Emotions and Play-acting in the Cold War: How Leonid Brezhnev Won and Lost the West’s Trust

in The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review
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This article seeks to prove that not only do emotions matter in foreign politics, but they are strong catalysts for political action. In Brezhnev’s case, it was fear of a third world war that made him strive for endurable peace. To gain the trust of the West, he tried to act like a Western statesman in order to be perceived as “familiar” and recognized as “one of us”. The article is structured along four key emotions: fear, trust, stress and mistrust, which are debated as concepts and as decisive states for Brezhnev’s foreign policy. I argue that Brezhnev won the trust of his supporters by showing he was different, but lost it when he became addicted to sleeping pills and had to retreat after 1974.

Emotions and Play-acting in the Cold War: How Leonid Brezhnev Won and Lost the West’s Trust

in The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review

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