Sociology Index


The cold war reflected the new realities of the nuclear age. The economic and political collapse of communism ended Cold War era in international relations. Cold War is the name given to the mutually hostile relations which led to the development of weapons of mutually assured destruction after the end of World War II in 1945. Cold War was a war of propaganda, of spying, sabotage and political and economic subversion on both sides, but it avoided the ‘hot war’ of direct conflict between the dominant military powers. The Truman Doctrine was the result of a perceived threat of communist expansion and the policy developed from it gave shape to the cold war and the polarization of the world into peoples in the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union and the United States.

President Xi Jinping has now given a robust defence of China’s ambitions in a speech to the U.N., warning against the perils of a “clash of civilizations” during a pandemic that has ripped through the world. “China has no intention to enter a Cold War with any country,” he said, insisting that Beijing is instead a bulwark of international systems such as the World Trade Organization and a willing partner in the face of diplomatic spats. Mr. Xi reassured world leaders his country had no desire for “hegemony, expansion or sphere of influence.”

Cold War Belligerence and U.S. Public Opinion toward Defense Spending - Christopher Witko, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The relationship between political events and aggregate opinion change is complicated, and the influence of actual events, as opposed to domestic political elites' responses to those events, has seldom been analyzed. This article attempts to untangle these relationships with data examining events and statements of the political leaders of both the United States and the Soviet Union during the cold war. Considering the salience of the Soviet Union for domestic politics, there is reason to suspect that the public should have responded directly to Soviet actions and statements, while also reacting to U.S. belligerence. The analysis indicates that the public reacted only to changes in U.S., not Soviet, belligerence.

Caught in the Cold: International Humanitarian Law and Prisoners of War During the Cold War - Stephanie Carvin. Despite humanitarian rhetoric, or even genuine concern for making war more humane during the Cold War, international humanitarian law was inevitably used as a tool through which one could score political points. This can especially be seen in the case of Prisoners of War whose good treatment and release were governed by expediency and usefulness rather than any form of overarching spirit of humanitarianism. This article will look at the way POWs were used and abused during the conflict and how Cold War tensions played out in drafting IHL. It will conclude by looking at how the events of the Cold War affect the way we regard these issues today.

The New History of Cold War Alliances
Vojtech Mastny, Journal of Cold War Studies.
Efforts to document the full histories of the Nor h Atlantic Treaty Organiza-tion (NATO) and the Warsaw Pact are still hindered by key obstacles. NATO documents from 1965 onward remain closed to researchers, as do many War-saw Pact military records that were carted off to Moscow in 1991. Despite these gaps, newly declassified materials from both East and West have shed light on how the two alliances helped shape the Cold War. This article takes note of some of the more important recent scholarship on NATO and the Warsaw Pact.

Cold War Bibliography:

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Engelhardt, Tom. The End of Victory Culture: Cold War America and the Disillusioning of a Generation. New York: Basic Books, 1994; revised edition, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1998.

Fehner, T. R. and F. G. Gosling. "Coming in from the Cold: Regulating U.S. Department of Energy Nuclear Facilities, 1942-1996." Environmental History 1 (1996): 5-33.

Fisher, Benjamin F., ed. At Cold War's End: US Intelligence on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, 1989-1991. Reston, VA: Central Intelligence Agency, 1999.

Fordham, Benjamin O. Building the Cold War Consensus : The Political Economy of U.S. National Security Policy, 1949-51. Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, 1998.

Fried, Richard M. The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming! : Pageantry and Patriotism in Cold-War America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

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Henriksen, Margot A. "Somewhere Under the Mushroom Cloud: The Bomb's Central Place in Popular Cold War Culture." Paper presented at 1994 Landmarks Conference, The Cold War and American Culture--The Nuclear Spectre and the Cold War. 1994.

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Karabell, Zachary. Architects of Intervention: The United States, the Third World, and the Cold War, 1946-1962. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1999.

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Seaborg, Glenn Theodore. A Chemist in the White House : From the Manhattan Project to the End of the Cold War. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society, 1998.

Smyser, W.R. From Yalta to Berlin: The Cold War Struggle over Germany. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999.

Tarling, Nicholas. Britain, Southeast Asia, and the Onset of the Cold War, 1945-1950. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Winkler, David F. Searching the Skies : The Legacy of the United States Cold War Defense Radar Program. Langley AFB, VA : Headquarters Air Combat Command.