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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Cold War (1947–91)

Ebrahim Afsah

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 25 October 2021

Since World War II — Occupation — Collective security — Weapons, nuclear

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 World War II transformed the global distribution of power, leaving the two principal victors as dominant superpowers (Superpowers and Great Powers). Differences in ideology, perception, and national interest quickly led to the unravelling of the war time alliance between the Soviet Union and the United States, replacing it with intense competition and hostility. Despite the severity of this antagonism and its highly militarized nature, direct hostilities between the main protagonists were avoided. The absence of open conflict can be explained by the...
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