Détente Studies in Cold War International History: Questions (Un)Marked?

By Jittipat Poonkham
Interstate - Journal of International Affairs
2016, Vol. 2015/2016 No. 3 | pg. 1/1

‘There was no official declaration of détente, no official starting points, no clear-cut end.'
     – Jussi M. Hanhimäki1

Introduction

Détente is generally understood as a relaxation of international tension. However, there are many conceptions and characteristics of détente: superpower détente (such as ‘Nixinger's, Leonid Brezhnev's or Mao Zedong/ Zhou Enlai's détente), European détente (such as Charles de Gaulle's détente and Willy Brandt's Ostpolitik) and, to a lesser extent, small powers' détente. Détente connotes different things to different states (and statesmen) at different time. That is, it is one concept with many interpretations. The article examines the current state and status of détente studies in the Cold War international history and International Relations (IR) scholarship. It argues that the state of détente studies in the Cold War History, despite its ongoing research, is less studied, or even understudied, when compared to other periods or processes of the Cold War such as the origins, development and transformation, crises, or the endings.3

As Vojtech Mastny observes, ‘the "golden years" of détente in the early 1970s are the least researched period of the Cold War'.4 Etymologically, the term détente comes from the French word ‘détendre', meaning to release or lessen the tension on the archer's bow string as the arrow goes on its way.5 Although détente literally means a relaxation or easing of tensions, contested and contestable debates are widely prevalent. These historiographical debates have revolved around a series of puzzles. In this article, I classify and survey merely four different, despite overlapping, kinds of puzzles: these include the definitions and natures of détente, periodisation, sources, and motivations behind the origins and fall of détente. The article humbly aims as merely a prolegomena to détente studies.

The Definition Question

First of all, the nature, ontologies and meanings of détente. A historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. contends that ‘Détente is an amorphous, not to say cloudy, subject, and like all clouds, susceptible to a variety of interpretations.'6 Détente is an ambiguous, ill-defined, and flexible term. With regard to the nature of the term, détente is considered differently. The Soviet Union rarely used the term and preferred Lenin's concept of ‘razryadka' or ‘peaceful co-existence'. While US President Richard M. Nixon and his national security advisor Henry Kissinger had preferred the concept of détente, subsequently Gerald Ford, because of its lack of popularity since the Watergate crisis, avoided the term all together, and instead coined the phrase ‘peace through strength'.7 As Jussi M. Hanhimäki put it differently, ‘There was no official declaration of détente, no official starting points, no clear-cut end.'8

For some, détente is a condition, representing a ‘state of eased tension'. Others claim that détente can be defined as a strategy (a calculated relationship between the means and ends), or a specific historical era (a "period that was dominated by negotiations and diplomacy rather than confrontation and conflict"9), or, alternatively, a process. Many tend to concur that détente was the process of reducing tension between states, rather than the end product of such a reduction.10 Henry Kissinger later asserted that détente was ‘a continuing process, not a final condition', while Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko defined détente as a ‘process of relaxation of tension, not an accomplished phenomenon or an entity which has already taken shape'.11

Some scholars assiduously asserted that because of a clash of definitions (and expectations) between two superpowers, détente was bound to fail right from the outset. It had precipitated the crisis and demise of détente by the end of the 1970s, and the ‘second' cold war returned.12 As Stevenson put it, ‘each side has pursued détente in its own preferred sense, while rejecting détente in the sense preferred by the other; perceptions of ‘success' or ‘failure' of détente are largely determined by these differences of meaning'.13

On the one hand, from the American perspective, détente architects, such as Nixon and Kissinger, were likely to envisage détente as a new means toward the ultimate ends. By using negotiations, diplomacy, back channels, and so on, a strategy of détente aimed at the stabilisation of global order and the sustainability of US hegemonic power, in particular attempting to achieve a ‘peace with honor' in the Vietnam War, with the USSR's embrace, and a new ‘structure of peace' in global politics.14

