Matthew Frakes

Matthew Frakes

Nau 487
Office Hours: Wednesday 1:00–3:00 PM and by appointment

Field & Specialties

U.S. Foreign Relations
American Presidents and War
Cold War Strategy
Anglo-American Relations


M.Sc. London School of Economics, 2017
M.A. Columbia University, 2017
A.B. Princeton University, 2013


Matthew Frakes is a Ph.D. student in international history, advised by William Hitchcock. His work focuses on United States diplomatic and political history, with particular emphasis on the late Cold War and the emergence of the post–Cold War world. His current research examines the formation of counterterrorism strategy in the Reagan administration during the bombing of Libya in 1986. This project traces how the American perception of international security evolved during the Libya crisis and set precedents for the use of military force against states sponsoring terrorism.

Current Research

Master's Thesis: "Act of War: Reagan, Thatcher, and Counterterrorism Strategy during the American Bombing of Libya, 1986" (2018)

Awards & Honors

Richard Hofstadter Dissertation Prize, Columbia University and London School of Economics (2017), for "A Breach in the Special Relationship? Reagan, Thatcher, and the American Invasion of Grenada, 1983"

Alliance Fellowship, Columbia University and London School of Economics (2016)

Courses Taught

HIST 3452 The Second World War (with Prof. Philip Zelikow, Spring 2019)
HIST 2214 The Cold War, 1945–1991 (with Prof. William Hitchcock, Fall 2018)