Matthew Frakes

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"

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)

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904


(434) 924-7147
(434) 924-7891
M-F 8am to 4:30pm
Department Contacts