Jon S. Jacobson

picture of Jon S. Jacobson

Professor Emeritus, History
School of Humanities

PH.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1965

Phone: History Department: (949) 824-6521
Fax: (949) 725-2865

University of California, Irvine
243 Murray Krieger Hall
Mail Code: 3275
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
European international history
Research Abstract
I am interested in the problems of war, peace, and international stability during the "long crisis of the twentieth century" beginning in 1905 and lasting until the 1950s. Within this area, my research is focused on several projects dealing with the period between the two world wars. The most important have dealt with 1) the role of diplomacy in first creating and then undermining the short-lived international stabilization achieved in Europe during the second half of the 1920s, and particularly the objectives and strategies of German and British foreign relations during that era; 2) the strategies pursued by French policy makers in the years immediately following the First World War in an effort to sustain French predominance on the European continent when confronted with potential German resurgence and the breakdown of war-time inter-allied cooperation; and 3) the beginnings of the Soviet Union's historic rise to world power and the contribution of both the ideological-revolutionary mode and the normalizing-commercial-diplomatic mode of Soviet foreign relations to the stability and instability of the international system.

I have also been concerned with 4) the possibilities and the problems of writing "the new international history"--both in theory and in practice. In particular I am interested in the prospects for combining an expanded conception of the politics and economics of international relations with an integrated analysis of policy on an international scale. My work on the USSR, for example, examined the imperatives of national security, economic development, and socialist revolution in the making of Soviet foreign policy and the strategies developed to further those objectives.

My present project continues along these lines, being concerned with 5) the role of ideology, strategy, and economics in the foreign relations of Weimar and Nazi Germany. It is also an effort to contextualize the foreign relations of the two regimes within the long history of modern Germany foreign relations and twentieth century world politics now that the century in concluding with the reunification of the German nation into a single state. Other aims of the project include clarification of the historical relationships and connections between Weimar and Nazi foreign relations, reexamination of the range of alternatives available to policy making in Germany during the interwar years as well as the constraints imposed on it, and delineation of the diversity of policy concepts present in National Socialist as well as Weimar foreign relations.
Locarno Diplomacy: Germany and the West, 1925-1929 (1972)
"The Conduct of Locarno Diplomacy." Review of Politics (1972)
"The Impulse for a Franco-German Entente: The Origins of the Thoiry Conference, 1926," Journal of Contemporary History (1975)
"Strategies of French Foreign Policy after World War I," Journal of Modern History (1983)
"Is There a New International History of the 1920s?" American Historical Review (1983)
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