The Soviet System: From Crisis to Collapse

By Alexander Dallin; Gail W. Lapidus | Go to book overview

44 State, Society, and the
Military Under Gorbachev

DAVID HOLLOWAY

As a result of changes initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev, civil-military relations in the Soviet Union have entered a new stage. Especially since the 19th Party Conference in the summer of 1988, a significant shift has taken place away from the pattern of relations that existed under Leonid Brezhnev, toward a new pattern in which society, through the expression of public opinion, is playing an increasingly important role.

Most Western students of the role of the military in Soviet politics have taken as the focus of their analysis relations within the Party-state apparatus (between the Party leadership and the High Command, or between the Main Political Administration and the officer corps, for example). The central question in Soviet politics today, however, is not how the different elements of the Party-state apparatus relate to one another, but whether the Soviet Union can make the transition from state socialism, in which civil society enjoyed at best a limited autonomy, to a system in which an independent public opinion will play a central role in directing the state and its activities. If this is indeed the central issue in Soviet politics, civil-military relations should be examined in this context, too.

This article argues that the emergence of an independent public opinion (fragile though that is, as yet) has already had an important effect on Soviet civil-military relations, helping to set in motion a process of demilitarization. But this new pattern of civil-military relations in turn has potentially far-reaching implications for the uncertain and difficult process of democratization.


CIVIL-MILITARY RELATIONS
UNDER BREZHNEV AND GORBACHEV

The relations between the Soviet state, society, and military under Brezhnev and Gorbachev contrast in significant ways. The Brezhnev pattern of civil-military relations was in many respects congenial to military interests. By stressing the importance of conflict between states, the Party provided a clear rationale for the armed forces' existence. Gorbachev's "new thinking" on the other hand, has shifted the emphasis from conflict between states to cooperation, thereby giving rise to disagreement about the extent of the military threat to the Soviet Union. Brezhnev gave highest priority to defense, and allocated massive resources to the creation of military power. Under Gorbachev the priority of military power has

-544-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Soviet System: From Crisis to Collapse
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 725

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    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.