Three Paradigms of Cold War

9 September 2016

In the history of human societies, I would venture, the term paradigm must take on a slightly di? erent meaning, closer, in fact, to how the term was generally used before Kuhn’s work in the early ???? s. For our purpose, I want to look at paradigms as patterns of interpretation, which may possibly exist side by side, but which each signify a particular * Stuart L. Bernath Memorial Lecture delivered at St. Louis, ? April ????. A draft version of this lecture was presented to a faculty seminar at the London School of Economics on ? March ????.

The author wishes to thank his LSE colleagues (especially MacGregor Knox) and David Reynolds of Cambridge University for their helpful comments (while absolving them from any responsibility for the lecture’s contents). ?. For more on how Cold War studies is developing as a ? eld of inquiry see Odd Arne Westad, ed. , Reviewing the Cold War: Approaches, Interpretations, Theory (London, ???? ). D????????? H?????? , Vol. ?? , No. ? (Fall ???? ). © ???? The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR). Published by Blackwell Publishers, ??? Main Street, Malden, MA, ????? , USA and ??? Cowley Road, Oxford, OX? JF, UK. ??? ??? : ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? approach – an angle of view, if I may – to the complex problems of Cold War history.? This is, of course, also to indicate genuine doubt as to whether comprehensive and mutually exclusive interpretations of the Cold War as a phenomenon are possible today. It seems to me that both our general approaches to how history is studied and the emergence of massive new bodies of evidence lead in the direction of analytical diversity and away from the concentration on so-called schools of interpretation. If one looks at the way the Cold War is taught at my school, one ? ds a multitude of approaches: as U. S. political history, as history of the Soviet Union, as history of Third World revolutions, as history of European integration, as history of gender relations, as history of economic globalization just to mention a few. Few of our colleagues twenty-? ve years ago would have foreseen how the ? eld has opened up and spread out way beyond diplomatic history. Our task now, it seems to me, is to ? nd ways to describe, in looking at this long axis of analysis, points that seem particularly promising for further scholarly inquiry, based on a combination of work already undertaken and the availability of sources.

Three Paradigms of Cold War Essay Example

I have chosen to discuss three such possible paradigms in this article. They are the ones that seem to me best suited for rapid advances in our understanding of the Cold War as a period or as an international system, and not just as a bilateral con? ict or as diplomatic history. ???????? Perhaps the most useful – and certainly the most misused – of the paradigms I will be addressing here is that of ideology, understood as a set of fundamental concepts systematically expressed by a large group of individuals.

Integrating the study of such fundamental concepts into our approach to international history holds tremendous promise as a method within a ? eld that has often ignored ideas as the basis for human action. Used in ways that are sensitive to historical evidence and consistent in their application, the introduction of ideology as a part of our understanding of motives and broad patterns of action helps us overcome two of the main problems that international historians of the Cold War often face. One is that we are seen to be better at explaining single events than we are at analyzing causes and consequences of larger historical shifts.

The other is that we are – rightly, I believe – often seen as using a narrow concept of causality, mostly connected to interests or state policies.? Let me use an example. When President John F. Kennedy met with First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) Nikita ?. Thomas J. Kuhn, The Structure of Scienti? c Revolutions (Chicago, ???? ). Richard Evans, In Defense of History, rev. ed. (New York, ???? ) has a useful discussion of the role of alternative paradigms in historical research. ?. For a discussion of operational de? nitions of ideology see Douglas J.

MacDonald, “Formal Ideologies in the Cold War: Toward a Framework for Empirical Analysis,” in Westad, ed. , Reviewing the Cold War. Three (Possible) Paradigms : ??? Khrushchev in Vienna in June ???? , both leaders brought with them briefs and position papers that underlined the need to seek common ground on a number of issues, including the threat of nuclear war. Still, their public and private encounters were marked by sharp confrontation and the summit itself probably contributed to the increased tension that followed, culminating in the Cuban missile crisis the following year.

Obviously, the policies that the two leaders pursued on most issues prior to their meeting were in con? ict. Equally clearly, the personalities of Kennedy and Khrushchev were, to put it mildly, disharmonious. But in order to understand the outcome of the summit, I ? nd that each man’s basic ideological perception – his preconceived image of his own role and that of the other leader – is an invaluable tool that can only be discarded at our peril.? For Khrushchev, it was not primarily Kennedy’s youth and relative inexperience that made it necessary to go on the o? nsive over Cuba and Berlin during the summit, or to lecture JFK on communism. It was, as those who came with Khrushchev to Vienna explain, because the Soviet leader was convinced that his society and political thinking were in ascendance, and that Kennedy, as a class representative of the U. S. “monopolists,” could be brought to recognize this historical necessity. For John Kennedy, it was exactly this ideological challenge that mattered most, since he perceived his own role as U. S. president as assuring “the survival and success of liberty” on a global scale.

