Dr. Liliane Stadler

International Relations Historian (Utrecht University)

”Studying the Cold War is significant today for at least three reasons. First, there continues to be disagreement among academics and practitioners alike as to what the Cold War was. Was it primarily a period in time? Was the Cold War the defining feature of its time or were there competing developments of equal importance across the globe? How did it begin? How did it end? Has it ended at all? All of these questions remain subject to debate and are therefore of continued significance today. Second, as time passes, more archival materials from the Cold War period become publicly accessible for researchers, practitioners, and members of the interested public. These have the potential to change our understanding and approach to all of the questions I have listed above. Lastly, we are only just at the cusp of a new so-called origins debate. Similar to the debate on the origins of the Cold War era, a number of authors are beginning to ask themselves, what the nature, the origins, and the defining features of the Post-Cold War era are. How similar is it to the Cold War? How different? And most importantly, how does our understanding of the Cold War period help us to understand the period of time that we live in now?”



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