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Not for publication

Sept. 13, 2002 -- No. 480

McKeown, expert on Cuban missile crisis, can help reporters cover 40th anniversary

Some historians call the Cuban missile crisis of Oct. 16-28, 1962, the closest the world has come to nuclear war.

Now, an associate professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has identified significant parallels -- and missteps -- in how American government and intelligence operated before both the missile crisis and last year's 9/11 tragedy.

Dr. Timothy McKeown (pronounced "mi-KEWN") has researched government documents about the missile crisis as they were gradually declassified. He also interviewed former U.S. officials who were involved and a Russian expert who is familiar with the inner workings of the Soviet government during the crisis.

McKeown had two scholarly papers about his missile crisis research published in "The Journal of Politics," in 2000 and 2001, respectively: "The Cuban Missile Crisis and Politics as Usual," and "Routines, Bureaucratic Bargaining and the Cuban Missile Crisis."

He has won three National Science Foundation grants and been invited to evaluate tenure candidates at notable universities including Harvard and UCLA. Currently McKeown is at work on his third book, "The High Politics of Cold War Decision-Making."

At UNC, McKeown teaches courses on international politics and foreign policy, including "U.S. Foreign Policy" and "International Political Economy."

He can be reached at UNC at 919-962-0399 or

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