Defrosting the Cold War and Beyond : An Introduction to the Helsinki Process, 1954–2022 book cover
1st Edition

Defrosting the Cold War and Beyond
An Introduction to the Helsinki Process, 1954–2022

  • Available for pre-order on December 9, 2022. Item will ship after December 30, 2022
ISBN 9780367704032
December 30, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
320 Pages

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Book Description

This volume tells the story of the Helsinki Process from the immediate post-war period through the signing of the Helsinki Final Act in 1975 to the collapse of the Soviet empire and up to the present day. Treating it as a single narrative in the search for a just and stable order in Europe adds significantly to the copious but mostly narrowly focused academic literature on the subject.

Divided into 26 chapters, it can also serve as a handy reference book for different phases of the story. Chapter 22 examines the continuing debate over whether the West is responsible for the breakdown of relations with Russia and why the Helsinki Process failed to avert it. Chapter 26 asks whether the remarkable multilateral diplomacy that produced the Final Act could be replicated in other troubled areas today. It then offers twelve lessons that may be drawn from that experience.

Defrosting the Cold War and Beyond: An Introduction to the Helsinki Process, 1954–2022 will help students and others understand the long arc of the Helsinki process, its place in European history and its continuing relevance today. Drawing on the first-hand experience of the author and other sources, the book corrects common errors and identifies some of the key people involved.

Table of Contents



List of Abbreviations

Introduction       What is the Helsinki Process ?

Section I               Origins

Chapter 1             Where did it come from?

Chapter 2             Who started it?

Chapter 3             What were they afraid of?

Section II              Moving Forward

Chapter 4             Khrushchev, the accidental helper

Chapter 5             Brezhnev, the deluded visionary

Chapter 6             1966:   Dialogue of the deaf

Chapter 7             1967:   Détente, but what was it?

Chapter 8             1968: Dubček, martyred by the “Brezhnev doctrine”

Chapter 9             1969–74: Willy Brandt, the realistic idealist

Chapter 10          1969: Now they are talking

Section III            Heading for the Summit

Chapter 11          Dipoli 1972–3: Together at last  

Chapter 12          1973: Setting up base camp in Geneva

Chapter 13          1973–5: The long climb to the summit   

  Part I                   Slogging up the lower slopes   

  Part II                  The final stretch

Chapter 14          1975:  Views from the summit

Chapter 15          Coming down to earth

Section IV            Follow-up

Chapter 16          Belgrade 1977–8:  Human rights and wrongs

Chapter 17          Madrid 1980–83: The stress test

Chapter 18          1985–6:  Four meetings and the first breakthrough

Chapter 19          Vienna 1986–9: The ice cracks

Chapter 20          Paris 1990: Euphoria

Chapter 21          Helsinki II 1992: Gloom

Section V             Where to now?

Chapter 22          Was an opportunity missed ?

Chapter 23          The OSCE:  more members, same tasks, rough road

Chapter 24          ODIHR: Human Rights and dodgy elections

Chapter 25          Conclusions, achievements, legacy

Chapter 26          Can Helsinki be a model for other trouble spots?              

Appendix I          Guide to the Final Act

Appendix II         Key points of the Vienna Document




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Richard Davy graduated in Modern History from Magdalen College, Oxford University. After teaching in Italy and training in Edinburgh, he worked for nearly 30 years on The Times (London) as foreign correspondent in Germany, Washington and Eastern Europe, and as Chief Foreign Leader Writer specialising in East-West relations. He covered much of the Prague Spring of 1968 and the long negotiations that produced the Helsinki Final Act of 1975. Later he was a leader writer for The Independent, a guest scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington DC, an Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, and a Senior Member of St Antony’s College, Oxford University.