February 10, 2017
9.21 Inches (US)
6.26 Inches (US)
1.4 Pounds (US)
$100.00 USD, £75.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

The Long Détente

Changing Concepts of Security and Cooperation in Europe, 1950s–1980s

This book presents pieces of evidence, which – taken together – lead to an argument that goes against the grain of the established Cold War narrative. The argument is that a "long détente" existed between East and West from the 1950s to the 1980s, that it existed and lasted for good (economic, national security, societal) reasons, and that it had a profound impact on the outcome of the conflict between East and West and the quintessentially peaceful framework in which this "endgame" was played.New, Euro-centered narratives are offered, including both West and East European perspectives. These contributions point to critical inconsistencies and inherent problems in the traditional U.S. dominated narrative of the "Victory in the Cold War." The argument of a "long détente" does not need to replace the ruling American narrative. Rather, it can and needs to be augmented with European experiences and perceptions. After all, it was Europe – its peoples, societies, and states – that stood both at the ideological and military frontline of the conflict between East and West, and it was here that the struggle between liberalism and communism was eventually decided.

About the Authors

Oliver Bange is senior historian at the Centre for Military History and Social Sciences, German Armed Forces, in Potsdam and lecturer at the University of Mannheim. Poul Villaume is professor of contemporary history at the Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen.


"The volume offers a corrective via a Eurocentric narrative that examines economic and political overtures dating to the early 1950s between European countries and the Eastern bloc. Chapters dealing with these matters are well researched and offer insight into episodes (like the Moscow International Economic Conference) that are little studied. As a volume on European diplomacy from the 1950s to the 1980s it is a fine contribution to the literature."—Choice"Oliver Bange und Poul Villaume wollen zusammen mit anderen Autorinnen und Autoren ihres Sammelbandes das Bild des Ost-West-Konflikts nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg grundlegend verändern. Weit länger als nach bisheriger Ansicht habe Entspannung – die antagonistische Zusammenarbeit" zwischen den beiden ideologischen und gesellschaftlichen Lagern und das Bemühen um eine kooperative Form des Wettstreits – das Verhältnis bestimmt. Zudem sei der 'Kalte Krieg' – verstanden als 'politischer, wirtschaftlicher und kommunikativer Autismus' sowie als Konfrontation unter Einsatz auch wirtschaftlicher und militärischer Potenziale – weniger dauerhaft und wichtig gewesen als bisher behauptet. Beides habe schon immer parallel zueinander in einem je nach Zeit und Akteur unterschiedlichen Ausmaß existiert. Insgesamt bietet der Band dem kritischen und sachkundigen Leser eine Fülle wichtiger Informationen und Erklärungen zu zentralen Fragen des Ost-West-Konflikts nach Stalins Tod, der Entwicklung des militärischen Kräfteverhältnisses zwischen NATO und Warschauer Pakt in der Spätphase."—Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas"Poul Villaume er en engasjert kritiker av den supermakts- og amerikansk-dominerte fremstillingen av den kalde krigen. Han mener den har gjort détente til 'something of a swearword and even, as it seems, a taboo topic in international and especially Anglo-American mainstream historiography of the Cold War... At worst, détente and with it an influential era of that momentous conflict between societal systems is hardly mentioned at all.' Villaume og Bange knytter det de finner er en systematisk neglisjering av detente, til triumfalistenes fortolkning av slutten på den kalde krigen. Bange og Villaume påpeker at dersom détente neglisjeres eller defineres ut av historien, gir det ikke mening å snakke om den andre kalde krigen. De følger opp med å spørre om hvordan det kunne ha seg, dersom détente brøt sammen på slutten av 1970-tallet og ble erstat-tet av en ny kald krig, at konfliktene mellom supennaktblokkene ledet til fredelig avslutning på konfliktene bare få år senere."—Helge Pharo, Historisk Tidsskrift


"Shifting the focus to European nations and societies, this work takes the Old Continent as the heart of the analysis, making it not a passive instrument in the hands of the two superpowers, but rather a fully-fledged actor in East-West relations. Studying détente in its many facets (strategic, geopolitical, economic and social), The Long Détente also refines the chronology and stresses the interaction between foreign policies and domestic priorities. It offers a stimulating and quite novel interpretation of East-West relations."—Marie-Pierre Rey"Oliver Bange and Poul Villaume have assembled an impressive group of young European historians of diverse backgrounds and perspectives and have produced an important contribution to our understanding of the origins and long lasting consequences of the European détente during the Cold War. The Long Détente, with its impressive multiarchival and multinational sources, challenge existing narratives which privilege the great power politics of the United States and the Soviet Union. These articles compel a reconsideration of détente's European roots and persistence. The book is first class scholarship with implications for contemporary diplomacy aswell."—Thomas Schwartz
Central European University Press

9789633861271 : the-long-detente-bange-villaume
370 Pages
$100.00 USD

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