Date of Award

Spring 2021

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Historical & Political Studies; College of Arts & Sciences

First Advisor

Angela Kachuyevski

Abstract

On December 25, 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as the leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics which resulted in the formal conclusion of the Cold War. The Cold War was an ideological battle between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics from the mid-1940s until 1991. I have decided to put the beginning date of the Cold War as March 5, 1946, while the end date is December 25, 1991. During the Cold War, there was a new form of power which was coined by Joseph Nye. Scholars have questioned the influence of soft versus hard power during the Cold War. Soft power, according to Joseph Nye, is the ability of “a country to persuade others to do what it wants without force or coercion.” Emerging from this is my research question which asks: did the use of soft power, through the use of culture, sports, films, and music, contribute to the outcome of the Cold War? By using the method process tracing and a wide variety of variables, I can answer my question in the affirmative. The United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics did engage in a different kind of war and the winner was the United States through their use of soft power.

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Was Soft Power used during the Cold War?

On December 25, 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as the leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics which resulted in the formal conclusion of the Cold War. The Cold War was an ideological battle between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics from the mid-1940s until 1991. I have decided to put the beginning date of the Cold War as March 5, 1946, while the end date is December 25, 1991. During the Cold War, there was a new form of power which was coined by Joseph Nye. Scholars have questioned the influence of soft versus hard power during the Cold War. Soft power, according to Joseph Nye, is the ability of “a country to persuade others to do what it wants without force or coercion.” Emerging from this is my research question which asks: did the use of soft power, through the use of culture, sports, films, and music, contribute to the outcome of the Cold War? By using the method process tracing and a wide variety of variables, I can answer my question in the affirmative. The United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics did engage in a different kind of war and the winner was the United States through their use of soft power.