The term refers to the epoch between 1947-48 and 1989-90. The persistent central feature of the Cold War is the global contest between the United States (US) and the Soviet Union (USSR). The major changes in the structure of the contest are the transformation of the confrontation in Europe into stability, cold peace on the basis of the status quo since the mid-1950s, and the reversal in China's posture from principal ally of the USSR into expedient cooperation with the US. This article explains the longevity of the Cold War concept, the different perspectives on how the major powers ended and reignited the tensions, and what threat perceptions and resulting actions produced the structures of the East-West conflict.
Schmidt, G. (2015). Cold War, The. In International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition (pp. 128–134). Elsevier Inc. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.96005-7