With the passing of the torch to a new generation, Kennedy more than anything meant a more vigorous and determined pursuit of U. S. ideological hegemony in the world.? While the Vienna example shows how ideologies can be used to understand both concrete historical events and long-term trends, it is important, as Douglas MacDonald has shown, that our use of the concept does not become determinist or one-sided. One danger is associated with the overreliance on ideologies as a kind of theoretical catchall – such as has happened in the case of some Gramscian Marxists – or the replacement of the historical narrative with the study of ideas per se.

In other cases, ideology has been reduced to formal concepts, such as often happened in Cold War era U. S. studies of the Soviet Union, in which Marxism-Leninism (meaning the Marxist coda) kept out more composite and complex views of Soviet ideology. Finally, there is always the ?. On personalities and issues at the Kennedy-Khrushchev summit see Michael R. Beschloss, The Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev, ???? –???? (New York, ???? ); Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali, “One Hell of Gamble”: Khrushchev, Castro, and Kennedy, ???? –???? (New York, ???? ; Lawrence Freedman, Kennedy’s Wars: Berlin, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam (New York, ???? ); and Sergei N. Khrushchev, Nikita Khrushchev and the Creation of a Superpower, trans. Shirley Benson (University Park, PA, ???? ). ?. For Khrushchev see Oleg Troianovskii, Cherez gody i rasstoianiia: istoriia odnoi semi [Across time and space: One family’s history] (Moscow, ???? ); and Oleg Grinevskii, Tysiacha i odin den Nikity Sergeevicha [Nikita Sergeevich’s thousand and one days] (Moscow, ???? ); for Kennedy see Thomas C. Reeves, A Question of Character: A Life of John F.

Kennedy (London, ???? ); or Freedman, Kennedy’s Wars, chaps. ? and ?. Kennedy quote from inaugural address, ?? January ???? , at http://www. hpol. org/jfk/. ??? : ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? danger of making the other side “ideological” – and one’s own side only too logical or interest driven. I see this as one of the main post-Cold War fallacies of U. S. international historians – while we have gradually become comfortable with making ideology an integral part of the study of Soviet foreign relations, many people in the ? eld ? nd it much more di? cult to deal with U.

S. elite ideology as a meaningful concept.? As Michael Hunt has pointed out, the latter omission is particularly important to rectify if ideology is to be used as a meaningful interpretive tool. I would claim that during much of the Cold War, the ideology of the U. S. foreign policy elite was more pervasive in terms of decision making than was that of Soviet party leaders. In the cases that really mattered – the Marshall Plan, the support for European integration, U. S. occupation policy in Japan – it was a set of key U. S. ideas centered on a speci? c U. S. esponsibility for the global expansion of freedom that made the di? erence. These ideas, which emphasized freedom of expression, freedom of ownership, and freedom of capitalist exchanges and negated freedom of collective organization, precapitalist values, or revolutionary action, were essential elements in the U. S. transformation of the world after ???? , and in Washington’s unwillingness to engage the Soviet Union in the give and take of pre-World War II diplomatic practice.? As will be clear from the above, I to some extent go along with Anders Stephanson’s contention that the Cold War may pro? ably be seen as a U. S. ideological project, although I would go much further than Stephanson in giving autonomy to other actors – my point is that it was to a great extent American ideas and their in? uence that made the Soviet-American con? ict into a Cold War. While Soviet foreign policy was no less fueled by its key ideas or its understanding of what made the world tick, the crucial di? erence is that at most times Soviet leaders were acutely aware of their lack of international hegemony and the weakness (relative to the United States and its allies) of Soviet or Communist power.

From the Yalta summit to the Malta summit they therefore most often thought that they would have to satisfy themselves – short term, as they saw it – with what they could get from the standard Great Power mix of negotiations, cajoling, and limited military action. On the U. S. side, although the general public have been quite regularly visited by elements of paranoia with regard to the outside world, what really needs explanation is the remarkable consistency with which the U. S. foreign policy elite has de? ned the nation’s international purpose over the past three to four generations.

That purpose has been the global domination of its ideas – and although military domination has ?. MacDonald, “Formal Ideologies. ” See also Westad, “Secrets of the Second World: Russian Archives and the Reinterpretation of Cold War History,” Diplomatic History ?? (Spring ???? ): ??? –??. John Lewis Gaddis summarizes the arguments for why Marxism-Leninism mattered in We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History (New York, ???? ). ?. Michael H. Hunt, Ideology and American Foreign Policy (New Haven, ???? ). As I have pointed out earlier, the study of U. S. oreign policy ideology is in itself a useful way of transcending the orthodox de? nitions of historiographical “schools. ” See Westad, “Introduction,” in Westad, ed. , Reviewing the Cold War. Three (Possible) Paradigms : ??? not always been recognized as a necessary companion to this ideological hegemony, it has still been an aim that U. S. leaders have been willing to intervene to accomplish from World War I to the Kosovo con? ict.? For most of the Cold War the majority of Americans did not share their leaders’ willingness to spend their resources on extending U. S. ideas abroad.

