Russia and America: From Rivalry to Reconciliation

Russia and America: From Rivalry to Reconciliation

Russia and America: From Rivalry to Reconciliation

Russia and America: From Rivalry to Reconciliation

Synopsis

Compiled against the background of the enormous sociopolitical change in China between 1970 and 1990, this work provides a detailed lexicography of political and social life in China. It includes 1600 entries, each averaging half a page in length.

Excerpt

In the 1990s the United States find Russia find themselves at a watershed: the Cold War is over, the Soviet Union has been dissolved and replaced by fifteen independent nation-states; communism is discredited; and security for the two great powers is more a function of domestic reform than external threat. As we move into the post-Cold War era, U.S. and Russian leaders need to rethink basic assumptions about security, about foreign policy priorities, and about essential political alignments.

Moscow and Washington need to reconceptualize their relationship. Although no longer the hub of a vast imperial system, Moscow is the capital of the Russian Federation, the largest of the fifteen republics to emerge to independence as a result of the USSR's demise. By virtue of its possession of a preponderance of the former Soviet Union's nuclear and conventional forces, it is the most powerful, and it is the richest in resources. The Russian leadership under President Boris Yeltsin is committed to the return of Russia to Europe, to ending the isolation from the West that was a dominant feature of the period of Soviet rule. Ibis process started under Mikhail Gorbachev, whose acquiescence to decommunization in Eastern Europe, reduction of Soviet forces in the area, and agreement to German reunification were intended to foster the Europeanization of Moscow's policy. In the interest of pursuing a "common European home," Gorbachev had implicitly accepted the dismantling of the common socialist alliance.

However, there has always been a certain ambivalence toward Europe among Russia's ruling elite. In the mid-nineteenth century, two competing conceptions crystallized: Slavophiles versus Westernizers. The Slavophiles believed in the superiority and historical mission of Russia's Byzantine, Eastern Orthodox, autocratic tradition; they exalted messianic nationalism, unity of the Slavs, and expansion across the Eurasian land mass. The Westernizers argued that Russia was part of Europe, albeit at a less advanced economic and political stage of development; they espoused liberalization of society and a constitutional system modeled on the British experience. Both of these currents of thought are very much . . .

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