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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: 12 April 2024

p. 1596. Maintaining the Spheres of Influencelocked

p. 1596. Maintaining the Spheres of Influencelocked

  • 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 how the United States and the Soviet Union tried to maintain their respective spheres of influence during the Cold War, especially in three regions: Eastern Europe, Western Europe, and Latin America. The death of Joseph Stalin and the assumption of power by the triumvirate of Lavrenti Beria, Nikita Khrushchev, and Georgi Malenkov resulted in a fresh approach to domestic issues and to the nature of Soviet control over its European satellites. The apparent change produced a new Soviet approach to East–West relations. The chapter first considers how the new Soviet leadership addressed the crisis in East Germany before analysing American influence in Western Europe and US relations with Latin America. The discussion covers themes and events such as the Soviet policy on Hungary and Poland, the Messina Conference and the Spaak Committee, nuclear cooperation and multilateral force, and the US response to the Cuban Revolution.

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