Without help from Stalin and the generation of Soviet leaders he created, it is uncertain whether the Truman and Eisenhower administrations would have been able to keep a strong U. S. involvement in Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia. Stalin believed that by isolating the Soviet Union and the countries it had occupied after the war, he could preserve the Communist dictatorship and build a long-term challenge to U. S. domination. Had it not been for Stalin’s in? exibility and his insistence that his “zone” was extraneous to any form of U. S. in? uence, it would have been much more di? cult for the U.

S. foreign policy elites to get at least limited acceptance among the general public for substantial and long-term foreign involvements.? What then about the countries that joined with the United States in waging Cold War against communism – ? rst and foremost Western Europe and Japan? The West European elites that issued the “invitations to empire” that Geir Lundestad has emphasized seem to have done so both out of fear of Stalin’s intentions and because of the attractiveness of U. S. assistance in sorting out their own domestic problems. What is much more important to understand, though, is how he U. S. response to the “invitations” came to be shaped – not as a rescue operation for besieged (and to a great extent discredited) political leaderships but as conscious and comprehensive attempts at changing Europe (and Japan) in the direction of U. S. ideas and models.?? To me, it is the ? exibility of U. S. policies and the negotiability of the ideology they were based on that explain both the uniquely successful alliance systems that the United States established with Western Europe and Japan and the rapid political, social, and economic transformation that these countries went through.

This, perhaps, was the real revolution of the Cold War: that the United States over a period of ? fty years transformed its main capitalist competitors according to its own image. This did not, of course, happen without con? ict. But mostly – and in great part because of the Cold War perceptions of an external threat – it was a peaceful transformation. Its peacefulness, however, ?. Anders Stephanson, “Fourteen Notes on the Very Concept of the Cold War,” http://mail. hnet. msu. edu/~diplo/stephanson. html. This is of course not denying that ideology was crucial to Soviet foreign policy – my point here is about capabilities, not intentions.

For an attempt at de? ning the key ideological themes in U. S. foreign policy history see David Ryan, US Foreign Policy in World History (London, ???? ). ?. For Stalin’s intentions see Vojtech Mastny, The Cold War and Soviet Insecurity: The Stalin Years (New York, ???? ); and Vladislav Zubok and Constantine Pleshakov, Inside the Kremlin’s Cold War: From Stalin to Khrushchev (Cambridge, MA, ???? ). For U. S. perceptions see Melvyn P. Le? er, A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War (Stanford, ???? . ??. Geir Lundestad, “Empire by Invitation? The United States and Western Europe, ???? –???? ,” Journal of Peace Research ?? , no. ? (???? ): ??? –?? ; John L. Harper, American Visions of Europe: Franklin D. Roosevelt, George F. Kennan, and Dean G. Acheson (Cambridge, England, ???? ). ??? : ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? and the fact that it happened as much as a result of trade, education, and consumer culture as political pressure should not obscure its intrinsicality.?? In the novel for which he received the Nobel Prize for iterature last year, the German author Gunter Grass describes how his country has changed over the past century, with the most basic transformations happening after ????. It was not just the e? ects of World War II that changed Germany, Grass seems to argue, it was the postwar presence of the Americans. The same – although to di? ering degrees – could be said of all of the United States’s key alliance partners. The changes in policies, social strati? cation, and economic foundations that the U. S. presence inspired gradually created systems of alliances that were based on similar world views and that could survive con? cts of interest (unlike those of the East). To me, at least, it is the second generation of postwar leaders who hold the key to this more profound transformation: Helmut Kohl, Francois Mitterrand, Margaret Thatcher, Yasuhiro Nakasone, all born in the interwar years, came to accept U. S. models much more readily than previous or (perhaps) coming generations, and in doing so they not only changed their countries (and settled the Cold War) but also laid the foundations for the new system of globalized markets that in e? ect replaced the East-West con? ict.?? ?????????? In terms of ideologies, one may say that the Cold War was a con? ct between two di? erent versions of what anthropologist James C. Scott refers to as high modernism – on the one hand, one that underlined social justice and the role of the industrial proletariat, and, on the other, one that emphasized individuality and the role of the stake-holding middle class. For the world at large, both ideologies were in their ways revolutionary, intent on transforming the world in their image. As with many modernist projects, American and Soviet Cold War ideologies based an important part of their legitimacies on the control of nature, be it human nature or our physical surroundings.

