The End of the Outer Empire
Soviet-East European Relations in Transition, 1985-90
- Alex Pravda - St Anthony's College, Oxford
European Studies | International Relations (General)
This study sheds light on the dynamics of the decline of an empire, on the complex interaction of economic, political and security factors in both domestic and foreign policy in shaping revolutionary change. It suggests that the East European states have to contend with a burdensome domestic and foreign policy legacy far more intractable than many initially assumed as they redefine their relations with the successor states of the Soviet Union, and with the rest of Eastern Europe, Europe and the rest of the world.
`Changes in Soviet foreign policy under Mikhail Gorbachev are widely accepted as being one of the major factors in the fall of the communist regimes in Europe. Alex Pravda and the other authors of this readable collection of essays work from inside the assumprions to put it in its proper military, economic and more general foreign policy context... For an edited collection of essays the narrative flows between chapters extremely well so that one is left with the impression that there was nothing that could be done to create a partnership between the USSR and the European communist states based on consensus and shared aims. The result is an excellent summary of the end of Soviet interests in Eastern Europe. It is a useful reminder if the complexity of reforming communist systems for experts and an accessible introduction to this area of Soviet foreign policy for undergraduates' - Journal of Communist Studies