As the War in Ukraine rages on, we are reminded daily that this regional conflict cannot be understood apart from its global context: the century-long confrontation between the USSR and Russia, on the one hand, and the US and its Western allies, on the other. Indeed, we could be justified in looking at the current conflict as simply one more chapter in what we could call the “Long Cold War”. The objective of this course is to look at the current conflict through the prism of history. Students will be pushed to ask the historical question(s) that they find most interesting with regard to this conflict. NATO, nuclear weapons, Russian/Soviet imperialism, Ukrainian nationalism, American soft power, American military bases, ideological confrontations, economic cooperation, energy dependence, Western European unity, Eastern European liberty…These are just some of the themes on which students can ask questions. Students will then be allowed to develop their own answer(s) to the question(s) of their choice, through their own historical research. In this sense, this is not just an introduction to the history of the Long Cold War: it is also an introduction to the work of a historian.
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