On the other hand, the Soviet conception of détente was formulated as an extension of Leninist strategy of peaceful co-existence with the West, and, above all, a means of attaining the Soviet status as a truly equal superpower vis-à-vis the US. As the USSR had achieved its strategic nuclear parity, it strived for maintaining a status quo in the changing global correlation of forces through international agreements on arms control, crisis management, and East-West international trade. However, from the position of strength, Brezhnev initially considered the logic of détente as a cooperation with competition. That is, détente with the West could happen simultaneously with, and inextricably link to, a promotion of world revolution in the Third World. In his speech commemorating the forty-seventh anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1964, Brezhnev claimed that détente does not mean an end to ‘the class struggle' or ‘national liberation movement' in (neo)colonial situations. Rather, ‘a situation of peaceful co-existence will enable the success of the liberation struggle and the achievement of the revolutionary tasks of peoples'.15 By the end of the 1970s, a clash of ontologies and definitions from the beginning was a key shortcoming that rendered superpower détente a failure and a clash of tensions inevitable. However, both superpowers considered détente as an opportunity to advance their own interests in the Cold War politics. In sum, détente as a political concept means different things to different states and people at different time.

The Question of Periodisation

The second puzzle is when exactly détente happened. In general, the historiography agrees that the period of détente is an era of negotiations between superpowers during the late 1960s until 1979. The key turning points in this commonsensical détente included the opening to the People's Republic of China, and the American-Soviet rapprochement and its concomitant nuclear agreements. Some might extend the process of détente to include European détente, including the launch of West Germany's Ostpolitik, an improvement of East-West relations, and so forth.16 However, some authors, such as Hanhimäki, extend the longevity of détente to cover the period between the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.17 Recent scholarship has suggested that the ‘first détente' in the Cold War began in earnest after the death of Stalin in 1953.18

In the Soviet Union, the post-Stalin elites led by Nikita Khrushchev, who at home promulgated an age of thaw, were keen for a rapprochement with the West (razryadka napryazhennosti), as evidenced at the Geneva summit conference of July 195519, whereas the West was reluctant or even conspicuously skeptical. In some respects, Mike Bowker considers Brezhnev's détente in the 1970s as simply a "continuation of Khrushchev's thaw".20 Similarly, R. Gerald Hughes provided a detailed account of the British policy of the rapprochement with the Soviet Union in the 1950s onwards, arguing that this was ambiguously juggling with a more nuanced position toward its ally West Germany.21 The others have gone so far to trace the process of détente back into the 1920s, most notably at the Genoa Conference.22 The specific periodisation of détente has been increasingly altered and deconstructed as a generalisable concept, applicable for any periods in which reduction of tension occurred, irrespective of the a priori conventional wisdom of the term.

The Question of Sources

The third, and very important, kind of puzzle is of which détente we are talking about (as well as whether or not, and how, these détentes related to each other). We can categorise three different types of détente, as follows. The first one is a superpower détente, which focuses mainly on a triangular diplomacy between the US, the Soviet Union, and China, and their bilateral relations.23 One of the startling transformations is a Sino-American rapprochement, culminated in the historic opening to China in February 1972.24 After the long secret diplomacy and back channels spearheaded by Henry Kissinger and his Chinese counterpart, Zhou Enlai, many scholars such as Margaret MacMillan claimed that the détente with China seemed to be inevitable since the onset of the diplomatic rapprochement with China.25

However, this Sino-American détente was largely symbolic and a work in progress during the Cold War. On the contrary, at that time, the US-Soviet bilateral rapprochement was far more substantive than the former. Two superpowers launched a series of American-Soviet summit meetings, and simultaneously signed a dozen of bilateral agreements regarding the arms control, in particular the Strategic Arms Limitations Treaties (SALT) in 1972, the Prevention of Nuclear War agreement in 1973, and a SALT II treaty in 1974. A crucial watershed was unquestionably President Nixon's trip to Moscow in May 1972.26 Nevertheless, the US-Soviet détente was narrowly single-focused: that is, nuclear negotiations.

