so good evening it’s so nice to see so
many of you here this evening I am Rashad casaba I’m the director of
Jackson School of International Studies I’m just here to welcome you and to
introduce my colleague who will introduce our speaker Jackson school in
the last five or six years we have decided to pay more attention to the
United States there was this assumption that International Studies is everything
but the United States that of course is really not tenable so I am very pleased
that we are doing a lot on this topic I just want to mention to you that in the
spring quarter we will have a 10-week series on Trump in the world this is the
third of similar lecture series that we hosted it will be series of Jackson
School faculty speaking about different parts of the world and talking about how
the changes in the u.s. foreign policy under President Trump is perceived and
how these changes influence different parts of the world but also some
lectures on themes like climate change social media and migration so this will
be in spring every Tuesday 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. in this building Kane hall room 220
it is open to public and there will be announcements or two lectures so that’s
something you might want to keep in mind so in studying the United States we have
started this program within the Jackson school which we call us in the world and
as part of this effort we hired several years ago a young stellar academic
very proud to have him with us Daniel Besner he is teaching courses on u.s.
foreign policy history of u.s. foreign policy his book democracy in exile will
come out in a month or so and he has in the short time that he has been with us
in the Jackson school he has already made a reputation for himself as an
excellent teacher and a really distinguished scholar and a very
cherished valued colleague so Daniel will introduce our distinguished speaker
this evening and I’m looking forward to the lecture and to the discussion so
thank you thank you everyone for coming to the students and to the members of
the community of the University of Washington and the broader Seattle
community we really appreciate it and we can’t do it all without you so thank you
it’s with great pleasure that I introduce Aadhaar Anna West dad who’s
currently the St Lee professor of US Asia Relations at Harvard University
where he teaches at the John F Kennedy School of Government
professor West dad is an expert on contemporary international history and
on the eastern Asian region professor West ad1 the brain Croft prize for the
global cold war third-world interventions in the making of our times
which many of you in this room I know for a fact have read or at least have
been assigned to read it the book has been translated into 15 languages and it
won a number of awards in addition to the Bancroft and I have to say as a
historian it’s a dream to write a book like the global cold war which is not
only brilliant and it’s every edition and its accomplishments but also is
widely recognized as such many people write brilliant books but they’re not
always recognized as such but this one was and it’s a real pleasure and an
opportunity for a professor Westat to be here and a professor west adds new book
is titled the cold war or world history and it was recently published in 2017 by
basic books in the US and by penguin in the UK and I strongly recommend anyone
who’s interested in the Cold War take a look at it it’s a
really another brilliant brilliant book it’s essentially a new history of the
global conflict between capitalism and communism since the late 19th century
and it provides the larger context for how today’s international affairs came
into being but before I introduce professor West at officially I just want
to make one note about questions when if you have a question at the end of the
talk please line up on either side and I’m going to repeat something that I
heard once at a conference your first sentence of a question should be a
question and there should be no second sentence so please keep that in mind
when you give when do you when you decide to ask questions and without
further ado I’d like to introduce professor R in a West End published lost somewhere in the UK and a
little bit late through a beginning of the fall here in in the States
the last thing I’m ever going to write I promise about the Cold War in in any
broader sense at least and it really comes out of a very long time of
reflection on that particular topic in it sort of broader implications so Dan
said that some of you at least held in your hands one of my earlier books the
global cold war and for those who actually opened it you would have found
that that’s a book that tries to make an argument about the significance that the
Cold War had on the global scale for countries in what we used to call the
third world which would see political project so that’s a book that really
says some of the most significant effects of the Cold War and some of the
most long-lasting ones those that are still with us did not happen in Europe
and it not happened in the relationship between the United States in the Soviet
Union that they happen in the global south and that was an important thing to
say and that’s what I said in this book so in the one that I’ve written now what
I tried to do is to sum up manual things that I worked on since then and present
what is a more comprehensive international history of the Cold War so
in case you were wondering well notice this guide on two books on roughly the
same subject except for getting more in terms of royalties this is the reason
why so they’re all different in in that respect so I want to give an outline
just to begin with of how I put this book together so the reason why it was
published now is that we now have access to a lot more material on a global scale
about the Cold War than what we had only a few years ago the part of the reason
for that suppose that more time has elapsed since the collapse of the Soviet
Union and the end of the interstate Cold War
but another reason I think is that a lot of people who are working within this
field and on whose shoulders I quite literally stand with regard to reaching
for the interpretation that I try to come up with in this book has put a lot
of pressure on governments in various countries not least in this country to
release the kind of materials that are necessary for historians and other
social scientists to come up with a more comprehensive new interpretation so what
I do in this book just wouldn’t have been possible if it hadn’t been for the
many who were pushing in the direction of more openness about these kinds of
issues not just in the in the bigger countries of the the great powers but
across the world so that also made it possible for someone like me stop
thinking about doing a new history of this holy era and put it together in
ways that I would argue are somewhat different not just in terms of focus but
also in terms of overall interpretation from what we have seen before
this is a book that tries to put the Cold War as an ideological conflict
within a 100 year perspective and the book that starts in their eighteen
nineties with the first global capitalist crisis the first one that had
a real global spam the first time people started asking serious questions about
the Cold War about the about capitalism as part of a cold war being an
international system that could be questions that could be one could ask
serious serious questions about it also starts out from the radicalization of
significant parts of the labor movement in trade unions and in political parties
importers of reaction to our crisis starting in Europe but also spreading
elsewhere so for the first time you have people coming out of working-class
organizations so saying maybe the world should be construed differently maybe it
should be organized in a different form then then what has existed before and
then thirdly the 1890s is the time in which the countries that were going to
be the superpowers within the Cold War
International System Russia and the United States
expand as transcontinental empires so all of these come together right at the
beginning of the 20th century and formulates what is a multiple long term
conflict over what the future is going to look like based on very different
principles of human organization how we’re going to set up our our societies
