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International Relations since 1945

International Relations since 1945
East, West, North, South

Eighth Edition

September 2017 | 328 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Introducing the key events and developments in international relations, this authoritative and engaging book provides students with a clear understanding of the contemporary issues in international politics. Putting the foundations and contexts of international relations at your fingertips, the new Eighth Edition:
  • Provides an account of the world as it has evolved up to 1945
  • Extended coverage of topics including population, gender, and the environment
  • Includes expanded material on the theory of international relations
  • Includes new learning resources, including an "alternative perspectives" box in each chapter
  • Supports research with fully updated and annotated further reading lists
Praised for its detail and tone, International Relations since 1945 is ideal for providing readers with a historical background as they approach international relations.
1 The New World
The Rise and Fall of Great Powers

The World in 1945

The Literature

2 The Cold War in Europe, 1945–1949
Political science and history

Some Old and New Theories about the Cold War

Some Structural Explanations for the Cold War

Who Acted Where?

US Policy

Soviet Policy

The Problem of Germany

Motivating Forces behind US and Soviet Policies

The United States

The Soviet Union

The Literature

3 The Cold War Becomes Global, 1945–1962
The United States, the Soviet Union, and Asia, 1945–1950

The Civil War in China

Other Countries in Asia

Signs of Re-evaluation in the Superpowers’ Asian Policies

The Korean War

Changes in US Policy in Asia

The Soviet Union Tries to Play a Global Role

A New Policy in Asia and the Middle East

A New Policy in Africa

The Cold War Reaches Latin America

The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Third World: A Comparison

The Literature

4 Detente Between East and West, 1962–1975
Signs of Detente during the 1950s

The Policy of Detente, 1962–1975

Agreements and Contact between East and West

Reasons for Detente

Detente and Geographic Expansion of the East–West Conflict

Respect for Each Other’s Vital Regions

The Grey Zones between East and West

The Middle East, 1967–1975

The Vietnam War

The Literature

5 Renewed Tension Between East and West, 1975–1984
The Soviet Union: A New Globalism

The United States: Reaction to Detente

The Literature

6 The End of the Cold War, 1984–1990
Different Theories about the End of the Cold War

What Happened – and Why?

The Literature

7 Major Powers and Local Conflicts after the Cold War, 1990–2016
The Major Powers in the New World

Hopes for Peace – and the Reality of Local Conflicts

11 September 2001, Afghanistan and Iraq

Barack Obama and the Greater Middle East

The Literature

8 The Arms Race, 1945–2016
Perspective and Motivating Forces

Hiroshima, Atomic Weapons, and Conventional Forces, 1945–1949

The US Turnabout, 1949–1953

New Directions in US and Soviet Defense Policies

The ‘New Look’

The ‘New Look’ in the Soviet Union

Kennedy, McNamara, and Flexible Response

The Soviet Build-up

The US Reaction

The First Phase: Prior to 1973–1974

The Second Phase: The Years up to 1984

Cooperation, Disarmament and Rearmament Once More

The Smaller Nuclear States

The Literature

9 The United States and Western Europe, 1945–2016
Expansion by Invitation, 1945–1950

European Integration, 1945–1973

Explanations for the US Stance

US–European Relations, 1950–1973

Cooperation Prior to 1962

Political and Military Controversy, 1962–1973

Economic Relations, 1962–1973

The United States and Western Europe after 1973: New Tensions

Expansion and Integration of the EC/EU

From the Year of Europe to German Reuni?cation

The US and the EU from Clinton to Donald Trump

The Literature

10 The Soviet Union/Russia and the (formerly) Communist Countries, 1945–2016
Expansion and Conformism, 1945–1953

The Reins are Loosened (1953–1956) and Tightened (1956–1958)

The Revolts in Poland and Hungary in 1956

The Split between the Soviet Union and China

From Cooperation to Armed Struggle

Explanations for the Split

Soviet Relations with Eastern Europe, 1958–1985

Czechoslovakia – 1968

Developments in Poland

The Soviet Union and the Communist Movement Elsewhere

The Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe

The Fall of the Soviet Union

Developments in Russia and Eastern Europe After the Fall of Communism

The Literature

11 The Rise of East Asia
The United States and Japan, 1945–2016

1945–1960: Occupation and US Dominance

1960–1990: Economic Strength and Greater Political Independence

1990–2016: Economic Problems and Political Uncertainty

The Sino–Soviet–US Triangle Since 1972

East Asia in the New World System

The Literature

12 Decolonization
Changes on the International Level

The National Level: Changes within the Colonial Powers

British Policies

French Policies

Belgium and Portugal

Why Different Attitudes?

The Local Level: Independence Movements Grow Stronger

The Three Stages

Economic and Cultural Development

The Influence of International Events

The Nonaligned States in World Politics

The Literature

13 Economic Relations Between North and South, 1945–2016
Aid and Trade, 1945–2013






The Soviet Union and North–South Issues

The Literature

14 Two Theories on Development and Under-development
The Liberalist and the Structuralist Schools

Discussion of Some Issues Central to Economic Development

The North’s Development–The South’s Under-development?

The Multinational Corporations

Raw Materials and Processed Goods

The Question of Dependence

Population, Gender, Environment

Production of Crude Oil

Why Poverty?

The Literature

15 Globalization and Fragmentation



Why both Globalization and Fragmentation?

East, West, North, South

Superpowers, States and Individuals

The Literature

16 Conclusion: The Future
Old and New Superpowers

What will happen to the International System?

The Literature



East, West, North, South is a classic overview of international politics since the Second World War, and Geir Lundestad is one of the contemporary historians who are extensively read by peace researchers and international relations scholars. Always solidly grounded in empirical research and detail, his ability to provide sweeping analyses has great scholarly appeal among social scientists.

Henrik Urdal
Director, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)

Geir Lundestad’s book offers a thorough and very engaging account of world history since the end of World War II.  It combines rich historical detail with important theoretical perspectives on a broad range of issues and will therefore be essential reading for students and scholars of international relations.

Martin Senn
Universität Innsbruck

This new edition once again provides a coherent and accessible coverage of international relations since 1945 that is now better than ever. Reflecting years of research and experience, Geir Lundestad has penned a masterpiece that is a must-read for students and scholars interested in how contemporary global politics came about.

Simon Koschut
Freie Universitat

Overall a solid reference for international relations from a historical angle. Good to read, useful for further analytics.

Dr Meik Nowak
IEE, Ruhr-University Bochum
November 14, 2018

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Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One: The New World

Geir Lundestad

Geir Lundestad was born in 1945. He was professor of history and American Civilization at the University of Tromsø from 1974 to 1990. He has held fellowships at Harvard University (1978–79, 1983) and the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC (1988–89).Since 1990 Lundestad has been director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute and permanent secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. The Committe awards the Nobel Peace Prize. Since 1991 he has also been adjunct professor of international history at the University of Oslo.Lundestad has written numerous books and articles on the Cold War and on transatlantic relations. His most recent books are... More About Author

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