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Reconstructing the Cold WarThe Early Years, 1945-1958$
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Ted Hopf

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199858484

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199858484.001.0001

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(p.3) 1 Introduction
Reconstructing the Cold War

Ted Hopf

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter begins by setting out the purpose of the book, which is to cover the origins and early years of the Cold War, and hence to give an answer to the question of what “caused” the Cold War, as well as what shaped its early trajectory in various parts of the world. It argues that societal constructivism can provide an account for a broad array of Soviet relationships with countries around the world, including China, Eastern Europe, the decolonizing world, and the United States. This is not a book about Soviet foreign policy, strictly speaking. It is about Soviet relations with an array of states, but not about particular Soviet foreign policy decisions with respect to any of them. The chapter then explains the following concepts: constructivism, social identity, systemic constructivism, norm-centric constructivism, and societal constructivism. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords:   Soviet Union, Cold War, societal constructivism, foreign policy

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