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Introduction New Approaches To The Study Of The Cold War In Asia

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Chapter Summary

This is the introduction chapter of the book, which proposes an alternative to the dominant historical narratives of the Cold War. It challenges the utility of the idea of a Cold War in Asia, it thinks that the disagreement is largely terminological, and that ultimately superpower rivalry played an important role in conditioning local and regional politics. It then suggests that the very different endings to the Cold War in Europe and Asia-the collapse of the socialist states in one and their survival in the other-can tell us something important about the history of the last half-century. The book argues that the shape of Asia today is largely a legacy of Cold War strategic choices. In both Asia and Europe, US interests and decisions were crucial to the shaping of regional systems, but US interests differed, so the resulting systems were different.

Keywords: Asia; Cold War; Europe; historical narrative; regional politics; rivalry; superpower; US



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