Geschiedschrijving over de Koude Oorlog sinds 2000 - De hypothesen van Gaddis getoetst | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 126, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163


In 1997 John Lewis Gaddis presented four hypotheses on the New Cold War History. First, Gaddis believed Stalin was almost the only one responsible for the Cold War. This hypothesis has subsequently been rejected by many historians who stress American responsibility as well. Second, Gaddis maintained that the Cold War was not only a struggle between the superpowers, but that smaller nations could also sometimes play a major role. This hypothesis has met with much support. Cuba, for example, supported revolutionaries in Angola in the 1970s without any prior consultation with Moscow. It was the beginning of the end of detente. Gaddis’s third hypothesis was that ideas matter in the history of the Cold War. Indeed much recent research concerns the loss of legitimacy of regimes in the Soviet empire and on the decisive role played by Gorbachev, who introduced the so-called new thinking into Soviet foreign policy. Fourth, according to Gaddis, ‘democracy proved superior to autocracy in maintaining coalitions’. This hypothesis has been largely ignored in the past fifteen years. The rise and survival of a grand alliance among the US, Japan, and the major Western European powers is often noted, but hardly analysed.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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