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U.S. Interests and Universal Goods

Mitchell, Lincoln A.

During the Cold War, both the Soviet Union and the U.S. sought to create and use multi-lateral organizations to serve their interests and to use the language of universal values and goods to frame the pursuit of their national goals. The United Nations was, for example, in many cases a diplomatic battleground between the two superpowers. Organizations like NATO were multi-lateral, but largely served the interest of the U.S. Similarly, ideas like freedom and democracy were used by the U.S. to put a more palatable face on what were otherwise proxy fights with the USSR, while the USSR used the language of peace and cooperation between nations for the same purpose.

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Harriman Institute
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October 28, 2011