In this course, we will analyze the major events of the Cold War through the prism of three analytical lenses: interests, individuals, and ideology. We will attempt to evaluate the extent to which each of these factors, either singly, or in combination, affected the ways in which decision making about inter-state relations was carried out during the decades of the Cold War.
Secondly, the course will also highlight how the trajectory of the Cold War also enabled the world to become furt her integrated. For example, we will consider how the distant developments of the Cold War were also of relevance in shaping India’s position in the world. Furthermore, we will examine how the developments of the Cold War were equally shaped, not just by the superpowers, but also by smaller, poorer, and recently decolonized countries. Enabling an evaluation of why developments unfolded in the way that they did during the cold war, therefore, the course will show how the appraisal of events from more than a single point of view, is necessary in order to more fully understand the impact of the Cold War on present day international politics.
Finally, we will ask: how exactly are these three explanations for understanding how states behave: ideology, interests, or individuals, to be better analyzed? For instance, even when a decision is ‘ideological’, are there ways of further breaking down this explanation? What exactly does an ‘individual’ decision entail? And how should we use the concept of nationalism in explaining how decisions are forged?