This intriguing book, based on recently accessible Soviet primary sources, is the first to explain the emergence of the Cold War and its development in Stalin's lifetime from the perspective of Soviet policy-making. It pays particular attention to the often-neglected 'societal' dimension of Soviet foreign policy as a crucial element of the genesis and development of the Cold War. Gerhard Wettig provides readers with new insights into Stalin's willingness to initiate crisis with the West while still avoiding military conflict.
This compelling history of Europe’s Cold War follows the dramatic arc of the conflict that shaped the development of the continent and defined world politics in the second half of the twentieth century. Focusing on European actors and events, Mark Gilbert traces the onset of the Cold War, the process of Stalinization in the Soviet bloc, and the difficulties of legitimation experienced by communist regimes in Hungary, Poland, and East Germany even after Stalin’s death. He also shows how Washington’s leadership and worldview was contested in Western Europe, especially by Great Britain and French president Charles de Gaulle. The book charts the growing weakness of the communist system in Eastern Europe and the economic and moral reasons for the system’s eventual collapse. It highlights the central role of European leaders in the process of détente and in the diplomatic endgame that concluded the Cold War in 1990. Rather than simply a strategic standoff between the superpowers, Gilbert argues, the Cold War was a social and ideological conflict that transformed Europe from Lisbon to Riga. Fast-paced and readable, this political, intellectual, and social history illuminates a conflict that continues to resonate today.
This book presents a comprehensive reassessment of Europe in the Cold War period, 1945-91. Contrary to popular belief, it shows that relations between East and West were based not only on confrontation and mutual distrust, but also on collaboration. The authors reveal that - despite opposing ideologies - there was in fact considerable interaction and exchange between different Eastern and Western actors (such states, enterprises, associations, organisations and individuals) irrespective of the Iron Curtain. This book challenges both the traditional understanding of the East-West juxtaposition and the relevancy of the Iron Curtain. Covering the full period, and taking into account a range of spheres including trade, scientific-technical co-operation, and cultural and social exchanges, it reveals how smaller countries and smaller actors in Europe were able to forge and implement their agendas within their own blocs. The books suggests that given these lower-level actors engaged in mutually beneficial cooperation, often running counter to the ambitions of the bloc-leaders, the rules of Cold War interaction were not, in fact, exclusively dictated by the superpowers.
The Cold War is conventionally regarded as a superpower conflict that dominated the shape of international relations between World War II and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Smaller powers had to adapt to a role as pawns in a strategic game of the superpowers, its course beyond their control. This edited volume offers a fresh interpretation of twentieth-century smaller European powers – East–West, neutral and non-aligned – and argues that their position vis-à-vis the superpowers often provided them with an opportunity rather than merely representing a constraint. Analysing the margins for manoeuvre of these smaller powers, the volume covers a wide array of themes, ranging from cultural to economic issues, energy to diplomacy and Bulgaria to Belgium. Given its holistic and nuanced intervention in studies of the Cold War, this book will be instrumental for students of history, international relations and political science.
The Mediterranean sea has been a key geopolitical territory in the global international relations of the twentieth century; of crucial importance to the US, the Middle East and in the history of the EU. As Cold War documents become declassified and these archives become accessible to western historians, this volume reassesses the secret war waged over three decades for control of the Mediterranean Sea. An 'American lake' in the 1950s, a battlefield for influence in the Cold War of the 1960s, and an increasingly important political arena for the oil-rich Gulf States in the 1970s, the Mediterranean offers a focal point around which the major themes and narratives of Cold War history were constructed. "Detente in Cold War Europe" draws together detailed analyses of the major moments of post-WWII history through the prism of the Mediterranean - including the signing of the Helsinki Accords in 1975, the Jordan crisis of 1970, the Soviet role in the Yom Kippur war, the Cyprus emergency of 1974, US-Soviet detente and US-Israeli relations under President Nixon. This book is a vital work for historians of the twentieth century and for those seeking to understand the importance of the Mediterranean in the political history of the Cold War.
Formed in 1947, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) was the first postwar international organization dedicated to cooperation in Europe along the boundaries set by the Cold War. Linking the universalism of the UN to European regionalism, both Cold War superpowers, the USA and the Soviet Union, were founding members of the UNECE. This book provides a unique study of this important but hitherto under-researched international organization. Incorporating research on the Cold War, the history of internationalism and European integration, Stinsky weaves these different threads of historical enquiry into a single analytical narrative. Building on the League of Nations' difficult heritage, and in an increasingly challenging political environment, the UNECE's mission was to facilitate European cooperation across the Iron Curtain. With a number of competitor organizations set against it, the UNECE managed to carve out a niche for itself, setting norms and standards that still have an impact on the everyday lives of millions in Europe and beyond today. Working against an overwhelming geopolitical trend, UNECE succeeded in bridging the Cold War divide on several occasions, and maintained a broad system of contacts across the Iron Curtain.
Although the Cold War is over, the writing of its history has only just begun. This book presents an analysis of the origins of the Cold War in the decade after the Second World War, discussing the development of the United States and the Soviet Union as superpowers and the reactions of the Western European states to the growing Soviet-American rivalry. Drawing on recently opened archives from the former Soviet Union as well as on existing research largely unavailable in English, distinguished authorities from each of the countries discussed provide new insight into the Cold War and into the Europe that has been molded by it. The book begins with an overview of United States Cold War policy after the war and a pioneering post-communist examination of Russian involvement. The next chapters focus on the other two members of the wartime alliance, Britain and France, for which the Cold War was interwoven with concerns such as the maintenance of empire and the continued fear of Germany. The book then examines the vanquished countries of World War II, Italy and Germany, who--particularly in the case of divided Germany--were struggling to recover their international status and come to terms with their past. The last part of the book considers how the small states--Benelux and Scandinavia--forged new groupings in the search for security, even though conflicts of national interest still persisted between them. The authors not only show the impact of superpower policies on each country but also reveal the many ways in which West European states were active participants in Cold War politics, trying to draw the Americans into Europe and shaping the blocs that emerged. The book sheds light on the European Community (in many ways a response to uneasiness about Germany) and on NATO, whose purpose was once described as keeping "the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down."