They were both attempts at simplifying a complex world through social engineering, massive exploitation of resources, regulation, and technology. Technology was the epitome of both ideologies and of the systems they represented – it symbolized the conquest of nature itself for socialism or for freedom and the use the ??. Two excellent overviews charting these developments, in politics and economics, respectively, are John Killick, The United States and European Reconstruction, ???? –???? (Edinburgh, ???? ); and Marie-Louise Djelic, Exporting the American Model: The Postwar Transformation of European Business (Oxford, ???? . See also Margaret Blomchard, Exporting the First Amendment: The Press-Government Crusade of ???? –???? (New York, ???? ). For Germany see Ralph Willett, The Americanization of Germany, ???? –???? (London, ???? ); for France see Richard Kuisel, Seducing the French: The Dilemma of Americanization (Berkeley, ???? ). ??. Gunter Grass, Mein Jahrhundert [My century] (Gottingen, ???? ). Insights on how the American alliances have in? uenced the four leaders are in Hugo Young, One of Us: A Biograpy of Margaret Thatcher (London, ???? ); Karl Hugo Pruys, Helmut Kohl: Die Biographie [Helmut Kohl: The biography] (Berlin, ???? ; Jean Lacouture, Mitterrand: une histoire de Francais [Mitterrand: A history of the French] (Paris, ???? ); and Yasuhiro Nakasone, The Making of the New Japan (Richmond, ???? ). Three (Possible) Paradigms : ??? physical world could be put to in constructing a social system or in confronting its enemies.?? At the beginning of the Cold War, nuclear technology stood at the core of the con? ict. U. S. possession of the secrets of atomic energy created a push for wider global responsibilities among U. S. political leaders and fueled deep-felt suspicions within the Communist movement about U.

S. plans for controlling their countries. The Soviet quest to develop a nuclear capability of its own was – as David Holloway has explained – a key feature in Moscow’s establishment of a Cold War world view. The future of socialism depended on the Soviet Union matching the technological achievements of the imperialist states. Without a Soviet bomb, the socialist world would be inherently weak and under constant pressure.?? But nuclear technology was not only important for the military aspects of the con? ict. In the late ???? s and early ???? the battle for access to energy resources formed part of the core Cold War competition, and atomic energy was of course a vital part of that battle. Both on the Soviet and the American side degrees of modernity were measured in energy output – it was as if Lenin’s adage that “Communism is workers’ power plus electricity” held true in both Moscow and Washington. As the Soviet Union dramatically increased its energy output in the ???? s – the ? rst Soviet nuclear power plant became operational in ???? – there was a widespread sense that Moscow’s model of development could eventually overtake that of the United States.??

One of the biggest surprises that early Cold Warriors would have been in for, had they still been with us in the ???? s and ???? s, was that it was neither nuclear bombs nor nuclear power that came to decide the Cold War. After Nagasaki, the bombs were never used. After Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, nuclear power lost much of its luster, and some advanced industrial states, such as Sweden, are now closing down their nuclear plants. While nuclear technology therefore defends its place in Cold War history, more attention needs to be paid to other connections and implications of the relationship between the Cold War con? ct and the development of science and technology. ??. James C. Scott, Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (New Haven, ???? ). For further discussion of technology as key to the modernity project see Michael Adas, Machines as the Measure of Men: Science, Technology, and Ideologies of Western Dominance (Ithaca, ???? ); and Marshall Berman, All That is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity (New York, ???? ). See also, of course, Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. Alan Sheridan (New York, ???? ).

For overviews of the Soviet approach see Kendall Bailes, Technology and Society under Lenin and Stalin (Princeton, ???? ); and especially Richard Stites, Revolutionary Dreams: Utopian Vision and Experimental Life in the Russian Revolution (New York, ???? ). Stephen Kotkin has an excellent discussion of Soviet modernity and its discontents in Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as a Civilization (Berkeley, ???? ). The classic statement of technology as power in the postwar world is Vannevar Bush, Science: The Endless Frontier (Washington, ???? ). ??. David Holloway, Stalin and the Bomb: The Soviet Union and Atomic Energy, ???? ?? (New Haven, ???? ) ??. William O’Neill, A Better World: Stalinism and the American Intellectuals (London, ???? ); Marcello Flores, L’immagine dell’URSS: l’Occidente e la Russia di Stalin (???? –???? ) [The image of the USSR: The West and Stalin’s Russia (???? –???? )] (Milan, ???? ). ??? : ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? As David Reynolds explains in his compelling survey of international trends since World War II, these connections are not di? cult to ? nd. Already in October ???? Secretary of War Robert Patterson noted that “the laboratories of America have now become our ? rst line of defense. Ten years later more than half of all spending, public or private, on industrial research and development in the United States went to defense projects. Crucial areas of technology that were opened up through defense-related funding include navigation systems, space exploration, and even genetics (including the Human Genome Project). But ? rst and foremost, in terms of its short-term implications, the Cold War provided public funding for research in electronics and communications – the two areas of technology, it might be said, that most contributed to the global changes that took place during the Cold War, and to the way the con? ct ended.?? With regard to the development of global, interconnected communication systems, it has been argued that the Soviet Union collapsed because, in the words of one author, it “did not get the message. ” In ???? , the Soviet Union had around one-sixth as many telephone connections as the United States, and – as everyone who visited with the Soviets can testify to – those that did exist often did not work very well. By the mid-???? , however, the Soviets had communications satellites in orbit, as a result of their enormous investments in space technology, that could have been used to connect the Soviet Union to the emerging communication networks and to spread the Soviet message to the world. Why didn’t that happen??? There are two meaningful ways of answering that question. The ? rst is that the failure to link up was the result of decades of Soviet isolation – in part self-imposed, in part enforced. On the one hand, there was Moscow’s fear that, as one former CPSU leader put it, “with their technology comes their political system and their culture. On the other hand, there was the Western urge to isolate the Soviets, in part so that their political system would su? er from not having access to the newest technology. But there are also more inherent reasons for the Soviet communications failure. Not only did the peoples of Eastern Europe show by the direction of their antennas that they preferred Dallas to Dresden but also the Soviet leadership simply did not want to invest in more elaborate wars of propaganda, since they knew that socialism was winning in the long run.

