General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union is in crisis – political legitimacy crisis and
o Time to do something drastic
Response comes in a form of new thinking
o To identify his reform agenda for the Soviet Union
(remedy for political and economic fronts)
o Two dimensions: domestic and foreign policy.
o Domestic three interrelated programs: Glasnost (idea
of openness greater transparency, create critical space
to encourage participation, reduce censorship),
Perestroika (economic system, political – bureaucratic
system, police state –party state), Democratizatsiia
(effort to restructure political domain for democratizing
Soviet naval presence
Vietnam Cam Ranh Bay
Afghanistan get out of Afghanistan
Refers to those states that are apart of the Eastern/Central
block of Europe
Been subsidizing them to keep them within the Soviet block
Tells comrades in Eastern Europe that you can reform system
in their own way. Known by America as the Sinatra Doctrine.
No matter what happens here, we aren’t coming to comrades
defense if they don’t try to rectify their governments and go
Legitimize invasion that happened in the first place.
Brezhnev Doctrine (Limitation of Sovereignty)
Doctrine Soviet Union used to legitimize invasion into
Should anyone of the Soviet Unions allies be under threat of
reactionary subversion from within or outside, the Soviet
Union and its allies had a responsibility to come to the aid of the aggressed state to preserve the revolutionary gains by
Legal duty under socialist duty nationalist law – made sure
they didn’t fall to anti socialist revolution.
If you attempt to reform that threatens the established
governmental system lead by a monolithic communist party,
then the Soviet Union reserves the right to intervene.
o Sovereign in a limited way.
1. Too little too late. Soviet Union was largely on its death bed.
Nothing there could have been done to save the Union itself.
2. Despite Gorbachev’s work to move obstacles from USSR, he
couldn’t lodge him from their privileged position. More Gorbachev tried
to change, the more they saw a threat of their power which lead them
to hold on more and use their power more to resist movement.
3. Coo within USSR was unsuccessful.
4. Gorbachev could have won this thing, and the only reason why he
didn’t was because he got the sequencing wrong. Did too much too
fast. Had be approached the question of reform incrementally, the
odds are that the Soviet Union would have survived and reformed
enough for its ongoing existence.
Yeltsin – Shock Therapy