Show Summary Details
International Relations Since 1945

International Relations Since 1945 (3rd edn)

John W. Young and John Kent
Page of

Printed from Oxford Politics Trove. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

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


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.

You do not currently have access to this chapter

Sign in

Please sign in to access the full content.


Access to the full content requires a subscription