The second type is a European détente. By the mid-1960s the Western European powers were increasingly interested in détente with the Eastern bloc, or the Warsaw Pact. For example, in 1966 two important European leaders, British Prime Minister Harold Wilson (in February) and French President Charles de Gaulle (in June), paid official visits to Moscow.27 In turn, Italy invited Soviet president Nikolai Podgorny to Rome in early 1967. By 1969, the newly elected Chancellor of West Germany, Willy Brandt pursued an innovative strategy of Ostpolitik (Eastern policy), or what his advisor Egon Bahr called ‘change through rapprochement', with the Soviet Union and East Germany, including the signing of the famous Moscow Treaty in August 1970, the Treaty on Quadripartite control of Berlin in 1971, and, most important, the Basic Treaty between two Germanys in 1972. Ostpolitik was accompanied by the process of increased exchanges and contacts in the East-West relations that paved the way to the conclusion of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE).28 Finally, the Helsinki Final Act, which was signed in August 1975, contained not only the recognition of the postwar European territorial settlement but also an innovative commitment to human rights, which in turn inexorably transformed the dynamism of the Cold War.29 Recent scholarship has increasingly focused on the human-rights turn in the Cold War studies.30 Unlike a superpower détente, European détente had a series of multilevel conferences, and covered a wide-range set of issues, in particular human rights. To an extent, this explains why the multilateral European détente lasted longer and was more stable than a short-lived superpowers détente.

In the West, some literature also emphasise the role of individual leaders31 as the architects of each and every détente, such as one of Nixon and Kissinger32, Leonid Brezhnev33, Willy Brandt34, Charles de Gaulle35, and so forth.

Finally, a Third World détente. Recent literature attempt to decenter and de-Westernise détente into a transnational or global détente. This détente was inseparably coupled with crises of the Cold War superpowers' rivalry as well as the decolonisation process.36 In some cases, the Third World countries, such as Thailand, started to make their own détente with communist powers as the Soviet Union and/ or China. However, above all, superpower and European détentes did not lead to any settlements or agreements about norms, or shared expectations about appropriate behaviors, in the Third World, which every so often complicated the relationship between the Third World countries and superpowers grand politics, and precipitated tensions and conflict in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Africa. In brief, different kind of détente leads to different nature, characteristic, emphasis and set of issues.

The Motivations Question

The final puzzle is which factor drove the rise and decline of détente in global politics. To begin with, the explanations for the emergence of détente are complex and considerable, thereby it is extremely difficult to pin down sharply specific ‘schools of thought' in détente studies. The article then goes through each and every perspective on détente one by one. With regard to superpower détente, Raymond Garthoff's Détente and Confrontation stands firm as, and remains, a classic in the historiography. It comprehensively covers the bilateral relationship between the US and the USSR, by mainly focusing on the pivotal moment of nuclear parity in the 1960s.37

From the American perspective, the root causes of the rise of superpower détente vary. The chief among them is the quagmire and repercussion of the Vietnam War on the American politics and its relatively fading status in the international system. The ‘Nixinger' strategy first and foremost wanted to extricate the US from the Vietnam War and, in doing so, necessitated Soviet support.38 The second reason is the Sino-Soviet split since the 1960s.39 The third reason is the emergence of European détente and its impact on American-Soviet bilateral relations. The fourth reason is the global social context of the late 1960s, in particular the rise of dissident movements in Europe and beyond.40 In a recent scholarship, Hanhimäki provides a thorough and comprehensive overview of the rise and fall of America's détente: by covering aforementioned factors, his underlying argument is that détente, as an adjustment of means to fight the Cold War, happened largely due to a seemingly inevitable diminishing power and prestige of the US.41 Changes in means, rather than in ultimate goals, were necessary for American foreign policy.

From the Chinese perspective, existing literature explained that what motivated Mao Zedong and his comrades is largely because of the strategic or geopolitical factor: namely, the Soviet threat, as evidenced in the Sino-Soviet increasing tension and deterioration along their borders.42 To put it differently, at the national security level, China pursued a reconciliation with the US as a deterrent against the Soviet threat. Based on newly released Chinese documents, Jian Chen, a leading scholar on China, succinctly asserted for a status-centered interpretation, thereby placing the Sino-American rapprochement within the domestic context of the declining status of Mao's continuous revolution. Also, this rapprochement considerably improved China's strategic status vis-à-vis the superpowers, gaining a position at the United Nations in October 1971.43

