The End of Cold War and Its Effects on International Relations

International Relations and Cold War

International relations is the manner in which two or more countries associate with and view each other particularly in the circumstances of political, cultural, or economic relationships. International relations handle mutual relations among different nations and incline to lessen the action and activities of other players like the corporations, legal agencies and non-governmental organizations. Relations between nations can either be friendly or animus.

The most current international relations that is based on enmity due to conflict of interest is the case of Iran and the United States who both have firm, conflict of interests for the Persian Gulf and are thus locked in a relationship of enmity.

One of the major world events that can define international relations is the Cold War between the Soviet allied countries and the Western power from the years 1945 to 1991. Cold War was characterized by a state of political animosity between rival countries coupled by open warfare, propaganda, and threats (Kristinsson, 2012).

The Cold War and Key Individuals

Countries that were involved in the Cold War were the United States and its allies such as Israel, the Great Britain, France, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and Thailand against the Soviet Union and its allies such as Albania, Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Poland, and Bulgaria. Cold War was under the influence of key individuals such as Winston Churchill, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Nikita Khrushchev, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, and Harry S. Truman. These key individuals were realists who believed that power was the best means by which they could protect, acquire or get others to act according to their plans (Wohlforth, 1995). They were the heads of the states that spearheaded the Cold War and they sought global power to fulfill their goals.

The Realism Theory and Cold War

The theory that could best explain the Cold War is the Realism Theory. Realism is characterized by anarchy, sovereignty, territory, self-help, and balance of power. World politics transformed at the end of the Cold War. It led to the establishment of nuclear weapons, the balance of power, change in domestic politics, change in liberal values, and the existence of war depended on the personalities of leaders during that time. Such changes that occurred after the end of the Cold War and being experienced to date can only be justified by the realism theory which has seen the hegemonic rivalry between these nations and shift in power.

Causes and Effects of the Cold War

The Cold War was started as a result of the powerful influence the Soviet Union had over most parts of Eurasia, which made the Western World have extreme fear that such influence might spread within their territories (Wohlforth, 1995). The Western Powers had to find ways they could use to resist such great influence the Soviet Union was gaining. It thus set the stage for the rivalry between the rigid Soviet Russia against the United States. Eventually, the United States emerged as the superpower leading to the surrender of the Soviet Union. It is argued that the United States and the Soviet Union did not set the postwar order but rather fell into common rivalry that defines the current events (Wohlforth, 1995). The political power shift brought about several global changes like the change in Soviet security policies, Russia's assumption of power within East-Central Europe, the revolutions in East-Central Europe, the détente among the superpowers, the collapse of various global alliances, the reunion of Germany, and the balance of power.


Kristinsson, P. (2012). Cold War Paradigms: The Third World in the Intricate Structures of World Politics

Principles of the three traditions (theories) in IR: Realism, Liberalism, Socialism.

Retrieved on Oct. 17, 2018 from

Wohlforth, W.C. (1995). Realism and the End of the Cold War. The MIT Press. 19(3), 91-129 Retrieved on Oct. 17, 2018 from

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