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What Changes in Summer and Autumn 1989?

What Changes in Summer and Autumn 1989?

Chapter:
(p.11) Chapter 1 What Changes in Summer and Autumn 1989?
Source:
1989
Author(s):
Mary Elise Sarotte
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691163710.003.0002

This chapter addresses why November 1989 became the moment that the models for the future were launched. By the night of November 9, five developments had permanently altered the Cold War and produced a causal chain that resulted in the unintentional opening of the Berlin Wall. The nature of this causal chain suggests that theorists of power and theorists of ideas need to pay attention to each other to understand what happened. On the one hand, some developments were based on old-fashioned realist calculations. On the other hand, some developments were ones of attitude rather than capability, of ideas rather than material abilities. In the course of 1989, half of Europe had come to the conclusion that it need not continue to live under nondemocratic regimes in the interest of maintaining the stability of the whole.

Keywords:   1989, Cold War, Berlin Wall, power, ideas, nondemocratic regimes

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