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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: September 2010

2 - The world economy and the Cold War, 1970–1990

The 1970s began with the collapse of the gold-dollar exchange standard and the defeat of the United States in Vietnam, two events that jointly precipitated a ten-year-long crisis of US hegemony. This chapter highlights the relationship between the neoliberal revolution and the preceding crisis of US hegemony on the one side and the subsequent collapse of the USSR on the other. The reconstruction and upgrading of the German and Japanese economies were integral aspects of the internationalization of the US warfare-welfare state. The counterrevolutionary thrust of the neoliberal turn was evident not only on issues of economic development in the Third World, but also in its attempt to reverse the empowerment of labor that had occurred in First World countries in the 1950s and 1960s. The most immediate impact of the Cold War on the East Asian region was to reduce most of its states to a condition of vassalage vis-a-vis one or other of the two contending superpowers.
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The Cambridge History of the Cold War
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