This collection of essays makes a significant contribution to the historiography of the end of the Cold War.

Research on the causes and consequences of the end of the Cold War is constantly growing. Initially, it was dominated by fairly simplistic, and often politically motivated, debates revolving around the role played by major "winners" and "losers". This volume addresses a number of diverse issues and seeks to challenge several "common wisdoms" about the end of the Cold War. Together, the contributions provide insights on the role of personalities as well as the impact of transnational movements and forces on the unexpected political transformations of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Geographically, the chapters largely focus on the United States, Europe, with special emphasis on Germany, and the Soviet Union. The individual chapters are drawn together by the overarching theme relating to a particular "common wisdom": were the transformations that occurred truly "unexpected"? This collection of essays will make an important contribution to the growing literature on the developments that produced the collapse of the Iron Curtain, the demise of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.

This volume will be of much interest to students of Cold War Studies, International History, European Politics and International Relations in general.

chapter |11 pages


Unexpected transformations?
ByJussi M. Hanhimäki

chapter 1|20 pages

Threat or opportunity?

Kissinger, Brzezinski, and the demise of the Soviet Union
ByJussi M. Hanhimäki

chapter 3|23 pages

Nuclear weapons, “nuclear ideas”, and protests

Did they matter?
ByAndrea Chiampan

chapter 4|23 pages

Eduard Shevardnadze, Anatoly Chernyaev, and German reunification

The role of secondary political actors in ending the Cold War
ByWolfgang Mueller

chapter 5|25 pages

German foreign policy and the “German Problem” during and after the Cold War

Changes and continuities
ByBernhard Blumenau

chapter 6|21 pages

Freer movement in return for cash

Franz Josef Strauß, Alexander Schalck-Golodkowski, and the Milliardenkredit for the GDR, 1983–1984 *
ByStephan Kieninger

chapter 7|21 pages

The opening of the Austrian–Hungarian border revisited

How European détente contributed to overcoming the “Iron Curtain”
ByMaximilian Graf

chapter 8|28 pages

The Reagan administration and the promotion of human rights in Eastern Europe

The case of Romanian emigration, 1981–1984
BySielke Beata Kelner

chapter 10|22 pages

The power of omission

The IMF and the democratic transitions in Poland and Hungary
ByFritz Bartel