Simeon Paravantes is a Historian of War. How wars begin, how they are conducted, how they end, and what happens afterwards are the subjects of his research and teaching. Tactics, political debates, bureaucratic infighting and supply chains, are just some of the variables which, when brought together, provide a holistic approach to the study of war in the 20th and 21st centuries.
His research also focusses on the "proxy-wars" of the Cold War, the origins of the US-Soviet rivalry, how the rivalry evolved over time, the conflicts that erupted in the wake of the collapse of the USSR, and the issue of "Reparations." His work is guided by employing a historicist view of the past, conducting research and viewing sources as they were created, and assessing their significance 'in real time.'
The development of alliances, mutual defence treaties, trading relationships and regional rivalries form imporant sub-areas of analysis in his work. A properly contextulalized understanding of these areas, and of their interconnectedness, can lead to more accurate and complete reconstructions of the past. This in turn can provide a better understanding of how it has shaped the present.
To date, his research has attracted over 750,000 euros of national and international funding. His last research project (BENELUX: 2016-2020), examined cold war collective security and arms production agreements, and how they contributed to the development of Western European Institutions in the 1950s and 60s.
At Utrecht University he is coordinator of the Global Cold War Research group, and teaches various courses in contemporary history and historical methodology in the Europe in the World and Global and Imperial Relations research clusters. He also supervises BA and MA theses in History and in International Relations.