The end of the Cold War was an opportunity – our inability to seize it has led to today’s renewed era of great power competition
1989 heralded a unique prospect for an enduring global peace, as harsh ideological divisions and conflicts began to be resolved. Now, three decades on, that peace has been lost. With war in Ukraine and increasing tensions between China, Russia, and the West, great power politics once again dominates the world stage. But could it have been different?
Richard Sakwa shows how the years before the first mass invasion of Ukraine represented a hiatus in conflict rather than a lasting accord – and how, since then, we have been in a ‘Second Cold War’. Tracing the mistakes on both sides that led to the current crisis, Sakwa considers the resurgence of China and Russia and the disruptions and ambitions of the liberal order that opened up catastrophic new lines of conflict.
This is a vital, strongly-argued account of how the world lost its chance at peace, and instead saw the return of war in Europe, global rivalries, and nuclear brinkmanship.
Richard Sakwa is emeritus professor of Russian and European politics at the University of Kent. He has published widely on Soviet, Russian, and post-communist affairs and is the author of Frontline Ukraine and Russia against the Rest.
Sign up to the Yale newsletter for book news, offers, free extracts and more
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.