This chapter examines the role of the imperialism of nation-states in the Cold War. It suggests that the Cold War rivalry provided the “frame of reference” in which the historical forces of imperialism and nationalism interacted with developments such as decolonization, multiculturalism, and new ideologies and modes of identity formation. The chapter also argues that while the equilibrium of Cold War rivalry generated an entrenched political and ideological hegemony limiting the realization of political, economic, and imaginative possibilities in much of the world, the developing world represented significant weak links and played an equally important role in its collapse.
This chapter examines decolonization during the Cold War. It suggests that decolonization can be considered both as a response to the globalization of European influence and as a process of globalization which paved the way for the dismantling of the North Atlantic-centered international system. The chapter contends that decolonization during the Cold War was about the rethinking of the nature of the global order and the role of race and citizenship therein. It also argues that decolonization is the proof and constant reminder that the bipolar order pursued by the superpowers and their allies after the war was never a stable framework for the management of international relations.