Contrary to the general perception at the time, it was the United States that was the propaganda master of the Cold War, in terms of both e? ort and resources spent.?? ??. The following paragraphs are based on David Reynolds, One World Divisible: A Global History since ???? (New York, ???? ), ??? –??? ; Patterson quote on ???. ??. John Barber and Mark Harrison, eds. , The Soviet Defense-Industry Complex from Stalin to Khrushchev (New York, ???? ); Je? rey L. Roberg, Soviet Science under Control: The Struggle for In? uence (London, ???? ). ??. Former Vice-Foreign Minister Georgi Kornienko, interview with author, ?

February ????. On U. S. propaganda see Walter Hixson, Parting the Curtain: Propaganda, Culture, and the Cold War, ???? –???? (Basingstoke, ???? ); and Frances Stonor Saunders, Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War (London, ???? ). For a very instructive overview of the purposes behind the physical presentation of the United States abroad see Robert H. Haddow, Pavilions of Plenty: Exhibiting American Culture Abroad in the ???? s (Washington, ???? ). Three (Possible) Paradigms : ??? The other main technology with an immediate Cold War relevance was, of course, the development of computers.

Like advanced communications, the ? rst computers were all for military use in the United States and Britain, and, as a technology, came out of the needs of World War II. In the United States, the history of the development of computers is very much connected to the history of one company, IBM, and one business leader, Thomas J. Watson. In the ???? s over half of IBM’s revenues came from the analog guidance computer for the B-?? Bomber and from the SAGE air defense system. As Watson himself put it: “It was the Cold War that helped IBM make itself the king of the computer business. ”??

The Soviet Union, it could be argued, was not far behind the West in computer development in the early ???? s. But then something happened. Even though the U. S. military took ?? percent of the overall production of computer chips as late as ???? , by ???? the Pentagon procurers had begun to look outside the big companies for some of their needs. It was this increasing ? exibility in the U. S. military-industrial-academic complex in the mid-???? s – or, to put it more bluntly, the marriage between easy defense money and Bay Area ? owerpower – that created the crucial breakthrough, the commercially available personal computer.

This was something the Soviet Union would not want to match – its research went into big computers for big purposes.?? It was out of the need to link small (but available) computers at di? erent U. S. military research centers that the ? rst long distance computer network, ARPAnet, developed in the ???? s. This union of computer chips and communications – later to be known as the Internet – was perhaps the single most important technological innovation of the Cold War. By the late ???? s it came to de? ne, in a very narrow sense, who was on the inside and who was on the outside.

Linking the main capitalist centers more closely together in terms of business, trade, and education, the Internet came to underline exchange of all sorts, and was gradually spreading out of its original centers in North America, Japan, and Western Europe. Communications technology had become an important part of the message of global capitalism. Indeed, it could be argued that the market revolution of the late twentieth century – or globalization if one prefers to use that term – would not have been possible without the advances in communications that the Cold War competition brought on.??

The Soviet Union and Eastern Europe were cut o? from this development by choice as well as by design. The new communications technology made the East Bloc elites feel isolated in a di? erent sense than before. By the late ???? s ??. Watson quoted in Reynolds, One World Divisible, ???. ??. See Stuart W. Leslie, The Cold War and American Science: The Military-Industrial Complex at MIT and Stanford (New York, ???? ); Martin Campbell-Kelly and William Aspray, Computer: A History of the Information Machine (New York, ???? ); for the Soviet Union see Daniel L.

Burghart, Red Microchip: Technology Transfer, Export Control, and Economic Restructuring in the Soviet Union (Aldershot, ???? ). ??. Richard O’Brien, Global Financial Integration: The End of Geography (London, ???? ). ??? : ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? it seemed as if not just the Soviet Union’s Western enemies but substantial parts of the rest of the world – East and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and parts of the Middle East – were moving away from interaction with it and toward a higher degree of interaction with each other.

The ruling Communist parties, within their own countries, also had to compete with the image of the West as being more advanced, an image that was, in the case of Eastern Europe, projected daily into many people’s homes through terrestrial or satellite antennas. In the end, Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika project was about being included into the world that the satellite channels represented while upholding a degree of ideological challenge to the system that had created them.

