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Third Cold War: What to Beware, How to Resolve

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posted on 2021-09-23, 17:49 authored by Torgeir E. FjaertoftTorgeir E. Fjaertoft

The author shares his understanding of the confrontations between East and West during the Cold War in the dangerous phase of the first half of the 1980s, from his unique vantage point of life in the two German states, first as a Norwegian Visiting Lecturer in Communist East Germany at the University of Greifswald 1980 – 81, then as an official of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs 1981 – 84, which brought him as diplomat to Bonn, the capital of West Germany, 1984-87.

These experiences from Germany in the 1980s he will then analyze critically from the vantage point of a succession of encounters with former East German officials, starting 2016 until he in October of 2019 was a Visiting Research Fellow, Gastwissenschaftler, at the German Institute for Contemporary History, Department for the Cold War in Berlin.

The methodology of this article works with the standard procedure in diplomatic fact-finding and analyses, abductive reasoning from confidential conversations.The article follows the standard procedure for drawing on confidential conversations, Chatham House Rule, abbreviated CHR. What someone says may be quoted, but the identity of sources and their affiliated institutions remain confidential.

The author denotes this methodology exploratory conversation, inferring by active listening. By this methodology, the researcher may gain insights into the set of assumptions, the underlying mental models that determine the perceptions of options. In mental models, language constructs the shared sense of social reality and serve as repository of vast accumulations of meaning and experience.


Norwegian Free Speech Foundation


Declaration of conflicts of interest


Corresponding author email

Lead author country

  • Norway

Lead author job role

  • Practitioner/Professional

Lead author institution

The Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Human Participants

  • No

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