This chapter explores the economic aspect of the Cold War. It analyzes historiographic debates on the role of economic factors in the Cold War and discusses the nature and scope of the conflict between the rival economic systems of Western capitalism and Soviet communism. The chapter describes the structures of the Western and Soviet-led economic orders and the interaction between the two blocs during the Cold War. It also examines contemporary research concerning the effectiveness of the strategic embargo employed by the Western states against the communist nations and highlights the role of economic issues in the ending of the Cold War.
Robert Mark Spaulding
This chapter, which examines the relation among trade, foreign aid, and economic warfare and their role in the Cold War, suggests that these three economic activities are intertwined and explains that subsidized trade with client states is a form of aid while embargoed trade is a type of economic warfare. It argues that trade, aid, and economic warfare co-determined the outcome of the cold war struggle, and that Cold War economic competition and the failures and successes of the rival states paved the way for a new wave of globalization which began in the 1980s and expanded after 1989. The chapter also considers several key developments of the Cold War period that are important components of contemporary globalization.