Not available in 2013/14
Crises and Detente in the Cold War, 1962-1975

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Odd Westad COL2.05C


This course is available on the MSc in Empires, Colonialism and Globalisation, MSc in History of International Relations, MSc in International Affairs (LSE and Peking University), MSc in International and World History (LSE & Columbia) and MSc in Theory and History of International Relations. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This course examines the period of crises and détente in the Cold War between the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. The course centres on how markets, ideas, and cultural interactions affected political discourse, diplomatic events, and strategic thinking in the middle part of the Cold War. The main part of the course material is from the forthcoming Cambridge History of the Cold War, edited by Professor Westad. US Foreign Policy under Jimmy Carter, The Cuban Missile Crisis and the Origins of Détente. US Foreign Policy from Kennedy to Johnson, Soviet Foreign Policy from the Missile Crisis to the Helsinki Agreements, The Collapse of Detente, 1975-1983, Islamism, the Iranian Revolution, and the Soviet Intervention in Afghanistan, European Integration and Cold War, Detente in Europe, 1962-1975, Cold War and the Transformation of the Mediterranean, 1960-1975, Eastern Europe: Cold War and Detente, 1960-1975, The Cold War in the Third World, 1965-1975, The Wars in Indochina and the Cold War, 1954-1975, The Cold War in the Middle East from the Suez Crisis to the Camp David Accords, Cuba and the Cold War, 1960-1980, The Collapse of the Sino-Soviet Alliance, Nixon, Detente, and Sino-American Normalization, The Arms Race, 1963-1975, Espionage, Covert Action, and the Cold War, Counter-Cultures: The Rebellions against the Cold War Order, 1965-1975, Germany, Détente, and the Reconfiguration of the International System.


5 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the MT. 5 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT. 1 hour of lectures and 3 hours of seminars in the ST.
11x1 hour lectures and 22x1.5 hour seminars. 44 contact hours. in all. The lectures are joint with HY206, covering the following topics: US Cold War Interventions; Communism in Eastern Europe and China; Technologies, Weapons, and the Arms Race; the Cuban Revolution and the 1962 Missile Crisis; Western Europe and the Cold War, 1960-1975; Cold War and Decolonisation; the Decision to Intervene in Vietnam; the Cold War and the Middle East Crises of 1967 and 1973; Cold War Cultures and Mindsets; Superpower détente; Ending the 1st Cold War?

Formative coursework

Each student is required to write three essays during the year, including one assessed essay and one mock exam.

Indicative reading

O.A. Westad and M. Leffler, eds., The Cambridge History of the Cold War (selected chs.); O.A. Westad and J. Hanhimaki, eds., The Cold War: A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts; O.A. Westad, ed., Reviewing the Cold War: Approaches, Interpretations, Theory; D. Reynolds, One World Divisible.


Exam (75%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: International History

Total students 2012/13: Unavailable

Average class size 2012/13: Unavailable

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information