For the Soviet Union, the key motivations for the rise of détente can be understood as security (its strategic parity with the US), economic (stagnation and widening gap with the West) and China (Sino-Soviet split and its subsequent tensions on the borders during the 1960s) factors.44 From the Soviet perspective, after the Sino-American rapprochement of the early 1970s, Brezhnev's policy of détente was partly motivated by fears that the Soviet Union would be isolated, and left to be encircled by both the NATO and China. However, it seems that from the equal status of nuclear superpower vis-à-vis the US, Brezhnev's posture and actions toward the US were inexorably driven as much by the desire to stabilise the superpower arms race. Among these factors, Vladislav Zubok argues that the most important one is Brezhnev's ideas, personal world-views, and leadership.45 To sum up, every historiographical debate emphatically focuses on the ‘why' question of motivations and factors that brought about the emergence of détente in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

In International Relations (IR) Theories, realism is a predominant explanation for the rise of détente. Détente, and its concomitant rapprochement, is understood as the result of a shifting balance of power. For Realists, the ultimate aim of states is a struggle for survival, thereby sustaining the balance of power with other powers and preventing any potentially rising hegemon in the international system.46 The US pursued a détente strategy for expedient reasons: in the late 1960s, the US was in a declining status compared to a relatively rising power of the Soviet Union, leading to the US decision to cooperate with China, due to the Sino-Soviet split, in order to curb the Soviet power, and, at the same time, leverage the ‘China card' to put outright pressure on the Soviet Union in negotiating the détente process.

Contra a realist paradigm, Evelyn Goh provided a constructivist appraisal of the changing discursive formation and representations of China in official American circles in ending the hostile estrangement: the existing literature, she claimed, has predominantly been occupied with explaining why but not how rapprochement happened. In her study, Goh rather identified and traced the changing perceptions and discourses of China, from a ‘red menace' to a ‘tacit ally', between 1961 and 1974. As she put it, ‘In contrast to the existing literature, this constructivist, discourse-based approach situates the prevailing realpolitik account of the rapprochement within the context of other ideas about reconciliation with China over a fifteen-year period'.47 In IR Theories, while a realist explanation tends to focus on material changes in relative international power, which prompted strategic reevaluations in the tripolar powers, a constructivist understanding reassesses this détente from ideational and discursive factors, which mediated not only the materiality of power shifts but also the rethinking of perceptions, images and representations of other powers.

On the decline and fall of détente, there are at least three broad explanations, as follows. The first explanation is the orthodox or traditionalist view, ascertaining that Soviet expansionism and its concomitant aggressive strategy in the Third World were the main driving forces behind the collapse of détente. These aggressive Soviet motivations were culminated in the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979, which put a final end to a short moment of détente.48 The second explanation is the clash of definitions. Already the most consequential from the outset, America and Soviet leaders had two different conceptions and interpretations of détente, which rendered the downfall unsurprisingly unavoidable.49 The third explanation, a revisionist perspective, is at odds with the orthodox view. It stresses the essentially defensive motivations of the Soviet Union while emphasising the changing American perceptions of the Soviet Union and its policy in the Third World, the rise of the conservatism in the US as well as the lack of a domestic consensus in support of détente.

As Odd Arne Westad suggests, the main factor in the rapid breakdown of détente was "the Carter administration's increasing assertiveness towards the Soviet Union".50 In this explanation, it also reassesses Soviet motivations in the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan, through newly declassified documents, and asserts that, in contrast to a long-standing traditionalist views that the invasion of Afghanistan was part of a larger Soviet expansionist strategy aimed at global dominance, the Soviet Union's objectives are significantly defensive, rather than offensive per excellence. Specifically, the USSR sought to restrain extremist elements of the Afghan communist party, who were undermining stability on the southern Soviet frontier.51

Conclusion: Détente as Restoration or Revolution?

