Masters Thesis

Sister Cities: public diplomacy, exchange programs and nuclear missiles during the Cold War

During the Cold War, United States government officials used a “soft power” strategy to conduct foreign policy known as public diplomacy. The consensus found in historical scholarship links a “state-private” network between U.S. government officials to non-governmental agencies. This study examines the Eisenhower and Reagan administrations’ deployment of nuclear weapons in Europe during the early 1950s and 1980s and how they used private citizens as camouflage to help win the Cold War. The examination begins with bringing into context the devastated country of Germany after World War II and how top U.S. officials used Germany during the Cold War. The study then provides immense negative public opinion during the deployment of nuclear missiles in Europe how both Eisenhower and Reagan administrations used the same strategy nearly thirty years later by promoting student exchanges via sister city partnerships in West Germany and Europe to help influence the country’s young malleable audience towards a western way of life via the social structure of capitalism.