Ending the Cold War

Interpretations, Causation and the Study of International Relations

  • Editors
  • Richard K. Herrmann
  • Richard Ned Lebow

Part of the New Visions in Security book series (NVS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. What Was the Cold War? When and Why Did it End?

    1. Richard K. Herrmann, Richard Ned Lebow
      Pages 1-27
  3. Turning Points and Causes

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 29-29
    2. Archie Brown
      Pages 31-57
    3. Richard K. Herrmann
      Pages 59-82
    4. Matthew Evangelista
      Pages 83-105
    5. Jacques Lévesque
      Pages 107-129
    6. James W Davis, William C. Wohlforth
      Pages 131-157
  4. Comparing Turning Points and Causes

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 159-159
    2. George W Breslauer, Richard Ned Lebow
      Pages 161-188
    3. Richard Ned Lebow, Janice Gross Stein
      Pages 189-217
    4. Richard K. Herrmann
      Pages 219-238
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 239-248

About this book


Although in hindsight the end of the Cold War seems almost inevitable, almost no one saw it coming and there is little consensus over why it ended. A popular interpretation is that the Soviet Union was unable to compete in terms of power, especially in the area of high technology. Another interpretation gives primacy to the new ideas Gorbachev brought to the Kremlin and to the importance of leaders and domestic considerations. In this volume, prominent experts on Soviet affairs and the Cold War interrogate these competing interpretations in the context of five 'turning points' in the end of the Cold War process. Relying on new information gathered in oral history interviews and archival research, the authors draw into doubt triumphal interpretations that rely on a single variable like the superior power of the United States and call attention to the importance of how multiple factors combined and were sequenced historically. The volume closes with chapters drawing lessons from the end of the Cold War for both policy making and theory building.


Arms Control Cold War conflicts Europe experiment German Unification international relations learning Mikhail Gorbachev research state technology Union Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) war

Bibliographic information