When did the cold war end?
” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Boston Marriott Copley Place, Sheraton Boston & Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Massachusetts, Aug 28, 2002
The demise of the Cold War is commonly associated with the collapse of the Soviet empire in East Europe in late 1989 or with the disintegration of the Soviet Union and of Communism in 1991. However, judging from the rhetoric and actions of important observers and key international actors at the time, the Cold War essentially ended in the spring of 1989, well before these momentous events took place. This suggests that the Cold War was principally (or even entirely) about an ideological conflict, and not about the military, nuclear, or economic balance between the East and the West, Communism as a form of government, the need to move the world toward democracy and/or capitalism, or, to a degree, Soviet domination of East Europe.