and that’s the framework in which I want to present the Cold War then it goes
through the whole 20th century up to the collapse of the Soviet Union which is
where the book poses in order to look forward to the situation that we are
that we are having today so let me stress at the beginning that I’m of
course perfectly aware that within that 100-year period a lot of stuff is
happening right a lot of other things that are different
from the cold two world wars a global depression decolonization European
integration the rise of China the effects of climate change a number of
things that are happening throughout this century that are not dependent on
the Cold War in its audiological form so this is not an attempt at subsuming
everything else that happens in the span of a century on the one neat framework
it’s the opposite it is trying to understand what the Cold War was about
and the effects that it had because it was influenced by other things that were
happening elsewhere but it’s also an argument for how the Cold War influenced
most other things that were happening and very often for the worse right in
terms of how these conflicts actually worked themselves out so it is an
attempt at situating the Cold War within a century long development it’s not an
attempt at saying the Cold War is more important than the other stuff that’s
happening it’s an argument for saying we have to understand the ideological Cold
War the conflict between socialism and
capitalism within this broader framework because if we don’t we won’t understand
it at all we won’t be able to grasp it where it’s reduced simply to a framework
of two great countries two massive states confronting each other and that’s
I reduction almost with the absurd of what the Cold
War really was about so like all historians I’m dependent on some degree
of periodization in order to make sense of this longer time period that I’m
looking at historians loved periodization I mean we
can’t really make you without it and in this sense I think it’s also important
to give you an impression of how I constructed the book for you to get a
sense of the significance that I put to different parts of the story in terms of
how we developed so the first time period that I look at in the book goes
roughly from the early 1918 90s and up to 1917 up to the year of the Russian
Revolution and the year the United States enter the first world war so you
know it’s a time period up to when you have these two states these two gigantic
states right that are engaging themselves in a much broader and much
fuller sense outside of their own borders and that’s important because if
it this had just been a story about two political projects that were different
and couldn’t really work well together well that might have been important but
it wouldn’t have come to take over the world you know for the best part of a
hundred years it is when these countries go out in the world and really try to to
fashion the rest of the world according to their images of the future that these
thoughts to have a broader impact on how most people in the world would lead
their lives so the second period goes from 1917 and up to 1941 so it includes
the Great Depression which is crucial I think in in order to
try to make sense of what this conflict was all about and why it became so
intense so I’m going to talk more about that a little bit later on and of course
it includes the coming of another world war signaling again why the stakes are
so high for many of the people who grew up during this period and then thirdly
the period from 1941 to the early nineteen seventies so by the early 1970s
you may ask that’s mainly and again I’m going to talk more about this later on
because of the economic transformations that started to take place during the
early 1970s with the collapse of the economic and financial system often
referred to as the Bretton Woods system that had been put in place of the World
War two and my argument is that the effects of that reconfiguration of the
global economy are with us all the way up to today so those are still
significant today even if the Cold War as an international system has
disappeared right and then the fourth and last period is really trying to deal
with the 1970s going up to the end of the corner why did the Cold War end the
way it did because most people who were looking at this writing about this from
that latter stage of the Cold War in various different ways they did not all
think alike but many of them were thinking about this as a incredibly
solid durable long lasting political and economic system I don’t think any of
them would say that this division of the world was going to be with us forever
but they would get pretty close to saying that right the idea that the Cold
War would suddenly go away as the organizing principle of international
affairs if you all start question as late as the mid-1980s you know at least
if you did so in a professional sense not only wouldn’t you get tenure but
you’d probably be sent off to have your head examined
right so the assumption was that this was going to know us through a very long
time that all of a sudden it ended there are important lessons for us today
when we think about International Affairs to take out from that so as
Danny said in his introduction I teach history and international affairs mainly
in a public policy school at the Kennedy School of Government
so I’m Pro kappahd with history for history sake but I’m even more
preoccupied with history in terms of how it can help us to ask better questions
of the present of the time that we live in ourselves and of course the the
knowledge of history the understanding of history is most of what we have to go
on it makes making sense of our own time and in thinking about the future so in
that sense this is really really important so in the book I also try to
approach the Cold War particularly the Cold War as an international system
compared to other international systems so I tried at least to begin with to
think about this comparatively and this is actually quite interesting for those
of you who are trying to make sense of this in a sort of broader context which
I guess some would be most of us the boy polarity of the Cold War that you have
two main countries around which the international system is configured it’s
actually quite uncommon in history doesn’t happen often
most international systems are either multi polar so they have many different
countries that are contending for power and influence a situation that is more
similar to where I think we are heading at the moment or the unipolar so they
have one big country usually an empire at the center that dominates everything
else and everyone else those are the most common configurations that you have
in terms of International Affairs there are also other examples of why polarity
but they’re not money there are for instance the rivalry between Rome both
Imperial Rome and Persia in the first parts of the first millennium they are
the confrontation in China in the 11th and 12th century between the song and
Liao states that’s probably the one actually that comes closest to being
like the cold war because these were two states two Chinese states that were that
had ideas that had much of the same origin but interpreted these ideas very
differently in terms of how society was supposed to be organized trying to avoid
a direct conflict between the states themselves but rather fought a lot of
wars through proxies there are lots of similarities in terms of that situation
in China back then in the 11th and 12th century and of course you have England
and Spain in the mid 16th to the early 17th century Spain being the established
Catholic power at the heart of Europe very much believing that they could
organize the future along – alongside their their their own ideas and you had
England which was this upstart country on entirely on the European outskirts as
it looked in the 16th century there had very different ideas and a very
different form of Christian religion Protestantism that went along with it
that also was a bipolar system of assault within Europe but there were not
many of these coins or cases and that makes the cold war even more interesting
I think when you try to understand it and you try to figure out why it became
so intense and why it became why it became so predominant and I think this
