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Historiografi och paradigm i forskningen om kalla kriget: En komparativ analys av diplomatihistoria och internationella relationer
Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture.
2009 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Historiography, Paradigms, and Cold War Scholarship : A Comparative Study of Diplomatic History and International Relations Theory (English)
Abstract [en]

Adopting a socio-cultural approach to the study of cold war historiography, this master’s degree essay is a comparative study of the two main disciplinary fields of cold war scholarship, diplomatic history and international relations theory (IR). The study applies the theory of scientific development formulated by Thomas Kuhn and the concept of paradigm on the field of cold war research.

Diplomatic history and IR shows many similarities in their development, and in the importance different schools has had in scholarly debate. These different schools are analysed as paradigms, a concept that has been more willingly adopted within IR than in diplomatic history. The transition from what historian John Lewis Gaddis has termed Old Cold War History to New Cold War History is discussed in terms of paradigms and paradigm shift. What this shift has meant for historical cold war research is also addressed. With the starting point in conclusions by historian Anders Stephanson, the study also suggests that the predominating view of the cold war during the cold war can be analysed as a paradigm, effecting interpretations and theories about the conflict. As IR scholar Ted Hopf has suggested, the normal science during the cold war prevented IR research from correctly predicting the end of the cold war.

From a Kuhnian perspective, an interpretation of the difficulties in communication and scholarly interchange between diplomatic history and IR is offered. The study emphasizes the importance of political and social factors in the development of the different paradigms within the field, and concludes that the goal to become a paradigmatic science might not be attainable, or even desirable, for disciplines such as diplomatic history and IR.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 55 p.
Keyword [en]
Cold war, historiography, paradigms, diplomatic history, international relations theory
Keyword [sv]
Kalla kriget, historiografi, paradigm, diplomatihistoria, internationella relationer
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-17271ISRN: LIU-ISAK/HI-A--09/0001--SEOAI: diva2:208061
Subject / course
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2009-03-25 Created: 2009-03-16 Last updated: 2012-01-10Bibliographically approved

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