Last but not least, a number of scholars have argued on the ultimate aim of détente, asking whether it is conservative or revolutionary. Almost all of the literature seems to contend that the architects of détente fundamentally aimed at stabilising the existing Cold War international system, rather than transcending or ending it. For the US in particular, this project and logic of détente, in Nixon's and Kissinger's views, was a struggle for American preponderance of power amidst its (perceptions of) relatively strategic decline.52 Similarly the Soviet and Eastern German détente then pursued conservative goals, aiming at the recognition of the postwar territorial status quo in Europe. However, Willy Brandt's Ostpolitik was in large part geared toward the ultimate aim of German reunification. In other words, Brandt's recognition of two Germanys was the first stepping stone toward their reunion.53

Furthermore, there is also an ongoing debate about the relationship between détente and the end(ing) processes of the Cold War, asking whether they are causal or constitutive. On the one hand, most literature stresses détente as a very short recalibration and a fatal failure, which apparently had no any causal relations with the end of the Cold War. As John Lewis Gaddis succinctly put it, ‘Détente … was not an end to cold war tensions but rather a temporary relaxation … [It is] a failure of [American] strategy'.54 On the other hand, some literature envisions détente in terms of a constitutive role in shaping the possibilities of the endings of the Cold War, rather than a causal relations (if A, then B). In particular, détente has opened up the horizon of human security (at least in Europe) and rendered the East-West interconnectedness, especially in trade interdependence, possible and plausible.55 As Jussi Hanhimäki sums up,

‘[D]étente, rather than stabilising the international situation as many of its architects had hoped for, fundamentally altered the Cold War international system. Détente did not end the Cold War nor provide a clear road map towards 1989 (or 1991). But … détente was instrumental in setting in motion the many processes that ultimately caused the collapse of the international system that it was supposed to have stabilised.'56

Thus far détente is a conservative project but it unintendedly and unexpectedly transfigured and transformed emancipatory consequences.

Despite its gradual increase in literature and its interestedness of the subject, détente studies is still the least researched area in the Cold War International History. Arguably, debates in historiography and theory, however, have continually contested on at least four aforementioned research puzzles, ranging from détente's ontological meanings, time frames, sources, and motivations. Albeit this vivaciously ongoing, despite emerging, debate, there remains research questions that are not yet asked, sources of détente that are not yet explored, and approaches that are not yet examined. It is an enormous gap in the Cold War international History and IR discipline that needs to be filled in the foreseeable future. In brief, caveat emptor!


