This introductory chapter explores the dimensions of trust and how these are understood in the context of the Cold War. It shows how trust and distrust are, as emotions in general, often stated but rarely integrated systematically into analyses of international relations. Yet employing the concept of trust as a category for analyzing historical processes opens up new perspectives on the dynamics of international relations, the entanglement between international and domestic spheres, and relations between structural and personal aspects. The second half of the Cold War, as the chapter shows, is especially suited for an initial attempt to discern the relative weight of trust and mistrust and how such considerations may affect political dynamics and relationships. Finally, the chapter provides a brief overview of the following chapters.
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