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International Relations Since 1945

Third Edition

John W. Young and John Kent

20 February 2020

ISBN: 9780198807612

792 pages

In Stock

Price: £39.99

Unrivalled coverage of the key developments in global political history since 1945.


International Relations since 1945 is a comprehensive introduction to the global history of International Relations. The text has been fully updated for the third edition and features three new chapters covering Brexit, Trump, the rise of major powers in the Middle East, and the Syrian war.

  • An unrivalled examination of international relations through the lens of historical analysis
  • Supported by a range of engaging learning features, including biographies of key figures and chronologies of key events to signpost them for students
  • An easy to navigate structure, organised chronologically and by region
  • Also available as an e-book with functionality, navigation features, and links that offer extra learning support

New to this edition

  • A new final part, 'The Age of Uncertainty', brings readers up to date with key IR events and developments from 2011 onwards
  • Three brand new chapters explore the war in Syria, Brexit, Trump, and the rise of major powers in the East
  • Thoroughly updated to reflect developments in discourse, such as England's strategy for Middle East defence in Egypt during the Cold War
  • Additional maps help students visualise the forces and territories in the Middle East

About the Author(s)

John W. Young, Professor of International History, The University of Nottingham, UK, and John Kent, Emeritus Professor, London School of Economics & Political Science

Professor John W. Young is an expert on post-1945 history of British and US foreign policy (including British relations with European Union), based at the University of Nottingham, UK. Dr John Kent has taught at the Universities of Aberdeen and Strathclyde and is currently an Emeritus Professor at the London School of Economics.

Table of Contents

    Introduction: Understanding the Cold War
    Part I
    The Origins and Development of the Cold War 1945-53
    1:Tensions in the Grand Alliance and Growing Confrontation, 1945-7
    2:Two Worlds East and West, 1945-8
    3:Empire, Cold War, and Decolonization, 1945-53
    4:The Cold War Intensifies: Containment Superseded, 1948-53
    Part II Cold War: Crises and Change, 1953-63
    5:Soviet-American Relations: Avoiding Hot War and the Search for Stability
    6:Maintaining the Spheres of Influence
    7:Fighting the Cold War: The Offensive Strategies
    8:Collapsing Empires: The Cold War Battle for Hearts and Minds, 1953-63
    Part III The Cold War of Peaceful Co-Existence and the Rise of Multipolarity, 1963-71
    9:The Eastern and Western Blocs in the 1960s
    10:The Vietnam War
    11:Other Regional Conflicts
    Part IV The Détente Era, 1972-80
    12:An Era of Negotiations, 1972-3
    13:'Stagflation' and the Trials of Détente, 1973-6
    14:Détente in Decline, 1977-9
    15:The Return to Confrontation, 1979-80
    Part V From Confrontation to Communist Collapse, 1981-9
    16:The 'Second' Cold War, 1981-5
    17:Middle East Conflicts in the 1980s
    18:Instability in Latin America
    19:The Decline of the Cold War, 1985-9
    Part VI The Post-Cold War World, 1990-2000
    20:Europe and the Former Soviet Union
    21:US Predominance and the Search for a Post-Cold War Order
    22:Stability and Instability in the Less Developed World
    PART VII The Age of Instability and Conflict: Terror, Economic Chaos, and Political Change 2001-11
    23:The 'War on Terror' and the War in Afghanistan
    24:The War in Iraq
    25:Economic Problems in the West and the Economic Rise of China in the East
    PART VIII The Age of Uncertainty: Chaos and Confusion in a Globalized World, 2011-18
    26:Conflict and Chaos in the Middle East
    27:Threats to the existing Global Order: Instability in the West
    28:Threats to the Existing Global Order: Challenges from the East


"This is an excellent introduction to international political history since 1945 with a strong focus on the Cold War. The book is clearly structured and rigorously researched. Undergraduate politics students will find it very useful." - Dr Eli Gateva, Assistant Professor in Comparative Politics, School of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham

"Thorough, well-written, informative, well-organized, but above all it is accessible for students." - Dr James Hamill, Lecturer in Politics, School of History, Politics, and International Relations, University of Leicester

"This authoritative text offers greater historical depth than its rivals and is a serious piece of work that will support good scholarship amongst my students." - Dr Robert Smith, Lecturer in International Relations, School of Humanities, Coventry University

Additional Resources

Digital formats and resources

International Relations Since 1945 is available for students and institutions to purchase in a variety of formats.

The e-book offers a mobile experience and convenient access along with functionality tools, navigation features, and links that offer extra learning support: www.oxfordtextbooks.co.uk/ebooks

The textbook is accompanied by online resources which include:

For students:
Biographies of key figures
Key international relations documents
Maps of key regions
Annotated further reading guide
Interactive timeline
Self-test questions

For lecturers:
PowerPoint slides
Question bank

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