold War presumptions were repurposed and manipulated by diverse Vietnamese actors pursuing complex domestic goals.