The essay argues that the story of 1989 can be told either as a narrow or a wide story. The narrow story focuses on the end of communism, the unification of Germany, and the subsequent integration of former communist states into the European Union. It works especially well for Central and Eastern Europe, although it also has implications for regimes in Africa that relied on Soviet support. However, it also requires considerable qualification, given the survival of communist regimes in China, Vietnam, Cuba, and elsewhere. In the second, wide version of the story, 1989 brings to visibility processes that had been at work for several decades, undermining the power blocs of the Cold War era and the territorially defined polities on which the system of international relations rested. In this story 1989 is of as much relevance to the West as to the former Eastern Bloc. The essay looks at both stories in relation to Gorbachev and perestroika, the US role in the end of the Cold War, German unification, the singing revolution in the Baltic, and 1989 in China and Cuba.
This chapter examines the impact of the Cold War on Africa. It explains that while Africa is the least-known Cold War battleground, the United States, the Soviet Union, China, and Cuba became embroiled in the internal affairs of countless African countries. The chapter analyzes the ideologies, practices, and interests of these main external actors and describes the four major arenas of conflict that are representative of broad trends in Cold War intervention in Africa. It also discusses how the Cold War altered the dynamics of local struggles, created unprecedented levels of destruction and widespread instability, and contributed to many of the problems that plague Africa today.
Helen Graham and Alejandro Quiroga
What Spain, Greece, and Portugal have in common in the twentieth century is the manner in which their internal processes of change – rural to urban, agrarian to industrial – were intervened in and inflected at crucial moments and with enduring effect by the force of international political agendas. By the 1960s, in all three countries, the fearful imaginaries of traditionalists still saw a disguised form of communism in the ‘godlessness’ of Americanisation, social liberalisation, and anti-puritanism. This article adopts a tripartite structure (1945: survival; 1970s: transition; after 1989: memory) in order to explore why, how, and with what consequences Southern European political establishments with clear Nazi links or empathies not only survived the collapse of Adolf Hitler's new order, but were also able to persist as dictatorial and authoritarian regimes into the 1970s. It then interrogates the nature of the subsequent transitions to parliamentary democracy, paying particular attention to the continuities. It is remarkable, even today, how few Western European or North American commentators understand the brutality beneath the burlesque of dictatorship in Southern Europe.
This chapter examines the role of Great Britain in the Cold War. It describes the condition and experiences of Britain from 1945 to 1990 and explores how Britain managed to maintain its global influence during the Cold War, despite its decline. The chapter argues that although Britain was forced to operate within structure of the Cold War, the British state and its leaders were able to make their own political decisions. Examples of these include the war resolution against Argentina to recapture the Falklands Islands in 1982, the decision not to participate in the Schuman Plan negotiations of 1950, and the determination to develop a nuclear bomb shortly after the end of World War 2.
In the forty-five years after World War II that Communist Yugoslavia existed, judgements as to the success of the experiment differed widely. Unlike the first royalist Yugoslav state, which had been dominated by the Serbian Karadjordjević Dynasty, the new country eventually gave recognition to all nationalities within the limits of its own authoritarian ideology. The creation of the second Yugoslavia united Bosnian Muslims, Albanians, Serbs, Montenegrins, Macedonians, Croats, and Slovenes with significant Hungarian, Roma, Italian, and Turkish minorities into a single, nominally Leninist state. What united it was the charismatic authority of its wartime leader Josip Broz Tito and a very large and politically significant army. After the break with the Soviet Union in 1948, the Yugoslav Communists veered on an uneasy path between centralisation and republican autonomy. The Communists showed little respect for traditional culture and religion when they came to power. This article focuses on ethno-nationalism and the demise of Communist Yugoslavia.
This chapter examines the role of China in the Cold War. It describes the origins of Cold War in China and the participation of nationalist China in World War 2 and the Cold War, and suggests that China played a pivotal role as the third (albeit shorter) leg of a cold war tripod. The chapter contends that the Cold War era in China is inseparable from the political supremacy Mao Zedong, and highlights the impact of the split between China and the Soviet Union on the role of China in the Cold War. It also argues that the 1972 Sino-United States rapprochement contributed to the fading of China from the Cold War narrative.
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, which examines the history of the Cold War in the Middle East. It explains that the Cold War in the Middle East was never a contest between equals and explains that Western powers always enjoyed a decisive advantage. Despite this, they were not able to retain outright control over the oil reserves and strategic positions of the region, and only succeeded in maintaining access to them through cooperative local regimes. This chapter also describes how the Cold War accentuated existing patterns in Middle Eastern geopolitics and how the great powers enhanced the ability of local actors to pursue rivalries.
Ang Cheng Guan
This chapter examines the history of the Cold War in Southeast Asia. It explains that the onset of the Cold War coincided with nationalist struggles and decolonization, and explains why Southeast Asians should appreciate that the Cold War is a historical event which has significantly affected the development of their countries, particularly in terms of the role of the Cold War in shaping the political development of the nation-states and interstate relations in the region, and the growing interest in rewriting the history of the Cold War.
This chapter examines the role of intelligence operations in the history of the Cold War. The analysis reveals that Cold War intelligence agencies played important roles in foreign policy in the way they conditioned the perceptions of leaders and catalyzed events. One of the best examples of this is the direct influence of intelligence operations upon diplomacy in the U-2 Affair. The chapter, which suggests that intelligence activities in the Cold War produced diplomatic and military consequences and influenced international agreements, also discusses the role of espionage and technical data collection in providing diplomats with vital information for negotiations with their counterparts.