On the origins of 1989: international factors - Historical scrutiny belies the triumphalist, simplistic narratives of 1989 as either an inevitable revolution or the victorious consequence of American pressure. The Reagan effect cannot be discounted, but it was a complex and nuanced one. More important were the longterm effects of intra-European détente - which eroded the stability of eastern European regimes and bound them to the West - and the impact of globalization on the "correlation of forces" between East and West, on their perceptions of historical trends, and on an emerging geography of world power that gradually marginalized Soviet communism. Historical interpretations of 1989 must weave together long-term structural, cultural and political themes in order to grasp the complexity of recent history.
Keywords: Guerra fredda, distensione, 1989, globalizzazione, comunismo, contenimento.