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Associate Professor
Hamilton Hall 424
Office Hours: W 11:00am-2:00pm. Please make an appointment here.


BA University of Toronto, 2001
MPhil University of Cambridge, 2002
PhD Yale University, 2010

Research Interests

Michael Cotey Morgan specializes in modern international and global history. He is the author of The Final Act: The Helsinki Accords and the Transformation of the Cold War, which received the 2018 Edgar S. Furniss Award for best first book in international security.

At UNC, he teaches courses on international history, the Cold War, and human rights. He previously taught at the US Naval War College and the University of Toronto, where he was the inaugural holder of the Raymond Pryke Chair.

Some Notable Publications


  • The Final Act: The Helsinki Accords and the Transformation of the Cold War (Princeton University Press, 2018).
  • Selected Articles and Chapters

  • "Kant, Paine, and Strategies of Liberal Transformation,” The New Makers of Modern Strategy, ed. Hal Brands (Princeton University Press, 2023).
  • “Helsinki 1975: Borders and People,” co-authored with Daniel Sargent (UC-Berkeley), Transcending the Cold War: Summits, Statecraft, and the Dissolution of Bipolarity in Europe, 1970-1990, ed. David Reynolds and Kristina Spohr (Oxford University Press, 2016).
  • “Confidence and Distrust at the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE),” Trust but Verify: The Politics of Uncertainty and the Transformation of the Cold War Order, 1969-1991, ed. Martin Klimke, Reinhild Kreis, and Christian Ostermann (Stanford University Press, 2016).
  • “The Ambiguities of Humanitarian Intervention,” The Power of the Past: History and Statecraft, ed. Hal Brands and Jeremi Suri (Brookings Institution Press, 2015).
  • “The Seventies and the Rebirth of Human Rights,” The Shock of the Global: The International History of the 1970s, ed. Niall Ferguson, Charles Maier, Erez Manela, and Daniel Sargent (Harvard University Press, 2010).
  • “The United States and the Making of the Helsinki Final Act,” Nixon in the World: American Foreign Relations 1969–1977, ed. Fredrik Logevall and Andrew Preston (Oxford University Press, 2008).
  • “North America, Atlanticism, and the Helsinki Process,” At the Roots of European Security: The Early Helsinki Process Revisited, 1965–1975, ed. Andreas Wenger, Vojtech Mastny, and Christian Nuenlist (Routledge, 2008).
  • “Michael Ignatieff: Idealism and the Challenge of the ‘Lesser Evil,’” International Journal 61:4 (Autumn 2006): 971–85.
  • Graduate Students

    Courses Taught (as schedule allows)

    For current information about course offerings, click here.

    • HIST 58—History and the Meaning of Life
    • HIST 205—Statecraft, Diplomacy, and War, 1618-1815
    • HIST 206—Statecraft, Diplomacy, and War, 1815-1945
    • HIST 207—The Global Cold War
    • HIST 398—Cold War Summits
    • HIST 510—Human Rights in the Modern World
    • HIST 700—Thinking Historically
    • HIST 722—Readings in Contemporary Global History
    • HIST 723—Readings in Global Cold War History