The Legacy of History in Russia and the New States of Eurasia - Vol. 1

The Legacy of History in Russia and the New States of Eurasia - Vol. 1

The Legacy of History in Russia and the New States of Eurasia - Vol. 1

The Legacy of History in Russia and the New States of Eurasia - Vol. 1

Synopsis

This ambitious ten-volume series develops a comprehensive analysis of the evolving world role of the post-Soviet successor states. Each volume considers a different factor influencing the relationship between internal politics and international relations in Russia and the western and southern tiers of newly independent states. The contributors were chosen not only for their recognized expertise but also to ensure a stimulating diversity of perspectives and a dynamic mix of approaches.

Excerpt

This book is the first in a projected series of ten volumes produced by the Russian Littoral Project, sponsored jointly by the University of Maryland at College Park and the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University. As directors of the project, we share the conviction that the transformation of the former Soviet republics into independent states demands systematic analysis of the determinants of domestic and foreign policies of the new countries. The series of volumes is intended to provide a basis for comprehensive scholarly study of these issues.

This volume analyzes the legacy of history and its impact on the foreign relations and political identity of the new states. The nearly seventy-five years of Soviet rule, while a long time, did not erase the historical memories of the Russians or of the Soviet empire's other peoples. As the newly independent nations search for their place in the world, they are guided in part by their memories, some clearer than others, of a past without Soviet or Russian domination. The volume examines the new states' perceptions of history and how they have manipulated the images of the past in formulating contemporary policy. It also examines past relations among the post-Soviet nations and other peoples. Where do the sympathies of the new states rest, and to what extent are old "alliances" and "hatreds" being revived?

We would like to thank the contributors to this volume for their help in making the first phase of the Russian Littoral Project a success and for revising their papers in a timely fashion. We are especially grateful to S. Frederick Starr for agreeing to be the editor of this first volume "sight unseen," and for his enthusiastic support of the project and the series of volumes from the very beginning.

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