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From the Truman Doctrine to the Second Superpower Detente: The Rise and Fall of the Cold War

Michael Cox
Journal of Peace Research
Vol. 27, No. 1 (Feb., 1990), pp. 25-41
Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/423773
Page Count: 17
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From the Truman Doctrine to the Second Superpower Detente: The Rise and Fall of the Cold War
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Abstract

This article provides an overview of the Cold War from its origins in 1947 to the present day. It begins with a discussion of the balance of power after the war and asks why - if the USSR was as weak as many assumed - did a very powerful United States regard it as a threat to the West's vital interests. This discussion is then followed by an examination of the Cold War as a 'system' which concludes that for both superpowers bipolarity was an acceptable foundation upon which to base their security in the postwar period. The article then examines the crisis of the Cold War in the late 1960s and how Kissinger tried and failed to resolve the problem of world order through the strategy of superpower detente. This brings the discussion to the second Cold War. Here the author explores both the coherence of the Reagan strategy and the degree to which Reagan succeeded where Kissinger failed in establishing a more stable international system. The analysis then concludes with an examination of the origins and implications of the second superpower detente and poses and seeks to answer the difficult question: will the end of the Cold War also mean the end of the 'Long Peace'?

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