The End of Empire? The Transformation of the USSR in Comparative Perspective

The End of Empire? The Transformation of the USSR in Comparative Perspective

The End of Empire? The Transformation of the USSR in Comparative Perspective

The End of Empire? The Transformation of the USSR in Comparative Perspective

Excerpt

This book is the ninth in a series of ten volumes produced by the Russian Littoral Project, sponsored jointly by the University of Maryland, 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 the 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 was shaped by our view that future scholarship about the post- Soviet world requires both specialized research and broad-gauge studies that carefully juxtapose the breakup of the Soviet empire with the transformation of other multinational empires. Although vitally important, such comparative studies do not currently exist. Analogies between contemporary Russian behavior and the restoration of empire during the Russian Revolution, or between "Weimar Russia" and trends in Germany during the 1920s and 1930s, have shaped Western perceptions but have not been subjected to rigorous analysis. The history of international relations shows that an uncritical acceptance of historical analogies can easily lead statesmen to adopt self-defeating policies.

The principal purpose of this volume is to compare the Soviet/post-Soviet upheaval with the decline and transformation of other twentieth-century multinational polities, including the Habsburg, Ottoman, tsarist, imperial German, French, and British empires. The main questions to be analyzed include the following: (1) How do the circumstances of an empire's collapse affect the disposition of the imperial nationality to reconstitute it, and the capabilities of nonimperial nationalities to resist? (2) How does the development of democracy in a major state affect its foreign policy, and would the consolidation of democracy in Russia constrain Russian imperial impulses? (3) How might the international community affect the chances that a new Russian empire will be created?

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.