The understanding of the Cold War has long focused on the experience of communities along the transatlantic horizon and on superpower interaction over this horizon. However, interests in the place of decolonizing societies in Cold War international politics have steadily been growing in recent years. As a result, diverging images of the Cold War exist today in different area studies, notably between the European studies and the Asian studies. The idea of the Cold War as an “imaginary war” or a “long peace,” which prevails in the European studies, for instance, contradicts the extremely violent experience of political bipolarization endured in much of Asia. In the light of this recent development, this talk has two aims. First, it reviews the merits of a pluralistic understanding of Cold War global history. Following this, the talk will explore a way to bring different Cold War realities conceptually closer together, drawing upon, in part, a fractal-structural theory of political system developed in the mid-twentieth century social anthropology of kinship.
For more information contact Ji-Yeon Jo.