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International Relations Since 1945

International Relations Since 1945 (3rd edn)

John W. Young and John Kent
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date: 27 February 2024

p. 703. Empire, Cold War, and Decolonization, 1945–53locked

p. 703. Empire, Cold War, and Decolonization, 1945–53locked

  • John W. YoungJohn W. YoungProfessor of International History, The University of Nottingham, UK
  •  and John KentJohn KentEmeritus Professor, London School of Economics & Political Science

Abstract

This chapter examines decolonization and the changes that took place within the European empires during the early years of the Cold War. Decolonization constituted a crucial element of the new international order after the Second World War and formed part of the broader shift in the global balance of power. The war marked the end of the European-dominated system of nation states and was followed by the decline of the major European powers, with international dominance lying for a quarter of a century with the United States, challenged only by the Soviet Union. The chapter considers the challenges to colonial rule that were evident in both Africa and Asia during the inter-war years. It also discusses the imperialism and the struggles against it that have formed part of a post-war landscape in the Middle East.

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