issue about how predominant the Cold War became as an international system is a
very important aspect at least for me in trying to make sense of this so the Cold
War came to affect almost everyone even people who wanted nothing to do with it
so if you lived in Latin America or in India or in in Southeast Asia or in
relatively peaceful nowhere where I grew up to some extent to another
if you were born within the middle part roughly speaking of the 20th century
there was no avoiding the Cold War because on a whole range of issues
people were pushed to take a position maybe first and foremost an audiological
position right so which one of these big plans for the improvement of humanity do
you actually want to go with right not I mean this is a big philosophical sense
but in terms of which organizations have joined and who you work with and what
kind of aims that you were seen having for yourself but also this broader sense
that there was a direct threat employed if you did not act in the way that your
superiors or those who tried to give direction to your lives assumed that you
ought to go in right so that disciplining aspect of the Cold War was
also very important and of course over and above all of this was the threat of
global warfare with the use of nuclear weapons which really sets the Cold War
apart this totality of it the absolute conviction about one’s own ideas as
being the only ones that could conquer the future because if the other side won
out it would be better that the world went down in a cataclysmic world that’s
also quite rare in human history quite unique and this is one of the reasons
why I am so interested in trying to understand the Cold War within this
broader context of the 20th century because I don’t think you can understand
it you don’t understand why people thought the stakes were so high without
understanding the world that they came out of what they had experienced as
young people roughly at the same age of as most of you who are here today so if
you were born in the 1890s when when my story starts
for instance born in 1893 like my my grandfather the world that you grew up
in was not going to be a very pleasant place right almost wherever you were
born in the world if you were born in the 1890s you had a lot of
trouble ahead of you the two world wars the global depression the dissolution of
many societies the conflicts over colonialism and
decolonization although they seem to concentrate within a generation or maybe
a generation and a half and this sense that things had become very very bad I
think is the main reason for understanding the main resource that we
have for understanding why people were willing to take such incredible risks
with the future of humanity as they were during the nuclear arms race because
that can only be explained I think by the stakes being incredibly high so high
that you felt that if your version of the future did not win out then all hope
for Humanity was lost right now most of us today wouldn’t quite think that way
but if you’ve gone to the first world war for instance particularly if you had
served in that world as many of the people who came to institute the Cold
War as an international system had then you would think differently about the
stakes about how important what you were doing for the future actually was say I
think it’s important to bear that in mind when we reflect on the on the Cold
War today so in the early 20th century because there were a lot of different
conflicts around and as I said to begin with I don’t really think that all of
these were direct results of the ideological conflict between socialism
and capitalism but many of them were influenced most of them were influenced
in one way or another by differences over what you could call market oriented
economies on the one hand and social collectivism on the other fascism
National Socialism in Germany Japanese militarism all had is in common that
they constituted some form of critique of the way in which markets seemed to
have failed at the beginning of the 20th century so
it’s important to understand this broader context as well this is not just
about the narrow sense about people you know joining socialist parties or
adhering to ideas about business and market oriented development
it’s about people asking very fundamental questions about how the
world was going to be organized along a divide in which people really had to to
find their find their own position so that brings me to this overall issue of
trying to figure out how this ideological divide became an
international system of states that lasted for almost two generations
because there is nothing given about that so I’m not the kind of historian
who would say ah sort of a leads to B and that’s necessarily the way it is at
all points in history just like today people make their own choices right they
do it as calm oxwas from the reminding us not under circumstances of their own
choosing and that’s one of the truest things that he has ever said but they
still do it people decide on their own future based on their own ideas and and
concepts now no one in the early part of the 20th century would really have been
able to predict the kind of war that the Second World War became right no one
would have been able to predict I think that Germany and Japan would as it were
had a second attempt at becoming hegemons within their regions and
certainly no one would have expected that within the same year Japan and
Germany would end up in a war against the United States a word that they
themselves had declared now if you look at a whole trajectory of 20th century
history in terms of the increasing significance in almost all things of the
United States you know that’s a pretty stupid thing to do right getting
yourself into a direct conflict with the world
growing superpower and of course the Germans did this twice over because
they’re also in the same year got themselves involved in a war against the
Soviet Union so in terms of the outcome of the Second World War that’s dependent
on war it’s dependent on warfare and it’s important to me to be aware of that
so the fact that in 1945 there were only two countries left standing as great
powers the United States and the Soviet Union came out of the way in which the
Second World War had been fought but this is I guess what Marx wanted to
remind us of this is not a necessary outcome but it’s a very likely outcome
it was likely in the sense that these two countries the United States in the
Soviet Union stood for comprehensive sets of values that people had here –
not just within their own countries but also elsewhere they were global
alternatives as it were in a way that that Nazi Germany or fascist Italy or
militaries Japan never could be because they were too preoccupied with their own
development they were too inward looking right so that’s the one thing the other
aspect which is the materialist aspect to this right is that only the United
States and the Soviet Union had access to the kind of resources because of the
enormous territory that they controlled that were necessary to fight a modern
war of the intensity of the Second World War all the other powers also had access
to material resources but most of the most overseas or they were newly
conquered and ever therefore very difficult to mobilize right but that’s
not accidental that’s something that is significant and something that comes out
of the post I mean the the fact that Japan during the Second World War were
able to construct five aircraft carriers while the United States at the beginning
of 1945 was capable of producing an aircraft carrier every second week you
know that’s not accident that’s something that comes out of the
massive productive capacity that this country had and which could be
transformed into warfare purposes now one of the reasons why I was interested
in writing this book now has a lot to do with re-establishing the autonomy in in
historical terms of the Soviet Union because we sometimes tend to forget that
today I mean there even people writing in this country who says the Cold War is
all about the rise of the United States from the beginning of the time period
that I’m covering and all the way up to the 1990s the Cold War is really about
the relentless rise of the United States and I agree that that’s one part of the
story but it’s not the full story and it’s really important when you do stuff
