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Erik R. Scott
University of Kansas, Lawrence (Lawrence, KS 66045-7505)
Soviet Defectors and the Borders of the Cold War World, 1945-1991

Two months of archival work toward a book-length manuscript on Soviet defectors during the Cold War (1945-1991).

This project examines the history of defection and uses it to investigate how the national and ideological borders of the socialist world were defined, disputed, and sometimes transgressed. It focuses on Soviet defectors and the development of the Soviet border regime in particular but also considers how defection developed in other settings. Tracing the winding journeys of defectors from the Soviet Union to the West through border zones, transit hubs, extraterritorial spaces, and disputed areas beyond the limits of state jurisdiction, such as international waters and airspaces, the project draws on Soviet and American archival documents to challenge the notion of the Cold War world as a place of stable boundaries and offer a granular perspective on how states operate in liminal spaces and how people navigate them.

Project fields:
Russian History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2016 – 6/30/2016