His was no surprising failure, although the consequences of that failure rightly stunned the world.?? In the little that has been written so far by historians about the role of technology in the Cold War, their overall relationship has often been reduced to the simple question of which political and social system delivered and which did not. Looking at Cold War technology in the way I have tried to present it here, this is perhaps the wrong question to ask. It is better, I think, to explore the purposes for which technology was developed in its di? rent settings and to discuss the way the military-technological policies on both sides contributed to the direction of science and to the many weapons with which the Cold War was fought – from strategic missiles to satellite transmissions and computer networks. Against this proposition of making the history of technology a key aspect of the new Cold War history, it is sometimes said that we are confusing categories, that technology is in its essence politically and ideologically neutral. In the strictest sense this is of course true. For individual scientists it is the thrill of discovery that matters, not the speci? purposes for which the invention will later be used. But if we want to understand the Cold War in terms not just of diplomacy and warfare but also in terms of social and political development, we need to look more closely at how technology was created, for what purposes it was used, and how some aspects of it came to de? ne, in very concrete terms, the ? nal stages of the Cold War con? ict. We need to explore the links between military priorities and technological development and to be open to the suggestion that innovation in some key areas during the past ? ty years moved in directions it would not have taken had it not been for the Cold War. Approached along these lines, I believe that the interplay between technology, politics, and social development forms one of the most useful prisms through which to view the East-West con? ict. Such research would not just deal with “technological imperatives” (if there ever was such a thing), but more profoundly, begin to see the Cold War as a con? ict of the core concepts of ??. See, for instance, Peter Dicken, Global Shift: The Internationalization of Economic Activity (London, ???? or, for a more critical view, Thomas C. Patterson, Change and Development in the Twentieth Century (Oxford, ???? ), esp. ??? –??. Three (Possible) Paradigms : ??? modernity, an essential part of which was what direction technological innovation should take and for what means its products should be used.?? This con? ict took on a particular signi? cance for areas outside Europe and North America, since their meeting with modernity, and, eventually, with capitalism, to a great extent happened during the Cold War era.

As I will explore in the next section, there is little doubt that these encounters would have been less unhappy and less destructive had it not been for the globalization of the Cold War con? ict and the superpower interventions that this produced. ??? ????? ????? The concept of three worlds is often seen as a product of Cold War perceptions: A ? rst (in every sense) world consisting of the main capitalist states; a second (alternative) world made up of the Soviet Union and its allies; and a third (-class) world constituting the rest. Interestingly, this etymology is almost certainly wrong; the term Tiers monde was ? st developed by the French economist and demographer Alfred Sauvy in ???? to denote a political parallel to the Third Estate (Tiers etat) of the French Revolution – Sauvy’s point was to underline the revolutionary potential that the new countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America would possess in relation to the existing bipolar world system. Sauvy and many of those theorists who adopted the term envisaged a Third World that, like its illustrious predecessor in France, would rise against and overturn the established order(s).?? In terms of the Third World’s actual fate during the Cold War, Sauvy could not have been further from the truth.

Instead of overturning the international system, many Third World countries became its main victims through the extension of Cold War tensions to their territories. Central America, Angola, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Indochina, Korea – the list of countries that have had their futures wrecked by superpower involvement is very long indeed, and many of these countries are still not beginning to come to terms with the consequences of their predicament. But equally damaging to the new states that were created in the aftermath of World War II was the willingness of Third Word elites hemselves to adopt Cold War ideologies for purposes of domestic development and mobilization. This wholesale takeover of aerial and divisive ideas by feeble states caused untold damage not only through warfare but also through social experiments inspired by both socialist and capitalist versions of high modernism. From rural resettlement programs in Indonesia and Thailand and strategic villages in ??. For invigorating attempts at making such connections see Wolfgang Emmerich and Carl Wege, eds. , Der Technikdiskurs in der Hitler-Stalin Ara [The technology discourse in the Hitler-Stalin era] (Stuttgart, ???? ; and David C. Engerman, “Modernization from the Other Shore: American Observers and the Costs of Soviet Economic Development,” American Historical Review ??? (April ???? ): ??? –???. ??. Alfred Sauvy, “Trois mondes, une planete” [Three worlds, one planet], l’Observateur, ?? August ????. ??? : ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? South Vietnam, to collectivization in Ethiopia and ? ve-year plans in Mozambique and Angola, the social and human cost of the attempts by Third World elites to force change on unwilling societies has been frightful.

In some cases, such as in South Vietnam or in Ethiopia, it makes sense to speak of a continuous war against a peasantry that had to be “transformed” – and fast – if the version of modernity that the regime had bought into should be able to overcome its rivals.?? The main signi? cance of the Cold War for the Third World (and of the Third World for the Cold War) seems to me to be this: That the ideological rivalry of the two superpowers came to dominate Third World politics to such an extent that in some countries it delegitimized the development of the domestic political discourse that any state needs for its survival.

As a result, the elites in these countries increasingly isolated themselves from the peasant population and, in the end, sought a superpower ally in order to wage war on their own people. Guatemala after ???? and Ethiopia after ???? are good cases in point.?? Seen from a U. S. perspective during the Cold War, this was, of course, not quite the way things looked. The United States’s Third World allies were most often seen, by both supporters and critics of U. S. Cold War policies, as local powerholders who joined with the United States in order to ? ht communism and preserve their own privileges. They were “traditionalists” – a term that in the early ???? s quickly made the leap from modernization theory textbooks to State Department dispatches.?? Few general descriptions could, in my opinion, be further from the truth. When we look at their actions and their beliefs, leaders such as Indonesia’s Suharto and the last Pahlavi shah in Iran were, in their way, revolutionaries, who attempted to create completely new states based on authoritarian high modernist visions of social transformation.