like this that you recognize the big picture but you don’t try to take agency
or autonomy away from what’s happening elsewhere so what is Soviets dead was
not a reflection of what was happening in the United States I mean people in
the Soviet Union or elsewhere for that matter during the Cold War has today
acted for their own reasons they didn’t act because they somehow were connected
to what United States was doing or or not doing
and reestablishing that is really important because it’s it helps us
understand I think a bit of what is going on today so the fact that the
Soviet Union wasn’t just a dissatisfied power at the edges of Europe but rather
deep become the other superpower not just to its nuclear potential but
through many things that the Soviets were trying to do is important but it’s
also very important to me to stress that the Soviet Union acted according to a
different logic from both United States or Western Europe or Japan did a non
capitalist logic which we may be very critical of I think from my view very
good reasons most importantly because it didn’t end up well right
in the end but it was even so for real and these people believed in abolishing
markets entirely they believed that the best way of organizing the economy was
through central state planning and only through central state planning they
didn’t do away with markets because they were forced to do away with markets they
didn’t isolate themselves from the capitalist world economy because they
were forced to isolate themselves they did this because they they march to a
different drummer they believed in different kinds of
issues there were people most people in the United States and Western Europe
would believe in at that time and it’s important to recognize that difference
and that logic right not all things are equal not all issues in world politics
or about interests narrowly construed I mean that’s as true I think during the
Cold War as it is today so that was one important reason why I was why I was
writing this book another reason was that I wanted to build on some of the
stuff that Dan mentioned before that I did in some of my earlier work by trying
to look at the Cold War as a global conflict and not just a superpower or
Europe centered conflict so I try to deal in this book seriously with areas
countries continents that are not often included into the brew of broader
understanding of of the Cold War so one of these is latin america which i think
is one of the most interesting areas for research on the Cold War era that we
have today maybe the most interesting of all and he also helped me to try to
figure out how the Cold War was different in different parts of the
world let me use that in America as an example on that so what you could say
about that continent were about that region stretching all the way up to
Mexico is that there had been in social and to some extent political and
intellectual terms a set of domestic holes that had
gone on within different Latin American countries between the left and right
that were there before nineteen forties before the Cold War became an
international system but which then fed into this global Cold War Between the
United States and and the Soviet Union right so so this idea that Latin America
was simply at the receiving end of the Cold War something that was introduced
from the outside I think isn’t Hollywood I think people would in Latin America
where agents were were able to to handle and develop these kinds of ideas on
their own and two key international possessions first and foremost in
working with United States from the sort of many right-wing Latin American
nationalists that came out of their own understanding of power relationships in
their own countries and this is important to me because it helps us to
understand how the Cold War could become an international system it was because
so many people in different parts of the world who in my view ought to have known
better were willing to buy into this ideological divide they thought there
was something in it for them right that they could benefit in one way or another
by making these kinds of links that didn’t only happen on the right it
happened on the left as well in other parts of the world but there was a
significant buy-in I guess we would call it today that it is in important truth
to understand that’s not the same thing as saying that United States did not act
through interventions think Guatemala in 1954 or the attempts at influencing
Brazil in the early sixties of Chile in in the coup against the elected agenda
government in the early seventies but it’s saying that United States could not
just act at will it was not just its own agent that intervened in Latin America
in most of these kinds of cases there was a put a push and a pull factor that
came out of domestic circumstances in the various Latin America
and I think so much of the most fascinating research that sort of taken
on this now come out of people who have skills and the background to understand
both sides of the Latin American Cold War both what comes from within and what
comes from without well traditionally we’ve seen those as two very different
stories another region that I spent quite a bit of time on in part because
the work hadn’t been done before was India so India is generally seen as
being on the side of the Cold War right seeking a non-aligned foreign policy
trying to talk about third world solidarity you know all those kinds of
things I think most of most of that’s definitely true but just like every
other part of the world it was very difficult for independent India to
completely set the Cold War as an ideological conflict aside in part
because the people who became the leaders of independent India in the
Indian National Congress strongly believed that some of the instruments
that had helped develop the Soviet Union meaning central planning was very much
something that they could benefit from in terms of the development of
independent India as well so I started my research on this
believing that the Cold War in India or what you could call development ideas in
India ideas about central planning in India more came out of the colonial
experience than out of the Cold War that it was more you know luskey than Lenin
that it was more the LLC London School of Economics where I used to work before
then it was what happened in Moscow right that’s not true when you actually
start looking at the papers of the Indian central planning commission or
other people who introduced planning into India you will find the Soviet
Union as a very direct inspiration and model in the same way as you did in
China roughly at the same time in a number of other countries it wasn’t
difficult I think at that point and this is a really important lesson
for all of us you think that the Soviet Union at least in these terms was the
future right that centralized planning was perfectly rational much more
rational that a chaotic market system capitalist system that had led to a
succession of crisis so if you’re Indian in the 1950s you know it’s very
understandable while you’re asking the question what kind of progress has
capitalists delivered certainly for India and that you would be looking for
something else for something new and that’s the connection I think at that
point to planning coming through the Soviet experience experiment so let me
conclude talking a little bit about how the code winded and why it ended the way
it did why this very unlikely scenario of going from a totally predominated
international system over on to the demise of that system could happen
within within less than a decade so I said before when I say in this book as
well that it’s very important to think about many ending points for the cold it
didn’t all end in in the same way everywhere it didn’t all end at the same
point point in time everywhere the Cold War just like it had different kinds of
origins had very different end points dependent on where you are in the world
and what kind of issues that you are looking at some of these have to do with
deeper structures and some of them have to do with policy with policymaking with
people making up the mind about moving in a in a different direction so what am
a leadership through so I spend quite a bit of time in the book talking about
the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union back in the
