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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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The Thaw Abroad, 1953–58

The Thaw Abroad, 1953–58

(p.198) 5 The Thaw Abroad, 1953–58
Reconstructing the Cold War

Ted Hopf

Oxford University Press

This chapter assesses how much the societal discourse of Soviet identity informed Soviet foreign relations with China, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Poland, Eastern Europe, the developing world, and the West. There was a revolution in Soviet foreign policy after Stalin’s death. It was made possible by the empowerment of a new Soviet identity, the central feature of which was an understanding of socialism that permitted variety and did not demand the strictest adherence to the Soviet model. This alternative discourse of difference had been maintained in society during the postwar Stalin years, often in official Soviet institutions. This change in Soviet identity had profound effects in Eastern Europe, where Stalinist regimes had been in power for years and had adopted Stalinist policies and practices, most often at the behest of Moscow.

Keywords:   Soviet Union, foreign policy, discourse of danger, discourse of difference, Soviet identity, foreign relations, socialism

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