Endnotes

  1. Assistant Professor in International Relations, Thammasat University, THAILAND; and PhD Candidate in International Politics, Aberystwyth University
  2. Jussi M. Hanhimäki, The Rise and Fall of Détente: American Foreign Policy and the Transformation of the Cold War (Washington D.C.: Potomac Books, 2013), p. xviii.
  3. The notable exception is Melvyn P. Leffler, and Odd Arne Westad, eds., The Cambridge History of the Cold War, Vol. 2 Crises and Détente (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).
  4. Vojtech Mastny, ‘The New History of Cold War Alliances', Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 4: No. 2 (Spring 2002): p. 77.
  5. Richard W. Stevenson, The Rise and Fall of Détente: Relaxations of Tension in US-Soviet Relations, 1953-84 (Hampshire and London: MacMillan, 1985), p. 6.
  6. Quoted in Stevenson, The Rise and Fall of Détente, p. 1.
  7. Raymond L. Garthoff, Détente and Confrontation: American-Soviet Relations from Nixon to Reagan, Revised Edition (Washington D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1994), p. 604.
  8. Jussi M. Hanhimäki, The Rise and Fall of Détente: American Foreign Policy and the Transformation of the Cold War (Washington D.C.: Potomac Books, 2013), p. xviii.
  9. Jussi M. Hanhimäki, ‘Détente: A Three-way Discussion, Conservative Goals, Revolutionary Outcomes: The Paradox of Détente", Cold War History, Vol. 8: No. 4 (November 2008): p. 503.
  10. See Jussi M. Hanhimäki, The Rise and Fall of Détente: American Foreign Policy and the Transformation of the Cold War (Washington D.C.: Potomac Books, 2013).
  11. Quoted in Stevenson, The Rise and Fall of Détente, pp. 9-10.
  12. Raymond L. Garthoff, Détente and Confrontation: American-Soviet Relations from Nixon to Reagan, Revised Edition (Washington D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1994); Harry Gelman, The Brezhnev Politburo and the Decline of Détente (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1984). For a critical appraisal of the Second Cold War, see Fred Halliday, The Making of the Second Cold War (London: Verso Books, 1986).
  13. Stevenson, The Rise and Fall of Détente, p. xiii.
  14. Jussi M. Hanhimäki, The Rise and Fall of Détente: American Foreign Policy and the Transformation of the Cold War (Washington D.C.: Potomac Books, 2013).
  15. Raymond Garthoff, ‘The Soviet Concept of Détente', in Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917-1991: Classic and Contemporary Issues, eds. Frederic J. Fleron, Erik P. Hoffman, and Robbin Laird (New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 1991), p. 104.
  16. On European détente see Jussi M. Hanhimäki, ‘Détente in Europe, 1962–1975', in The Cambridge History of the Cold War, Vol. 2 Crises and Détente, eds. Melvyn P. Leffler, and Odd Arne Westad (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 198–218; John van Oudenaren, Détente in Europe: The Soviet Union and the West since 1953 (Durham: Duke University Press, 1991); Kenneth Dyson, European Détente: Case Studies of the Politics of East-West Relations (London: Pinter, 1986); N. Piers Ludlow, ed., European Integration and the Cold War: Ostpolitik-Westpolitik, 1965–1973 (London: Routledge, 2009).
  17. See, for example, Antony Best, Jussi M. Hanhimäki, Joseph A. Maiolo, and Kirsten E. Schulze, ‘From Cold War to Détente, 1962-1979', in International History of the Twentieth Century and Beyond, 3rd Edition (London and New York: Routledge, 2015), pp. 285-310; Jussi M. Hanhimäki, The Rise and Fall of Détente: American Foreign Policy and the Transformation of the Cold War (Washington D.C.: Potomac Books, 2013).
  18. See Richard D. Williamson, First Steps toward Détente: American Diplomacy in the Berlin Crisis, 1958-1963 (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2012).
  19. Vojtech Mastny, ‘Soviet Foreign Policy, 1953-1962', in The Cambridge History of the Cold War, Vol. 1 Origins, eds. Melvyn P. Leffler, and Odd Arne Westad (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), p. 318; Ted Hopf, ‘The Thaw Abroad, 1953-58', in Reconstructing the Cold War: The Early Years, 1945-1958 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012) pp. 198-253; Aleksandr Fursenko, and Timothy J. Naftali, Khrushchev's Cold War: The Inside Story of an American Adversary (New York and London: W.W. Norton, 2006). On the unintended repercussion of the Soviet ‘first détente' on Eastern Europe, see also Jeremi Suri, ‘The Promise and Failure of "Developed Socialism": The Soviet "Thaw" and the Crucible of the Prague Spring, 1964-72", Contemporary European History, Vol. 15: No. 2 (May 2006): pp. 133-158.
  20. Mike Bowker, ‘Brezhnev and Superpower Relations', in Brezhnev Reconsidered, eds. Edwin Bacon, and Mark Sandle (Hampshire: Palgrave MacMillan, 2002), p. 90.
  21. R. Gerald Hughes, Britain, Germany and the Cold War: The Search for a European Détente, 1949-1967 (London and New York: Routledge, 2007).
  22. See Stephen White, The Origins of Détente: The Genoa Conference and Soviet-Western Relations, 1921-1922 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985).
  23. Mike Bowker, and Phil Williams, Superpower Détente: A Reappraisal (London: The Royal Institute of International Affairs, 1988).
