Year of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Department of History

Committee Chair

Michael S. Mayer

Commitee Members

Mark Johnson, Paul G. Lauren


Cold War, Madrid Conference, Middle East, peace process, personal diplomacy, trust


University of Montana


The following work examines the personal diplomacy between James A. Baker, III and Eduard A. Shevardnadze at the end of the 1980s and early 1990s and their cooperation that led to the initiation of a new peace process in the Middle East inaugurated by the Madrid Conference of 1991. The paper addresses the importance of the personal element in international diplomacy and situates it in the context of a particular time framework that marked the end of the Cold War and which resulted in significant geopolitical changes across the globe. While recognizing the importance of larger events, such as the attempts to restructure the Soviet economy and society, this thesis argues for the significance of the personal relationship between James A. Baker, III and Eduard A. Shevardnadze in establishing a cooperative response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and, ultimately, to laying the groundwork for the Madrid Peace Conference. The research was conducted based on government sources, personal accounts, interviews, including personal interviews with former USSR Minister of Foreign Affairs and ex-President of Georgia, Eduard A. Shevardnadze, and former U.S. Ambassador to Senegal, Mark Johnson, as well other primary and secondary sources in English, Russian, and Georgian languages available at the time.

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