Reagan era so everyone here will know that I Soviet leaders in the mid 1980s
Mikhail Gorbachev and his people started coming up with ideas about International
Cooperation that would take us away from the Cold War
and that’s a very important reason why the Cold War ended the way it did but
there were also reasons on the US side which were at the time and I lived in in
the States at the time quite surprising and sometimes shocking that you had what
was seen as an arch-conservative US President Ronald Reagan who was willing
to start working with the Soviets even before we filed Gorbachev started coming
into power I think that many reasons why Reagan did that and the main reason that
is to me is his fear and horror at the prospect of nuclear war being I think an
optimist by nature someone who’s dedicated in ideological terms to the
furtherance of capitalism and the victory of markets globally the idea
that it’s natural almost god-given development could be interrupted by
nuclear war or something that Reagan under all circumstances wanted to move
away from and that wasn’t a product of his working relationship with Gorbachev
I think it came even before that so sometimes you had these kinds of
surprises in history now it wouldn’t have happened I think without Gorbachev
but when Gorbachev then came into power he had someone on the American side to
actually work with which would not necessarily have happened on the role
u.s. president so I actually can hardly think of another Cold War u.s. president
who would have acted in the same way collaborative way as Reagan did during
during those years so that’s the leadership driven part of it but and
also the economic changes that I talked about earlier on and these play a very
big role in my understanding of why the Cold War ended in the way in the way it
did in the in the nineteen eighties so the idea or what we today call
globalization meaning that markets and market-based forms of economic
interaction spread on a global scale or something that was very hard to foresee
from the 1970s or and it wouldn’t have happened without this massive expansion
or finance capital that took place as a result of much more unregulated markets
during the 1970s this gave enormous advantages for those
countries including the United States who were willing to take advantage of
this advantage of it in terms of spreading their their economic
interaction on a global scale quite literally to buy into this new economy
that was being created and which spread incredibly quickly because of the
combination that happened in the midst of this process between computing power
on the one hand I don’t need to tell anyone in Seattle about this so
computing power on the one hand and communications on the other which is a
way of saying the internet but the Internet in its very early form right
that all of a sudden you could get market information on the global scale
that you could not have access to before so a lot of people were able to buy into
this new system except in the Soviet Union and the countries associated with
it which deliberately did not want to be part of this spread of the market system
China opted in a different direction which was also a massive reason I think
why the Cold War ended the way it did China had always been under Mao Zedong
always been criticizing the Soviets saying you know the Soviets are too cozy
with the Americans and they are experimenting with markets this is
terrible until China itself moved it exactly in that direction right and
started making use of these new changes that took place in the global economy
the Soviet wouldn’t or couldn’t and that’s also a very important reason why
the Cold War ended the way it did so what is it that remains with us then of
the Cold War today so I say in the book that as an international system the Cold
War came to an end with the collapse of the Soviet Union so that fight polarity
obviously is no longer here but on the US side in my view international affairs
international policies had changed much less so much at least up to now of the
u.s. approach to the world didn’t change all that much
with the end of the Cold War it was still about the expansion of markets
expansion of capitalism the expansion of American concepts of liberal democracy
very little of that changed when the Cold War came to an end the American
alliance systems didn’t change very much at the end of the Cold War NATO is still
in existence and as has spread towards the east
so not all that much change on that side some of the most significant problems
that are with us today of course come directly out of the Cold War think North
Korea for instance probably the most dangerous conflict that we have in the
world at the moment certainly in terms of its possible consequences is a
remnant of the Cold War system so I think we need to think very very clear
forms about the past and the present on this it doesn’t make sense to me to say
that relations between the United States and Russia today is a kind of new Cold
War it isn’t because the ideological element the conflict between socialism
and capitalism that really constituted the clash that is gone away I mean the
Soviet Union is no longer here Russia today is an irritant in international
affairs it was a lot to stick it to the United States and other powers for that
matter but it’s not based on Russia being a global alternative to the United
States Russia is still in many ways a country in decline these in economic
terms will continue to be so for a very long time
China the most likely challenger to the United States of course reads the Cold
War very much in its own way but even though I think there will be some
significant conflicts between the United States and China over the years to come
it’s very hard to characterize that as a cold war because the content of the Cold
War the ideological divide simply isn’t there if you go to China I’m sure many
of you have been to China some of y’all from China you will see a society that
operates at least as much according to capitalist values
as what united states those if not more I mean for me as a rather old-fashioned
European coming to China and seeing this intense commitment to getting ahead
through markets and to investment can sometimes be a little bit too much for
me and it certainly out does much of what we see not in other other countries let me talk only about lessons so people
ask me certainly where I am now and I’m sure here at the Jackson school as well
constantly so what can we learn from the past and that’s a good question and it’s
an important question to ask now I don’t believe that there are single lessons
from the post so if you hear someone here at the Jackson school or elsewhere
trying to tell you the Cold War means that we should do this and that and not
the other you should be skeptical right because there are many lessons coming
out of any historical period of the post that there are some broad implications
it is to me that are there in terms of how the Cold War ended which should have
more of an influence now thinking today so the first one is that this idea that
the Cold War gave rise to that only your own system can be good and that on the
other side is necessarily bad or threatening or confrontational it’s not
the best way of conducting international affairs right you can be convinced that
other people are wrong and that they are acting in ways that go against your own
interests that’s fine that pace that’s based on your your reading of the
situation but this totality of it I mean this idea that in the concentration on
absolutes that the Cold War led to was something that was very dangerous and
led to a world in which people were willing to take immeasurable risks with
the survival of humankind not least through the nuclear competition that
aspect is a warning I think to all of us in terms of how we think about ourselves
today and and about the future and the second issue that comes to me comes from
the way the Cold War ended so I know people during that time thought that it
was likely however much they’d hear that that the Cold War was going to end in
cataclysmic war because most of these bipolar systems that we have looked at
throughout history and that way when you have two big powers to confront each
other relentlessly or is usually quite close at hand now the reason why most of
us are here tonight is because that didn’t happen right there was no nuclear
