This book presents pieces of evidence, which - taken together - lead to an argument that goes against the grain of the established Cold War narrative. The argument is that a "long detente" existed between East and West from the 1950s to the 1980s, that it existed and lasted for good (economic, national security, societal) reasons, and that it had a profound impact on the outcome of the conflict between East and West and the quintessentially peaceful framework in which this "endgame" was played. By offering new, Euro-centered narratives that include both West and East European perspectives, the contributions of this volume point to critical inconsistencies and inherent problems in the traditional U.S. dominated narrative of the "Victory in the Cold War." Yet rather than replacing this narrative, the argument of a "long detente" demonstrates that this can and needs to be augmented with the plentitude of European experiences and perceptions.After all, it was Europe - its peoples, societies, and states - that stood both at the ideological and military frontline of the conflict between East and West, and it was here that the struggle between liberalism and communism was eventually decided.
Oliver Bange is a senior historian at the Centre for Military History and Social Sciences, German Armed Forces, in Potsdam and a lecturer at the University of Mannheim. Poul Villaume is professor of Contemporary History at the University of Copenhagen
Table of Contents Acronyms and Abbreviations Introduction PART I: LONG PERSPECTIVES ON DETENTE East-West Conflict: Short Cold War and Long Detente An Essay on Terminology and Periodization The Long Detente and the Soviet Bloc, 1953-1983 PART II: EAST-WEST TRADE Soviet Snowdrops in the Ice Age? The Surprising Attempt of an Early Economic Detente in 1952 European Long-Term Investments in Detente The Implications of East-West Economic Cooperation PART III: THE INEXTRACTABILITY OF EXTERNAL AND DOMESTIC SECURITY No End to "Political Ideological Diversion" The Stasi Perspective as Circumstantial Evidence for a Long Detente New Security Concepts and Transnational Party Networks, 1976-1983 The Socialist International, Scandilux, and the Overcoming of the Crisis of Detente PART IV: DETENTE IN EUROPE: CHANGE IN PERCEPTIONS Continuity and Transformation Alternate Visions of Italy's Three Decades of Detente Perception of the Other: "Kremlinologists" and "Westerners" East and West German Analysts and Their Mutual Perceptions, 1977-1985 PART V: DETENTE IN EUROPE: CHANGE IN DIPLOMATIC FRAMINGS Pathfinders and Perpetuators of Detente Small States of NATO and the Long Detente: The Case of Denmark, 1969-1989 Overcoming the Crisis of Detente, 1979-1983 Coordinating Eastern Policies between Paris, Bonn, and London PART VI: THE U.S. STORY: FROM COOPERATION TO CONFRONTATION AND BACK Lyndon B. Johnson and the Building of East-West Bridges Catching Up with Detente in Europe, 1963-1966 Between Power Politics and Morality The United States, the Long Detente, and the Transformation of Europe, 1969-1985 Select Bibliography Index About the Editors and Contributors