chapter
8 Pages

Introduction

ByLEOPOLDO NUTI

The end of détente and the new phase of tense confrontation between the blocs in the late 1970s and early 1980s are increasingly attracting the attention of historians and scholars of international relations for a variety of reasons. It was, first of all, a period of growing tension and severe crises, and an interesting, indeed crucial, phase of the evolution of the international system. As the evidence accumulates, it is becoming increasingly clear that many of the events, that in the late 1980s shattered the bipolar system and led to the overall transformation of the international landscape, find their roots in those years. In addition, the increasing availability of archival materials, as well as the theorization of a number of conceptual parallels and connections to the present, have heightened curiosity about this period and led to an intense search for new interpretative paradigms.