Headshot of Henrikson

Alan K. Henrikson

Research/Areas of Interest:

American diplomatic history and foreign policy; Political geography and cartography; The United Nations system; Ideas of "new world order"; The history, theory, and practice of diplomacy.


  • B.A., Rhodes Scholar, Balliol College, Oxford
  • M.A., Rhodes Scholar, Balliol College, Oxford
  • A.B., Harvard College
  • A.M., Danforth Fellow, History, Harvard University
  • Ph.D., Danforth Fellow, History, Harvard University


Alan K. Henrikson is the Lee E. Dirks Professor of Diplomatic History Emeritus and founding Director of Diplomatic Studies at The Fletcher School at Tufts University where he taught American diplomatic history, contemporary U.S.-European relations, global political geography, and the history, theory, and practice of diplomacy.

During the academic year 2010-2011 he was Fulbright Schuman Professor of U.S.-EU Relations at the College of Europe in Bruges. In November 2014, March 2015, and April 2017 he taught in Tallinn at the Estonian School of Diplomacy, and in April 2018 in Moscow at MGIMO University. In the autumn of 2016 he lectured at the Australian National University in Canberra and for the National University of Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City and at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam in Hanoi. In August 2009 he was Guest Lecturer in diplomatic studies, discussing also U.S. relations with countries in the southern African region, at the University of Pretoria. In November 2005 he was Visiting Professor at the European Commission in Brussels where he taught a course on American Foreign Policy Making for Commission officials. During the Spring of 2003 he was Fulbright/Diplomatic Academy Visiting Professor of International Relations at the Diplomatische Akademie in Vienna. He has been an Associate and a Visiting Scholar at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, where he also has served as Counselor on Canadian Affairs. During 1986-1987 he was Lloyd I. Miller Visiting Professor of Diplomatic History and Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for the Study of Foreign Affairs in the Foreign Service Institute of the United States Department of State. He also has taught as Visiting Professor at the National Institute of Defense Studies in Tokyo and as United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Visiting Professor of Diplomatic History at the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing.

He has written widely on the history and current problems of American foreign policy, U.S.-European Union relations, and the origins and international role of NATO. His writings also have addressed Nordic/Arctic geostrategic issues, the Canadian-U.S.-Mexican “continental” relationship, the diplomacy of Caribbean island countries and other small states, the geographical “mental maps” of American foreign policy makers, and the “consensus” procedures developed in the multilateral diplomacy of international organizations—the subject of the volume Negotiating World Order: The Artisanship and Architecture of Global Diplomacy.

Other publications of his include: "The United States in a global triangle? Re-configuring US-EU and US-China foreign policy and security relations," in The Evolving Relationship Between China, the EU and the USA: A New Global Order? (2020); "The Arctic Peace Projection: From Cold War fronts to cooperative fora," in Routledge Handbook of Arctic Security (2020); “United States Contemporary Diplomacy: Implementing a Foreign Policy of ‘Engagement,’” in Diplomacy in a Globalizing World: Theories and Practices (2013, 2017); “Historical Forms of U.S.-European Cooperation: Combination or ‘Only’ Coordination?” European Foreign Affairs Review (2016); “Global Challenges for a Global NATO,” Journal of Southeastern European Security Strategy and Transatlantic Leadership (2011); “The Northern Mind in American Diplomacy,” The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs (2010); “FDR and the ‘World-wide Arena,’” in FDR’s World: War, Peace and Legacies (2008); “The Diplomacy of Small States: The Case of Jordan,” Jordan Journal of International Affairs (2008); “The Washington Diplomatic Corps,” in The Diplomatic Corps as an Institution of International Society (2007); What Can Public Diplomacy Achieve? (2006); “Diplomacy’s Possible Futures,” The Hague Journal of Diplomacy (2006); “Niche Diplomacy in the World Public Arena: The Global ‘Corners’ of Canada and Norway,” in The New Public Diplomacy: Soft Power in International Relations (2005); The Future of Diplomacy? Five Projective Visions (2005); “The Geography of Diplomacy,” in The Geography of War and Peace (2005); “Good Neighbour Diplomacy Revisited,” in Holding the Line: Borders in a Global World (2005); and “Diplomacy and Small States in Today’s World,” in In Face of Man, Vol. 2, The Dr. Eric Williams Memorial Lectures (2005).

A native of Iowa, Alan Henrikson received A.B., A.M., and Ph.D. degrees in History from Harvard University where he was a Harvard National Scholar and a Danforth Graduate Fellow. He also holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Oxford, where he read Philosophy-Politics-and-Economics (P.-P.-E.) at Balliol College as a Rhodes Scholar. He studied as well at the International Summer School of the University of Oslo. He is a past President of the United Nations Association of Greater Boston (UNA-GB) and member of the National Council of the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA). He has served as a Vice President of the World Affairs Council of Boston and on the Board of Directors of the Boston Committee on Foreign Relations. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Professional Activities

  • Director of Diplomatic Studies, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
  • Fulbright Schuman Professor of US-EU Relations, College of Europe, Bruges
  • Visiting Professor, European Commission, Brussels
  • Fulbright/Diplomatic Academy Visiting Professor of International Relations, Diplomatische Akademie, Vienna
  • Visiting Professor (United Nations Development Programme), China Foreign Affairs University, Beijing
  • Visiting Professor, National Institute for Defense Studies, Tokyo
  • Lloyd I. Miller Visiting Professor of Diplomatic History, US Department of State, Washington, DC

Areas of expertise

International Security

Other Affiliations

  • The Edward R. Murrow Center