  24. See Margaret MacMillan Nixon in China: The Week That Changed the World (New York: Random House, 2007); Evelyn Goh, Constructing the US Rapprochement with China, 1961-1974: From "Red Menace" to "Tacit Ally" (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005); Fredrick Logevall, and Andrew Preston, eds., Nixon in the World: American Foreign Relations, 1969-1977 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008); Chris Tudda, A Cold War Turning Point: Nixon and China, 1969–1972 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2012). From the Chinese perspective, see Chen Jian, Mao's China and the Cold War (Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 2001); Yang Kuisong, ‘The Sino-Soviet Border Clash of 1969: From Zhenbao Island to Sino-American Rapprochement', Cold War History, Vol. 1: No. 1 (August 2000): pp. 21-52; Yang Kuisong, and Yafeng Xia, ‘Vacillating between Revolution and Détente: Mao's Changing Psyche and Policy toward the United States, 1969-1976', Diplomatic History, Vol. 34: No. 2 (April 2010): pp. 395-423.
  25. Margaret MacMillan, ‘Nixon, Kissinger, and the Opening to China', in Nixon in the World: American Foreign Relations, 1969-1977, eds. Fredrick Logevall, and Andrew Preston (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), pp. 107-125.
  26. David Reynolds, ‘Moscow 1972: Brezhnev and Nixon', in Summits: Six Meetings that Shaped the Twentieth Century (London: Penguin Books, 2007), pp. 207-261; Raymond L. Garthoff, Détente and Confrontation: American-Soviet Relations from Nixon to Reagan, Revised Edition (Washington D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1994); Vladislav M. Zubok, A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2007); Anatoly Dobrynin, In Confidence: Moscow's Ambassador to America's Six Cold War Presidents (1962-1986) (New York: Random House, 1995); Robin Edmonds, Soviet Foreign Policy: The Brezhnev Years (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983); Adam B. Ulam, Dangerous Relations: The Soviet Union in World Politics, 1970-1982 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983).
  27. 32 On the British détente, see R. Gerald Hughes, Britain, Germany and the Cold War: The Search for a European Détente, 1949-1967 (London and New York: Routledge, 2007). On the French détente, see Frédéric Bozo, Two Strategies for Europe, De Gaulle, the United States, and the Atlantic Alliance (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000).
  28. Michael J. Sodaro, Moscow, Germany, and the West from Khrushchev to Gorbachev (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1990); Arne Hofmann, The Emergence of Détente in Europe: Brandt, Kennedy and the Formation of Ostpolitik (London and New York: Routledge, 2007); Angela Stent, From Embargo to Ostpolitik: The Political Economy of West German-Soviet Relations, 1955-1980 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981); Timothy Garton Ash, In Europe's Name: Germany and the Divided Continent (New York: Random House, 1993). On the Eastern German détente, see Mary E. Sarotte, Dealing with the Devil: East Germany, Détente, and Ostpolitik, 1969-1973 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001).
  29. See Daniel C. Thomas, The Helsinki Effect: International Norms, Human Rights, and the Demise of Communism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001).
  30. See Daniel J. Sargent, A Superpower Transformed: The Remaking of American Foreign Relations in the 1970s (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015); Akira Iriye, Petra Goedde, and William I. Hitchcock, The Human Rights Revolution: An International History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012).
  31. See Steven Casey, and Jonathan Wright, eds., Mental Maps in the Era of Détente and the End of the Cold War, 1968-91 (Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).
  32. See Robert Dallek, Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power (New York: Harper Collins, 2007); Jussi M. Hanhimäki, The Flawed Architect: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004); Jeremi Suri, Henry Kissinger and the American Century (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007).
  33. See Vladislav M. Zubok, ‘Brezhnev and the Road to Détente, 1965-1972', in A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2007), pp. 192-226; Matthew J. Ouimet, The Rise and Fall of the Brezhnev Doctrine in Soviet Foreign Policy (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2003).
  34. Arne Hofmann, The Emergence of Détente in Europe: Brandt, Kennedy and the Formation of Ostpolitik (London and New York: Routledge, 2007).
  35. See Christian Nünlist, Anna Locher, and Garret Martin, eds., Globalizing de Gaulle: International Perspectives on French Foreign Policies, 1958-1969 (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010); Andrew Moravcsik, ‘Charles de Gaulle and Europe: The New Revisionism', Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 14: No. 1 (Winter 2012): pp. 53-77.
