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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: December 2019

1 - Reading and Unreading a Historiography of Hiatus


The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in the years which followed brought into play a new international imaginary launched with a flurry of inaugural gestures. These included the proclamation, by US President George Bush, of a ‘New World Order’ in 1991, the publication, by UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, of an Agenda for Peace in 1992,and, in the most triumphalist gesture of the three, the American political scientist Francis Fukuyama’s invocation of the end of history. Many international legal scholars, too, applauded the beginning of a new post–Cold War world, no longer dominated by two rival superpowers. It was a moment widely thought to be full of new ‘global’, if not cosmopolitan, possibilities.

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