Like leaders in Western Europe, their main source of inspiration was the United States, but their societies were ??. Gary E. Hansen, ed. , Agricultural and Rural Development in Indonesia (Boulder, ???? ); Walden F. Bello et al. , A Siamese Tragedy: Development and Disintegration in Modern Thailand (Oakland, CA, ???? ); Arthur Combs, “Rural Economic Development as a Nation-Building Strategy in South Vietnam, ???? –???? ” (Ph. D. thesis, London School of Economics, ???? ); Tesfaye Tafesse, The Agricultural, Environmental, and Social Impacts of the Villagization Programme in Northern Shewa, Ethiopia (Addis Ababa, ???? ; Mark F. Chingono, The State, Violence, and Development: The Political Economy of War in Mozambique, ???? –???? (Aldershot, ???? ); Pierre Beaudet, ed. , Angola: bilan d’un socialisme de guerre [Angola: Accounts of a socialism of war] (Paris, ???? ). ??. Jennifer G. Schirmer, The Guatemalan Military Project: A Violence Called Democracy (Philadelphia, ???? ); Tefarra Haile-Selassie, The Ethiopian Revolution, ???? –???? (London, ???? ). ??. On the curious development of concepts for viewing Third World elites see Frederick Cooper and Randall Packer, eds. International Development and the Social Sciences: Essays on the History and Politics of Knowledge (Berkeley, ???? ); and Michael Edward Latham, “Modernization as Ideology: Social Science Theory, National Identity, and American Foreign Policy” (Ph. D. diss. , University of California, Los Angeles, ???? ). The major analytical statements of modernization as an American project are Walt Whitman Rostow, The Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto (Cambridge, England, ???? ); and Samuel P. Huntington, Political Order in Changing Societies (New Haven, ???? . For a historical critique see Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, eds. , The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge, England, ???? ); and, for a vigorous counterattack by an anthropologist, Arturo Escobar, Encountering Development: The Making of the Third World (Princeton, ???? ). Three (Possible) Paradigms : ??? much further removed from that ideal in social, ideological, and technological terms. Just as Mao Zedong in the late ???? s spoke about “catapulting” China into socialism, Suharto and the shah wanted to catapult their countries into advanced capitalism.

Not surprisingly, since human societies cannot be formed into projectiles aimed at ideological images, none of them had much success.?? The civil wars in the Third World during the Cold War era therefore often began as clashes between a center that had adopted one form or the other of high modernist ideology and movements on the periphery that saw themselves as defending their values and customs. Like all wars, however, these con? icts transformed because of the levels of violence, uprooting, and destruction that they created. This transformation was often as much ideological as military or strategic.

In many cases, these calamitous wars provided unique opportunities for revolutionary movements to recruit adherents to their beliefs, and thereby transform peasant communities into armies of rebellion. The Chinese Communist Party is a good case in point: In the ? rst phase of the Cold War, radical socialist movements in the Third World often began their march to power by defending local areas against imperialist armies, or “modernizing” states, or simply against encroachments by capitalist practices that, for the peasants, could be as destructive as warfare or forced labor.??

The second phase of the Cold War, beginning in the early ???? s, saw an extension of this pattern. With decolonization, within two decades more than one hundred new states emerged, each with elites that had their own ideological agendas, often connected up to the ideals constituted by the superpowers. Instead of reducing tensions in society, decolonization – for the formerly colonized – often increased them, and gave rise to state administrations that were, for the peasants, more intrusive and more exploitative than the colonial authorities had been.

As a result, most of the new states became chronically unstable in both political and social terms. Had it not been for the existence of these new states, it is likely that the Cold War con? ict, in its ???? s and ???? s form, would have petered out sometime in the ???? s, with the stabilization of European borders and the Soviet post-Stalin “normalization. ” What prolonged the con? ict was its extension into areas in which the Cold War ideological duality had no relevance for the majority of the people, but where U. S. and Soviet leaders convinced themselves that the postcolonial states were theirs to win or lose.

Local Third World elites were therefore able to attain Great Power allies in their wars against their peoples, and the organizations opposing them could often forge their own foreign links, ??. Marvin Zonis, Majestic Failure: The Fall of the Shah (Chicago, ???? ); Michael R. J. Vatikiotis, Indonesian Politics under Suharto, ? d ed. (London, ???? ). ??. Theda Skocpol, “Social Revolutions and Mass Military Mobilization,” World Politics ?? (January ???? ): ??? –?? ; Je? Goodwin and Skocpol, “Explaining Revolutions in the Contemporary Third World,” Politics and Society ?? (???? ): ??? –??? Quee-Young Kim, ed. , Revolutions in the Third World (New York, ???? ); and Barry M. Schutz and Robert O. Slater, Revolution and Political Change in the Third World (Boulder, ???? ). ??? : ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? in some cases based on the most incongruous of ideological alliances, such as U. S. support for radical Islamist parties in Afghanistan. What changed from the early Cold War, however, was the pattern of superpower involvement: During the ???? s, it was as often the Soviet Union as the United States that found itself on the side of the government against the rebels.

