Dr Sandra Scanlon is a Lecturer in American history in the UCD School of History and Archives. Sandra’s research focuses on American political culture and its relationship with US foreign policy during the Cold War. She explores the intersection between political movements, most notably conservative activism, and developments in foreign policy ideologies. In particular, her research considers the extent to which conservative activists succeeded in utilizing American national identity and popular understanding of American exceptionalism to promote support for the Vietnam War and to challenge detente and Realpolitik in US foreign policy. Furthermore, she examines how domestic political cultures can shape policymakers’ efforts to ‘sell’ international initiatives to the American people.
Her first monograph, ‘The Pro-War Movement: Domestic Support for the Vietnam War and the Making of Modern American Conservatism’ was piblished by University of Massachusetts Press in 2013. Her article on this subject, ‘The Conservative Lobby and Nixon’s “Peace with Honor” in Vietnam,’ was published by the Journal of American Studies in August 2009. Sandra is also interested in transatlantic relations during the Cold War and recently co-edited a collection of essays, Reform and Renewal: Transatlantic Relations during the 1960s and 1970s (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009).
Sandra completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees at University College Dublin, and received her doctorate from Cambridge University, where she was the recipient of a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She has since lectured and held fellowships at Oxford University, the University of Sheffield, University College Dublin and, most recently, at the London School of Economics. From 2009-2013, she served as Events Secretary for HOTCUS (Historians of the Twentieth Century United States). In 2013, Sandra was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and will spend the Fall semester at the Department of History at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.