Description - Before and After the Cold War by George H. Quester
The end of the Cold War, culminating in the tearing down of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the break-up of the Soviet Union soon thereafter, came as good news for most of the world. But it was "news", since almost no-one had predicted the collapse of Communist rule in anything less than several decades. If political scientists were caught by surprise, this might be seen to challenge their claim to be studying a "science". Explanations that cannot be predicted will not be seen to pass the test of a scientific theory. The years since 1989 are now compared to the years after 1918, or the years after 1945, when everything seemed unpredictable, in contrast to the Cold War, when things seemed more determined. We feel less sure of what the outside world will be like, and of whether Americans will care about this outside world. If attempts to predict the future have often failed, the need to try to predict accurately would seem greater then ever. This book provides a re-examination of previous efforts, with a view to finding an underlying logic for the future.
The Cold War factors that were the most difficult to predict were the role of nuclear weapons, and the rate at which such weapons might spread. As the Cold War has ended, the willingness of Americans to play a role around the world may seem as difficult to predict as the interactions of Chinese ethnic feelings across the Taiwan Strait, or the ethnic tensions that pit Pakistan against India. All of these factors are still apparent today and look set to remain in our future.
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(229mm x 152mm x 17mm)
Frank Cass Publishers
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
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