In this latter point I think there is an important clue to how we may be changing our understanding of the relationship between the Cold War and developments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. As seen from within many Third World societies, the United States was as much of a revolutionary force as was the Soviet Union – the two, and those who adopted elements of their ideologies, emphasized standardization, engineering, and planning; the orders that they wanted to establish were distinctly Western, with roots going back to the Enlightenment and the eighteenth century.

I was struck by this recently when I attended a series of oral history conferences on the Vietnam wars with former Secretary of Defense Robert MacNamara as one of the main participants. As far as I could see, MacNamara and his former North Vietnamese enemies still lived in completely di? erent worlds as to their understanding of the war except when talking about the social changes that they had attempted to foist on Vietnamese society – MacNamara’s “villagization” was only a few steps away from the North’s collectivization in terms of its e? ects (unfortunately both intended and real).

Like Mao Zedong – perhaps the most destructive utopian of the past century – both sides viewed the peasants as “blank slates, on which the most wonderful texts may be written. ” ?????????? Some of my colleagues will undoubtedly think that working within the alternative paradigms I claim to observe will broaden the study of the Cold War to a point where it becomes indistinguishable from a “global history” approach. If the Cold War was all these things, this thinking goes, then what in latetwentieth-century history is left outside the realm of Cold War history?

Am I not reducing very complex and in part unrelated phenomena to that narrow area of history in which my own research interests began? In this article, I have tried to show how these new paradigms may stay clear of reductionist fallacies by constantly emphasizing the interactions between developments in the East-West political con? ict and other changes in human societies during the Cold War era. These interactions are what may help us to a wider understanding of the con? ct – which is not the same as saying that all events from Yalta to Malta can be explained by simple political references. Like the journalist Thomas Friedman, who has written one of the best books available about the post-???? international system, I believe that the “Cold War system didn’t shape everything, but it shaped many things. ” The point is that without attempting to understand these wider connections, we run the risk of disregarding those aspects of the Cold War and of the processes of change that Three (Possible) Paradigms : ??? ccompanied it that we are most likely to encounter as questions from future students or from the general public.?? If one, like me, hopes that in some way what I am doing as a historian may help people make more sense of the world they live in today, then it should be these wider connections that inspire our work. What is really reductionist, I think, are the attempts at making Cold War history into games centered on narrow concepts of “interest” – be it the realists’ strategic interests or the Marxists’ economic interests.

Last year’s Bernath Lecture – and much of the debate that followed – may serve as a depressing example of the relative limitations of these approaches, and as prescriptions for how international history may remain peripheral within the wider profession.?? Global events after the end of the Cold War have already exposed the disregarding of cultural and ideological background to con? ict as dangerous folly. I believe that excluding the other key issues of change that I have pointed to above may turn out in the long run to be equally dangerous.

Attempting to point out what we carry over from the Cold War and what turned out to be speci? c for the late twentieth century is one useful way of approaching contemporary international history.?? I have tried to distinguish dimensions that are important enough to contain both durable and speci? c elements and that therefore seem to become important avenues to our understanding of the Cold War system. Like anyone talking about the past and the future, I may, of course, turn out to be mostly wrong – there may be other new paradigms beside those I have described here that will dominate the ? ld in ten years’ time. What I am certain of, however, is that the remarkable ability that international historians have shown up to now to use new evidence to feed into old interpretations will not continue to dominate, and that in the future we will be looking at a much more diverse ? eld of approaches and interpretations than any of us thought possible before the Cold War ended. ??. Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree (New York, ???? ), ? ; for more critical views of the system that replaced the Cold War see Anthony Giddens, “The ????

BBC Reith Lectures” at http://www. lse. ac. uk/Giddens/; and Amartya Sen, Development as Freedom (Oxford, ???? ). ??. Robert Buzzanco, “What Happened to the New Left? Toward a Radical Reading of American Foreign Relations,” Diplomatic History ?? (Fall ???? ): ??? –??? , and the debate between Buzzanco and his critics on H-DIPLO discussion logs starting in October ???? (http://www?. hnet. msu. edu/~diplo/). Interestingly, Buzzanco, in his footnotes, lists the works of only four non-American scholars – Marx, Lenin, Bukharin, and Geir Lundestad. ?. Another useful approach is the comparison with other periods and systems. See, for instance, Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Con? ict from ???? to ???? (London, ???? ); and the critique in Torbjorn Knutsen, The Rise and Fall of World Orders (Manchester, ???? ). See also B. Teschke, “Geopolitical Relations in the European Middle Ages: History and Theory,” International Organization ?? , no. ? (???? ): ??? –??.

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