Oliver Bange – Poul Villaume
THE LONG DÉTENTE
Changing Concepts of Security and Cooperation in Europe, 1950s–1980s
At defining the framework for a history of East-West relations between 1945 and 1991, mainstream historiography has habitually been referring to it as “the Cold War”, generally reducing it to the confrontation between two superpowers, and overlooking the many countries who were also participants. This book challenges the conventional definition of the Cold War and substitutes the framework of the concept of a “long détente” – one that was energetically recharged – for the years from 1953 to 1991.The authors of the essays – an impressive group of young European historians of diverse backgrounds and perspectives – view 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 authors of the essays also refine the chronology and stress the interaction between foreign policies and domestic priorities, and discuss implications for contemporary diplomacy as well.