war at the end of the corner what there was was a series of negotiations between
the United States and the Soviet Union but also involving a number of other
countries that led to multilateral solutions to some not all as I said but
some of the biggest biggest conflicts and the biggest challenges that the
world was facing during that particular era so don’t let anyone tell you that
the end of the Cold War was all about us power and the ability to bring the
Soviet Union to its knees through military expenditure and relentless
pressure on a global scale that was one part of the Cold War but it was not how
it ended the Cold War did not end through pressure it and through
negotiations and that’s the way most international conflicts end but sooner
or later and let us hope that in in in most cases in the future it will be
sooner rather than later that’s to me one of the biggest lessons that come out
of the whole so an end on that looking forward to your questions really really
good to be here tonight thank you and I think the idea is that people
could line up behind the mics on either side here and then we could take we
could take questions yes sir this could you talk a little bit about Russia’s
history of being invaded and their fear of NATO expansion mm-hmm so I think the
Russian experience during both world was the first on the second world war played
a very big role for the degree to which Soviet leaders or for that matter Putin
today are able to mobilize support among Russians I mean this sense which had
been proven over and over again in Russian history
that there was a real threat from abroad right that that’s something that made it
easier to get people probably to oppose but not to confront to directly an
economic and political system that really didn’t work very well or a
political system under Stalin that was incredibly brutal and and and led to a
series of horrendous crimes against its own population the reason why they were
able to get away with this for a long time one reason was this sense that
there was a very strong external threat that had proven itself again and again
one of the reasons again why the Cold War could only end through negotiations
right because this pressure wouldn’t have worked the course of this
experience now for two days some people are saying the same thing and I do you
think it is important in order to understand Putin and how he and his
leadership group is thinking do you think about Soviet Russian history
throughout the 20th century and maybe particularly what happened just after
the Cold War ended right and I think this is something well were thinking
about we could discuss it further tonight in terms of the endpoint to the
Cold War for the Soviet and then Russian state was not something that many
Russians who as benefiting them directly in 1990s just after the coal wondered is
seen as a lost decade in Russia of chaos and confusion of introduction or the
capitalist system that most people didn’t seem to benefit from some people
got incredibly rich through it right those who were able to take control of
resources and present them as their own private property in a country that had
no private property from earlier on but those tended to be developed you know
well educated influential powerful people but for most people this just did
not end very well that sense of being pushed aside of being de classe of not
having had any benefit from having ended the Cold War I think it’s a major reason
why Putin came to power in Russia to begin with and why he is able to lie to
his people the way he is today about what Russia’s really interests or with
regard to its neighbors and with regard to the international society so one has
to think as I said in the talk you know how people learn how people drew their
own conclusions from their own private experience personal terms of family in
terms of what’s most important and Russia’s encounter with capitalism and
democracy in the 1990s was not too happy right and that’s part of the reason why
we ended up where we are today that’s what I’m not saying this is an attempt
at excusing Putin chauvinist and expansionist policies but the reason why
so many Russians against better knowledge are willing to go along with
this yeah face what are your thoughts on um in some recent polling all right 30
percent of Millennials responding as having a favorable view of Joseph Stalin
yeah and what is the rational response it’s I think it’s globally even worse
than what I chose now I must start by saying that I found
it very difficult so anyone who studied the history of the Cold War the history
of the Soviet Union to have much of a favorable view of yosef Stalin not just
because he was immensely brutal and committed a whole series of crimes
against its own population that’s one thing but also in many ways because much
of what he tried to do failed right I mean of course ultimately the Soviet
state itself failed it’s hard to put that directly at Stalin store I think in
a structural sense you can probably you can probably do so but most importantly
he failed because he was a significant part his own thinking was a significant
part of bringing on the kind of militarized Cold War confrontation that
the Soviet Union was not able to benefit from that in many ways he played into
the hands of what was by far the strongest superpower the United States
now when I try to sell this argument in Russia I don’t get very far word right
because what they see install it some Russian see install even more Russians
see in later Soviet leaders such as nearly international was exactly what I
haven’t had since stability predictability gradual progress you know
you might not be rich but if you if you worked hard and if you saved you to have
a decent living right well today is completely unpredictable now what I
worry about is that this attraction to dictators past and present is something
that will play an even voyda role in the world today not just in Russia where it
happens for historical reasons that I think we can explain but on a global
scale over overall and that does worry me why does this happen I have as little
of an explanation as as you do I think one key reason is that the world has
become much more complex complex not more complicated much more difficult to
foresee in terms of what the future will bring people on a global scale as well
as in Russia want some degree uncertainty and direction and things
that they feel that they can stand for not least in a national sense right I
think that’s coming but it’s very often coming back in a
form that makes one forget what kind of disasters that come out of some of these
values through the 20th century that maybe that’s what you’re mentioning
Millennials so in terms of one’s own historical experience that I’ve spoken
so much about you know maybe that’s what’s lacking in this particular
historical experience for that generation and that that’s the reason
why people in the past who are seen as strong leaders of scoring so highly
today in spite of the other disasters that they led yeah please you mentioned
that China is like integrated into the capitalist economy and its intention is
more like growing as a global power but given its diametric views with regards
to human rights and more values or ideologies that the Western world
prophesied sorry the Western world and courageous how much but so given these
diametric views how much are we under estimating China’s intentions to be like
like like Russia that’s a really good question so I mean and and this is
something I’ve talked quite a bit about as well so if we look be too much on at
the post right we sometimes reduce reduce in terms of interpretation the
kinds of things we are looking at a little bit too mechanically so for
instance when I was saying that conflict between China and United States most
likely but not the Cold War is that a way for me to sort of reduce the Cold
War used to be one set of conflicts now I don’t think I’m doing that because I
think it’s important to be able to distinguish between different kinds of
conflict right and I think that’s exactly where we are which are now which
are now today I don’t think it’s very likely that the current leadership in
China will try to roll back the markets roll back capitalism in China because I
don’t think they would be able to do it I think the Chinese people today has
