Ideology and National Identity in Post-Communist Foreign Policies

Ideology and National Identity in Post-Communist Foreign Policies

Ideology and National Identity in Post-Communist Foreign Policies

Ideology and National Identity in Post-Communist Foreign Policies

Synopsis

A comparative analysis of the foreign policies of eight post-communist states which considers the extent to which official communist ideology has been replaced by nationalism and establishes how these states express their national identities through foreign policy.

Excerpt

Ideology and National Identity in Post-Communist Foreign Policies

Rick fawn

The French Revolution gave rise to the phenomena of ideology and of nationalism that are being played out two centuries later after the end of communism in Europe. Much as the direct, immediate impact of the French Revolution continued past 1789 into the 1790s and thereafter, so too did those of 1989 Eastern Europe extend into the 1990s and beyond. the Soviet Union disintegrated, the East German state disappeared through fusion and the Czechoslovak and Yugoslav federations collapsed, one through a peaceful but non-participatory elite negotiation, the other through leadership-sponsored inter-ethnic violence. the state ideology of Marxism-Leninism was pronounced defunct throughout the post-communist space; Western neo-liberal economic advisers were invited in to replace the role of party ideologues, and international financial organizations tied assistance to policy transformations. in all states, whether they were entirely new political constructs or building on previous polities, a process of both state- and nation-building began.

This collection is concerned with countries drawn from the geographical expanse of post-communist Europe plus parts of the Soviet interior: Russia, Moldova, Georgia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. in each case national identity and perceptions of relative location and belonging in Europe and the world had to be identified and confirmed or created. Foreign policy provided a crucial aspect of this process; the practicalities of political alignments meant, at a minimum, access to foreign economic assistance, trade and investment that could contribute to the construction of new state edifices and the appeasement or satisfaction of socio-economic expectations. Potential participation in security partnerships, and in fewer cases full membership of alliances, not only gave access to some technology but also signalled geopolitical reorientations.

The inputs of foreign policy can be numerous, even in states with highly centralized decision-making and policy implementation. These can . . .

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