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The figure of communism and US-USSR bilateral diplomatic relations during the cold war : a conflict analysis

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  1. The figure of communism and american politics
    1. The beginnings of containment
    2. MacCarthy and the generalization of fear of Communism in the United States
    3. The Eisenhower presidency and the roll back doctrine
    4. Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon: the figure of Communism during détente
    5. From Carter to Reagan: re-diabolization in context
    6. Reflections on the meaning of the end of the Cold War
  2. The cold war: ideology's battle for life or death
    1. Defining the Cold War
    2. A war on image
  3. Writing the cold war: the figure of communism revised ?
    1. The significance of US victory
    2. Today's Cold war legacy

The Cold War is, together with the World Wars, probably the most important episode in Europe's and the United States XXth century diplomatic history. The conflict has an impressive amount of dimensions, motives and outcomes, most of which are probably still unknown. This being said, one still cannot help but raise the simple question: what was the Cold War all about? The conflict analyses are numerous but common knowledge tends to state that the Cold War was a conflict between the East and the West whose respective protagonists were the USSR and the United States. A fight for global influence without direct confrontation. We are going to get deeper into the fight for symbolic influence over the world, and this more specifically from the American point of view. We will analyze the meaning of the figure of Communism in American politics, official rhetorics and the domestic political climate during the Cold War. The aim of this paper is not to give general answers, but rather to raise questions about the significance of Communism in the US-USSR bilateral relations and the general outcome of the conflict. Is the picture of Communism a result of the bilateral climate? Is the bilateral climate submissive to the leaders views on ideology?

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