EUROPEAN SECURITY AND THE NUCLEAR THREAT SINCE 1945
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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The period since World War II has witnessed a cataclysmic shift in the structure of power reflecting in large measure the creation of powerful strategic nuclear capabilities and the latent or explicit employment of the nuclear threat. It has also witnessed the partial disintegration of the traditional nation-state system, and an alternation in the role assignable to this older form of social organization. Europe--whose initial attainment of international hegemony reflected the mobilization of energies through the agency of the nation-state--has suffered a power eclipse closely associated with the declining power-potential of the nation-state system. Until 1939 the center of world power, Europe became increasingly during World War II the principal target for external forces, a far less enviable position, but one which it continued to occupy through the main period of the Cold War. Since the Berlin crisis, there are signs of its ceasing to be the center of attention--and of its becoming a kind of political backwater.
- Humanities and History