Eroding Empire: Western Relations with Eastern Europe

By Lincoln Gordon; J. F. Brown et al. | Go to book overview

ONE
Introduction and Overview

LINCOLN GORDON

THIS STUDY analyzes the attitudes, interests, and policies of the major Western countries toward Eastern Europe, reviews problems of conflict or convergence among those policies, and assesses their influence on broader East-West relationships. It should help to clarify policy choices for governments on both sides of the Atlantic and to enhance public understanding of the issues involved. "Eastern Europe" here refers to the six Warsaw Pact member countries other than the Soviet Union: East Germany (GDR), Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria.1

Since the close of World War II, Eastern Europe has been a uniquely important region in global geopolitics. The largest revisions of national boundaries took place there. The cold war originated in disputes over East European political regimes. With the consolidation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Warsaw Pact, this area became the East's front line in the European military standoff. In the 1970s it was the centerpiece of the high détente marked by the Berlin settlement and the Helsinki accords.

Today, more than forty years after the wartime conferences at

____________________
1
This usage is simply for convenience, without prejudice to the historical disputes over whether all or part of the region should be called Central Europe. Yugoslavia and Albania are also often considered parts of Eastern Europe, and are occasionally mentioned in the text. Yugoslavia is strategically important to East-West relations and its economic and political difficulties pose serious issues for Western policymakers. Both Yugoslavia and Albania, however, are now independent of the Soviet imperial system. Because their Western relationships are intrinsically different from those of the Warsaw Pact member countries, they have been excluded from this study.

-1-

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Eroding Empire: Western Relations with Eastern Europe
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword ix
  • Contents xi
  • Contents xiii
  • ONE Introduction and Overview 1
  • TWO The East European Setting 8
  • THREE Eastern Europe's Western Connection 39
  • FOUR Interests and Policies in Eastern Europe: The View from Washington 67
  • FIVE The View from Bonn: The Tacit Alliance 129
  • SIX The View from Paris 188
  • SEVEN The View from London 232
  • EIGHT The Views from Vienna and Rome 269
  • Nine Convergence and Conflict: Lessons for the West 292
  • Appendix Tables 330
  • A Note on the Authors 345
  • Index 349
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