ERIC Number: ED349257
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: 0
The Soviet Breakup and U.S. Foreign Policy.
Foreign Policy Association Headline Series, n297 Fall 1991
This issue of a quarterly publication on world affairs explores the historical significance of the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the implication for U.S. foreign policy. With the breakup of the USSR in 1990-91, Russia for the first time this century does not have control over the non-Russian nations of its former empire in Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the Slavic Republics of Ukraine and Belarus. Absolutist rule has for the first time in Russian history given way to the beginnings of constitutional government. The years in which Mikhail Gorbachev led the Soviet Union (1985-91) are reviewed. These years triggered four major simultaneous revolutions--in the economy, in the political system, in the relations among the nations that made up the USSR, and in foreign policy. Facts and figures about the 12 republics (excluding the 3 Baltic republics) that constituted the old Soviet Union are provided. The role of nationalism in the collapse of the empire and the rise of Boris Yeltsin in the Russian Federation are discussed. Russian nationalism as expressed by Yeltsin is seen as a healthy phenomenon because it reflects an understanding that Russia can no longer afford to remain an imperialist state. Issues affecting the international community that have been raised by the breakup are discussed, including the question of control over nuclear weapons and the deeply rooted economic problems. The United States will have to develop a multi-level set of policies toward the 11 republics that are part of the new Commonwealth of Independent States as well as Georgia, which remains outside the federation. It is in the interest of the international community (especially the United States) that there should be a stable transition to a new political order within the former USSR. It is essential to keep in mind, however, that any "solution" to the problems besetting the Russian nation should be seen as a Russian solution and not as a foreign import; therefore, the United States should restrain its enthusiasm for engineering solutions. This book concludes with an 11-item annotated reading list and discussion questions for classroom use. (DB)
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Foreign Policy, International Relations, Nationalism, Political Divisions (Geographic), Political Science, Self Determination, Social Change, World Affairs, World History
Foreign Policy Association, c/o CUP Services, P.O. Box 6525, Ithaca, NY 14851 ($4 single issue, $15 one year--4 issues).
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Foreign Policy Association, New York, NY.