The Onset Of The Cold War

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Using Nye’s level of analysis explain the onset of the Cold War. Cold War is characterized as a period of tension between the democratic West and the communist East, without direct confrontation. It was an ideological war between United States of America and Soviet Union, lasting nearly half a century and its battles were fought in the client states of the superpowers. In this essay I will explore the different circumstances and actions that led to the onset of Cold War, and argue that Nye’s level of analysis can be used to explain the onset of the cold war. This essay will look into all three levels of analysis: “the system”, “the state” and “the individual” (Nye and Welch 2011). Starting from the system level of the analysis, it is argued that the different views and ideologies between the parties of the international system create instability. It is seen that only USSR and USA emerged to power after the Second World War. The collapse of multiple nations gave the two states room for expansion. The multipolar system of the 1930’s, wherein at least six nations were influential participants was replaced by the new bipolar system, where the Soviet Union and United States were the only two ruling superpowers (Paterson 1979). Consequently it is argued that the Cold War was inevitable all along due to the concept of the balance of power and its structure (Nye and Welch 2011). However, it is also claimed that the two superpowers exploited political opportunities created by the second World War and therefore the rearranged political structures within nations drew the major into competition, which would result in an inherent conflict in the international system and therefore the states would be the actors. The state level of Nye’s an... ... middle of paper ... ... leaders during this particular period of international relations, such as Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech in 1946, functioned as powerful propaganda, by means of the individualistic approach. Everything that has been stated in the previous paragraphs shows that there was more than one factor that led to the onset of the Cold War and that Nye’s level of analysis can be applied to this era in order to understand the consequences of action in history on all the different levels. On the systematic level it was the bipolar world of two superpowers, on state level the idealistic and economistic differences between the nations, and on individual level the actions of the leaders and the decision makers of the states, that contributed to the beginning of a complex era in international relations that divided the world into East and West for a long period of time.
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