benefited so much from that economic development that that would be really
difficult to do even in a country that generally admire strong power I think
that would be difficult to do but that’s not the same thing as believing in
different kinds of ways of organizing the state and I think that is a
significant difference between the United States and China I don’t think it
is about national interest at all I mean at the moment in this country we have a
president who proudly says America first which is very similar to what she and
thing would say about China he phrases it now in more multipolar broad broader
sense but that’s because it’s in China’s interest to do so
right so it’s American many ways that are changed more honest than then bought
China has I don’t think I think China is at the moment under its current
leadership trying to become the center the dominant power within its own region
I think gradually it will try to become predominant probably further than that
outside of the eastern Asian region but that will take a great deal of time
mainly because of lacking capability is still on the on the Chinese side for
doing so but I don’t think unless we in this country and in Western Europe and
Japan or South Korea do something really stupid I don’t think that the idea of
exporting the Chinese political model is something that is going to be at the
center simply because you know in spite of their immense pride in China’s
progress I don’t think they’re all that many Chinese people today who in their
heart of hearts believe that China has a an overabundance of good governance you
know over other countries there are significant problems with the Chinese
want one-party dictatorship that a lot of people in China are unhappy about now
if we really mess up on this side and give democracy and even worse named and
what it has a presence it’s it’s possible that more people will say well
dictatorship isn’t a bad offer but luckily we’re not quite there yet yeah
one of the central claims to make in your last chapter it which is about the
world coalesced behind us that the u.s. squandered its Cold War victory through
post-cold-war triumphalism in the spirit of also looking at the United States and
international relations could you a little bit elaborate on that so I think
in the 1990s there were enormous opportunities first and foremost from
the United States but also also by Europeans to try to remake significant
parts of the international system so there would have been a strong
willingness I think not only in Russia but also to some extent in China in
taking the lead of the United States and Europe in trying to set up a more
collaborative form of international security and probably also to reform
international organizations the financial organizations or even the UN
itself to become more representative and broader and the United States and
Western Europe did not use that opportunity I think this happened for
two reasons I mean one most a sense that the Cold War was over the United States
was dominant and it could more or less do whatever it wanted to do it didn’t
need to compromise with others and this was asked – I think for the Clinton era
as it was for the George W Bush era later on it just had different different
for for the Clinton administration it was about the global victory of markets
and integral integrity of forms of capitalism for the Bush administration
post 9/11 it was for some understandable reasons about what the United States
could do unilaterally in the world to protect itself and to defeat its enemies
the both of those were lost opportunities in my view in terms of
making a world that was not just based on American power and American influence
but much more broad-based in a collaborative form would that have
worked we don’t know we will never know was it worth the effort most definitely
and we didn’t go far enough and I’m speaking here in a setting of the
program looking at United States in the world let me stress that I blame
Europeans as much as Americans for this this is not just about United States
it’s also about Western Europe Central Europe deciding
that Europe’s border really ended where Russia begins which i think is in
historical terms and cultural terms nonsense
so this idea that Russia would forever be outside any form of European
integration I think was a security voice or economic I think was a bad mistake
Russia couldn’t have been integrated into NATO or into the European Union in
the nineteen nineties but saying that it would never happen you know is exactly
the wrong signal to send to a people that felt that they had been hardened
by, that they had been defeated in the Cold War. It should have been the
opposite. How do you think the experiences and history of the global
cold war between the USSR and US informs the emerging Iranian Saudis rivalry?
That’s another good question. I think if you look at the Middle
East as a whole, which has to be the starting point for understanding any of
the relationship between between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the Cold War as
as a global system in a way froze conflicts in the Middle East,
made it more difficult for them to end but also made it more difficult for one
side to have a victory against us. That’s true even through up to and
including the Iranian Revolution. Now I think for the Middle East as in many other parts of the world
we are moving out of that shadow of the Cold War and things have become much
more fluid again so it’s been really interesting and quite shocking to look
at how both Saudi Arabia and Iran have been wielding power within the region. I
did look over the last couple of years the conflict in Yemen the conflict in Syria,
the relationship that both of them with different markings have to do this read
all of this has sort of come unstuck and I’m really worried about what the future
is going to bring we for that region without there being some sense of more
broad-based disciplining system that keeps that keeps the pieces in place so
notice what I’m saying here I’m not this is not sort of code more nostalgic on
the contrary it’s a it’s a way of going back to the last question saying you
know if we had used the opportunities that were there at the end of the corner
of integrating other countries into a more multipolar multifaceted
international security system we probably couldn’t have avoided rivalry
between Saudi Arabia and Iran which are therefore a whole host of reasons but we
would have been much better place to contain it now there is no such
containing mechanism that exists whatsoever so I’m really fearful about
what this will bring in the longer but you know yeah please thank you
since you’re raised in the Scandinavian socialism or whatever we might call it
it’s always struck me that how why hasn’t it spread when we have a bunch of
countries that were happy as lambs and and clamps so that’s that that’s part of
it and the other part is we are now digitizing the world which seems to be a
larger force in some things how would you add those to the question
okay so a two-part question why I mean boy hasn’t Scandinavian social democracy
spread to the rest of the world cause all Scandinavians particularly the
regions have been asking themselves that question over and over again if everyone a DSP like us I need not two
reasons why it’s unlikely to find the Scandinavian model that would be
successful it in its totality as well and the first one of course has to do
with the economic basis so I mean these are twenty countries with
well-functioning economies which have developed state capacity in terms of
dealing with issues such as poverty or the the environment or social equality
over a very long period of time so they’ve been lucky that they have been
able to do this but that luck comes out of good economic fortune to start with
resource wise in most cases but also of course the the relatively small
population may be the real answer as many people in this state will see is
that they were able to export their population surplus to the United States
and to Canada about a hundred years ago and and and thereby have a different
kind of modernity for themselves on digital issues so I this is something
that a lot of people have started working on now with regard to the end of
the Cold War and I I referred to some of this in my talk but we haven’t still
