OVER the last few years we have seen one development after another in the Soviet Union that would have been unthinkable at the beginning of the decade. American and British politicians critical of the Soviet Union appear uncensored on Soviet television; American inspectors will be able to visit sensitive Soviet defense sites; and western investment will be encouraged in the Soviet Union, with western managers supervising Soviet workers.
In this study Jerry Hough argues that these are signs of a fundamental change in the Soviet Union. The isolation of Soviet society has turned out to have a fatal flaw: the neartotal protection for Soviet industry has produced the same adverse economic consequences that it would in other countries. If the Soviet Union is to remain a great power, it must dramatically open up its economy and its society and subject its industry to foreign competition.
The purpose of Hough's study is to explore Mikhail Gorbachev's foreign economic strategy and its implications for Soviet domestic politics and foreign policy. But since any such basic change in the Soviet Union poses fundamentally new choices for the United States, Hough examines these as well--both the choices of American businessmen as they decide whether to invest in the Soviet Union and the choices for American society as it grapples with how to structure the relationship between the two superpowers.
Jerry F. Hough, an associated staff member at Brookings, is James B. Duke professor of political science and public policy studies at Duke University and director of its Center