Skip to Content

International Political Conflict: Cold Wars and Hot Wars from 1945 to the Present - POIX279

This unit will investigate the origins, evolution and demise of the 'Cold War', largely through the prism of American-Soviet rivalry in the Third World: from the politics of containment and conflict during the 1950s and 1960s; to the rise and demise of superpower 'detente' in the 1970s; to a revival of superpower conflict during the Reagan era; to the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the 1980s and the return to the world of a single superpower (United States) in the 1990s. We will conclude by posing two broad questions: Why did the Cold War end and what effect, if any, has this development had on post-Cold War American policy toward the Third World to the present time. The case studies include the 1990-1991 Gulf War, Cuba, Afghanistan and Iraq.

By the end of the Study Period you should have a basic working knowledge of the origins and nature of the contemporary global crisis. Hopefully, the major learning outcome of this unit will be the development of critical analysis skills, independent judgements and improved written and oral communication skills.

All enrolment queries should be directed to Open Universities Australia (OUA): see

When Offered:

2019 - Next offered in 2019

Staff Contact(s): Politics staff



NCCW(s): PLTX279, POL279, POL270, POL272
Unit Designation(s):
Unit Type: OUA
Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations

Faculty of Arts

Course structures, including unit offerings, are subject to change.
Need help? Ask us.