quite figured it out so if I knew you want to write a good term paper or
dissertation you know on these issues that’s one that you could start looking
at what were the effects of the spread of new communication networks let’s put
it that way in a broad sense on the on the way the code rendered and the kind
of world that we that we have today what seems to me to be happening is that it’s
like many technologies it’s pulling in two different directions at the same
time so it’s moving in the direction of the world becoming scarier I mean in the
sense that there is more surveillance there is more state capacity to do
things that you don’t want to have done to you by by the states there is more
capacity for different and new forms of warfare or the often referred to a cyber
warfare double-dose aspect of changes in the in in in in digital
technologies and communications but then on the other hand there is this massive
increase in a very democratic sense in terms of information so some people
would say well it isn’t really democratic because it only effects the
white middle-class world or with some offshoots in Asia I don’t think that’s
true so my daughter at the moment is working in a small village in western
Uganda very close to the Congolese border and people in that area have
access through the internet to information they couldn’t have dreamed
to have access to only a few years ago now what they do with that information
of course is entirely up to them and they would take it in directions that we
cannot foresee but it opens up an ability to interact with the rest of the
world that I would see broadly speaking as positive right to do things that they
otherwise could not have done so that’s the other side to to 2-digits
development we talk about digital divides and I think that’s very very
important but also digital opportunities that’s
what you try to make use of and again very much of that would not have
happened at least not in the way it’s happened now
under cold war circumstances so that’s one of the benefits broadly speaking off
off of the end of the whole great should I know you didn’t speak much of it in
your book but in regards to Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union and the tensions
that kind of build up to when they split apart
can you speak of kind of the threats that were kind of possible that could
have gone wrong in the build-up of tension to Yugoslavia Soviet Union and
communism as a whole and also so ok now Yugoslavia up in the Balkans in general
is one of the most interesting aspects of the Cold War certain in Europe
because you had dividing lines that didn’t
always follow what we traditionally think of as a sort of socialist
capitalist east/west condor devoid so some of these happened by accident
I mean Yugoslavia would have been a very different place during the Cold War if
it’s neither Tito had not ended up in an acute conflict with the Soviets and with
with Stalin right which was as much caused by Stalin by the way as it was
caused by Tito the Yugoslavs didn’t break away from the Soviet Union they
were thrown out you know so that created a very different form of interactions
with enormous consequences in part because Yugoslavia was the only European
country that oriented itself towards the global south towards the third world
with very significant consequences again an area that is completely under studied
by people who look at this Yugoslavia was the main supplier the main weapons
deliverer for many liberation movements in the third world that came to
constitute states of great significance well before the Soviet Union cause it
would so some of that is actually really important they were really important in
setting up the non-aligned movement which was founded in Belgrade in 1961
with a much wider reach than what you should expect too small a relatively
small country to the hub now the other side to that is of course the way the
Cold War ended in Yugoslavia so you could say now I don’t think this is all
that difficult to understand so pressure from the outside had kept Yugoslavia
together when that starts to wine in constituent parts of the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia of were pulled in different directions and again I think
there were enormous policy mistakes not least on the side of Western Europe that
were made during those years now I’m not blaming other Europeans for the civil
wars in Yugoslavia I mean those came out of decisions terrible decisions made in
different countries what is today different countries within yugoslavia
itself but I do blame Western Europe for not having enough attention being paid
to that region in order to try to prevent some of the worst excesses in
the early phase of the break-up Phoebus love it Western Europe was far
too centered on its own problems and its own issues in terms of the development
towards the east you expansion into Eastern Europe and
security problems that that had to do with the end of communism there
so there’s blame in both directions funny one yes no good to see you again
so my question is how are the ideology conflicts today in terms of like how
severe they are what are the forms they take on how people are dealing with
different ideologies and why set straightforward question at them no but
it is a good question because it’s what I’m really saying and you picked up on
that that ideology as an element in international affair International
Affairs is gone that it’s no longer there and there are people who are
working on international relations particularly political scientists who’s
saying that so that what we are looking at today is entirely different in its
constitution and it’s build up from what was the case during during the corner
that now it’s all about interest actually interest or collective interest
it’s about culture identification it’s about religion
so the Iranian conflicts right it’s about a new form of identitarian ISM
that who you are in terms of your background is more important than the
broader forms of thinking about how society should be organized and you see
some elements of that you see significant elements of that in this
country as well as I think everyone will will be aware but I think one has to be
careful with saying that that’s the same thing as believing that people’s ideas
concepts about better ways of organizing human society have entirely gone away I
have this sense and this comes back to the point about Millennials that
you know unless there is a dramatic change in terms of the more
international global ways in which the world is running at present a strong
suspicion that among many Millennials some of this belief in better ways of
organizing society in a political ideological form may actually come back
they will come back exactly in the same way as they have in the past I don’t
think that’s going to happen I mean this idea of an absolute capitalism or
absolute socialism that I think is is gone right but I do think that some of
the elements that that battle was about it all very likely to reappear but in
slightly different forms I mean just think about the challenges that we are
facing whatever your political point of view is with regard to social inequality
so I mean to me it’s quite clear that that’s a problem that was also here
during the Cold War that is not not gone away in many ways as the world has
expanded information has expanded it’s been become easier to see and therefore
more significant in terms of how people see it as a political problem and it’s
very hard to find solutions to do council issues by simply stressing state
interest in a sort of broad sense I mean think about China in this context so you
know the in things pointable china has risen channels now become a
powerful and respected country in the world and that would be well and good I
think for most Chinese but it doesn’t help poor people for instance in in in
western China you know who feel that they haven’t really benefited very much
from this and that would be right in saying so right so these kinds of issues
I think will come back in in in different forms in the future probably
that that is a good thing that’s something that you know we both have to
learn to live with but could also come up with some real solutions to some of
the issues that we’re facing at the moment so on that optimistic note again
thank you very much

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