The Cold War

David Atkinson

in International Relations

ISBN: 9780199743292
Published online March 2011 | | DOI:
The Cold War


The term “Cold War” refers to the period of Soviet-American antagonism that dominated the international system from approximately 1945 to 1991. While different scholars emphasize different facets of this competition, the Cold War was at once an ideological, political, economic, cultural, military, and strategic contest between the United States and its allies on one hand, and the Soviet Union and its allies on the other. Recent studies have done much to complicate the once dominant bipolar understanding of this struggle. Scholars increasingly, and quite rightly, highlight the many ways in which Asian, African, and Latin American states in particular attempted to transcend the apparent strictures imposed by Soviet-American hostility. Indeed, our understanding of the Cold War is constantly subject to reinterpretation, revision, and modification, as new evidence, new methodologies, and new actors emerge from obscurity. There is a vast and continually expanding literature on the Cold War, offering much of value to international-relations scholars. The studies and resources included in this bibliography are designed to guide the new and experienced international-relations researcher through a selection of resources that reveal the myriad complexities, nuances, and contingencies of this seminal and contentious period. A great deal of this literature analyzes the evolution of the international system in the decades after World War II, while providing insights into policy formulation and diplomacy. Scholars have also been particularly interested in questions of responsibility and blame, especially regarding the origins and end of the Cold War. Many questions remain unresolved, and the boundaries of scholarly inquiry are continually expanding, making it an especially rich field of research for new and experienced researchers alike.

Article.  9169 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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