  36. On détente and the Third World conflicts in general, see Odd Arne Westad, Global Cold War: Third World Revolutions and the Making of Our Times (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005). On the Middle East, see Craig Daigle, The Limits of Détente: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1969–1973 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012); Elena Calandri, Antonio Varsori, Daniele Caviglia, eds., Détente in Cold War Europe: Politics and Diplomacy in the Mediterranean and the Middle East (London: I.B. Tauris, 2012); Nigel J. Ashton, eds., The Cold War in the Middle East: Regional Conflicts and the Superpowers, 1967-73 (London and New York: Routledge, 2007). On Africa, see Louise Woodroofe, Buried in the Sands of Ogaden: The United States, the Horn of Africa, and the Demise of Détente (Kent: Kent State University Press, 2013). On South Asia, see Gary J. Bass, The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide (New York: Knopf Publishing, 2013).
  37. Raymond L. Garthoff, Détente and Confrontation: American-Soviet Relations from Nixon to Reagan, Revised Edition (Washington D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1994).
  38. See, for example, Keith L. Nelson, The Making of Détente: Soviet-American Relations in the Shadow of Vietnam (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995); William Bundy, A Tangled Web: The Making of Foreign Policy in the Nixon Presidency (New York: Hill and Wang, 1998); Jeffrey Kimball, Nixon's Vietnam War (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998); Robert S. Litwak, Détente and the Nixon Doctrine: Foreign Policy and the Pursuit of Stability (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984).
  39. See Chen Jian, Mao's China and the Cold War (Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 2001); Sergey Radchenko, "The Sino-Soviet Split", in The Cambridge History of the Cold War, Vol. 2 Crises and Détente, eds. Melvyn P. Leffler, and Odd Arne Westad (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 349-372; Sergey Radchenko, Two Suns in the Heavens: The Sino-Soviet Struggle for Supremacy, 1962-1967 (Washington and Stanford: Woodrow Wilson Center and Stanford University Press, 2009); Odd Arne Westad, ed., Brothers in Arms: The Rise and Fall of the Sino-Soviet Alliance (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998).
  40. See Jeremi Suri, Power and Protest: Global Revolution and the Rise of Detente (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003).
  41. Jussi M. Hanhimäki, The Rise and Fall of Détente: American Foreign Policy and the Transformation of the Cold War (Washington D.C.: Potomac Books, 2013).
  42. See John Garver, China's Decision for Rapprochement with the United States, 1968-1971 (Boulder: Westview Press, 1982).
  43. Chen Jian, Mao's China and the Cold War (Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 2001), Chapter 9.
  44. Mike Bowker, ‘Brezhnev and Superpower Relations', in Brezhnev Reconsidered, eds. Edwin Bacon, and Mark Sandle (Hampshire: Palgrave MacMillan, 2002), pp. 90-109.
  45. Vladislav M. Zubok, ‘Brezhnev and the Road to Détente, 1965-1972', in A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2007), pp. 192-226
  46. See in general Kenneth N. Waltz, Theory of International Politics (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1979); John J. Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (New York: W.W. Norton, 2001); Robert Gilpin, War and Change in World Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981).
  47. Evelyn Goh, Constructing the US Rapprochement with China, 1961-1974: From "Red Menace" to "Tacit Ally" (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), p. 9.
  48. Adam B. Ulam, Dangerous Relations: The Soviet Union in World Politics, 1970-1982 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983); Richard Pipes, US-Soviet Relations in the Era of Détente (Boulder: Westview Press, 1981); John Lewis Gaddis, The Cold War (London and New York: Penguin Books, 2005).
  49. Raymond L. Garthoff, Détente and Confrontation: American-Soviet Relations from Nixon to Reagan, Revised Edition (Washington D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1994); Harry Gelman, The Brezhnev Politburo and the Decline of Détente (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1984).
  50. The most comprehensive overall account is Odd Arne Westad, ed., The Fall of Détente: Soviet-American Relations during the Carter Years (Oslo: Scandinavian University Press, 1997).
  51. David N. Gibbs, ‘Reassessing Soviet Motives for Invading Afghanistan: A Declassified History', Critical Asian Studies, Vol. 38: No. 2 (2006), pp. 239-63; Henry S. Bradsher, Afghan Communism and Soviet Intervention (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999).
  52. Melvyn P. Leffler argued that this was and has been the ultimate goal of the US after the Second World War. See his A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992).
  53. Mary E. Sarotte, 1989: The Struggle to Create Post-Cold War Europe (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2009).
  54. John Lewis Gaddis, ‘The Rise, Fall and Future of Détente', Foreign Affairs, Vol. 62: No. 2 (Winter 1983/1984), pp. 354-355.
  55. See Daniel C. Thomas, The Helsinki Effect: International Norms, Human Rights, and the Demise of Communism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001).
  56. Jussi M. Hanhimäki, ‘Détente: A Three-way Discussion, Conservative Goals, Revolutionary Outcomes: The Paradox of Détente", Cold War History, Vol. 8: No. 4 (November 2008): p. 503.

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