Lunch Seminar “Le Cercle” in the Cold War: A Secret Space for Informal Diplomacy or Another Super Club for Old White Men?

Dr. Adrian Hänni, visiting scholar at the Institute for History from the University of Zurich, will present his research on “Le Cercle”, a transnational network of conservative power elites during the Cold War, at an informal lunch seminar on Monday 16th November between 13.00-14.00 at the Conference Room in the Huizinga Building.

Dr. Adrian Hänni

Dr. Adrian Hänni

“Le Cercle” was one of the most secretive and exclusive political clubs in the West during the Cold War. The regular meetings held around the world have brought together high-level politicians, diplomats, businessmen, military officers and intelligence agents such as Antoine Pinay, Franz-Joseph Strauss, Giulio Andreotti, and David Rockefeller.

Dr. Adrian Hänni from the University of Zurich, who is currently at Leiden University with a grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation, will present his research on this transnational network of conservative power elites that has been much neglected by historians. His project makes a valuable contribution to an emerging field of Cold War research that goes beyond national governments and formal decision-making procedures and instead explores the role of informal diplomacy and transnational state-private networks of actors that are connected based on categories such as ideology, faith or class.


Dr. Adrian Hänni is currently at the Institute for History of the University of Leiden as a Postdoctoral Fellow. He is affiliated with the Research Center for Social and Economic History at the University of Zurich and a lecturer for Political History at Distance Learning University Switzerland. He received his PhD in 2013 for a critical historical study on terrorism in the United States. He published research on propaganda, intelligence services, terrorism, and the Cold War.

We cordially invite you to the lunch seminar "Le Cercle" in the Cold War. The seminar will take place on Monday, 16th November between 13.00-14.00 at the Conference Room in the Huizinga Building. Please do not forget to bring your lunch bags and coffee (or tea) mugs with you!

Last Modified: 12-11-2015