Cold War: The Emergence of a New World Order

Follow the high-drama transition from the early-1980s Cold War flashpoints, to the sudden and unexpected collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of a new world order in the 1990s. It seemed obvious to many at the time that the Cold War was over, but as Russia begun to emerge from internal turmoil at the turn of the millennium, were signs of a new confrontation already beginning to show?

Featuring subject matter expert

Daniel Finkelstein
Daniel Finkelstein

Columnist at The Times

Daniel Finkelstein, appointed to the House of Lords in 2013, writes a weekly column for The Times. Previously, he was adviser to Prime Minister John Major and Conservative leader William Hague.

Why didn't the Soviet Union act more forcefully to prevent the collapse of communist rule in Eastern Europe in 1989?

Both financially and in terms of morale, particularly following [the war] in Afghanistan and the series of revolts in the satellite countries, the Soviet Union had simply reached the end of the road for a policy of repression. Imperialism around the world tends to collapse that way.

Course Overview

  • Examine Ronald Reagan's hard-line approach to the Soviet Union, as Cold War tensions reached new heights in the early 1980s.
  • Review Gorbachev's policies of glasnost and perestroika, that, contrary to their aim, weakened the Soviet regime.
  • Consider the domino effect across Eastern Europe as communism collapsed, from Poland in 1989 to the fall of the Soviet Union itself in 1991.
  • Contemplate Russia's bout of extreme economic and political turbulence during the 1990s and beyond.
Course content
  • 8 Full HD Video Lectures
  • Downloadable Course Handouts
  • Knowledge Assessment Quiz
  • Interactive Group Discussion Task
  • Q&A Session with a Subject Matter Expert
  • Certificate of Achievement





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