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Lecture Notes

Political Science
Course Code
Lucan Way

of 5
Collapse of USSR and Rise of Russia
Essay due March 19
oIn trying to explain ethnic conflict in Bosnia in the early 1990s, some
have argued that violence was the product of ancient hatreds and/or
religious traditions; while others have suggested it was more the product of
manipulation by Milosevic and others. Which approach do you think works
best and why?
In answering this question, you must refer to the following three texts:
LeBor, Adam. 2004. Milosevic: A Biography. New Haven: Yale
University Press (you are not required to read more than is assigned).
Mueller, John. 2000. The Banality of Ethnic War.
International Security, June 1, Vol. 25, Issue 1.
New York Times Reading posted on Intranet. (to be posted)
Paper outline
oFirst paragraph (about half a page) should include the
Restatement of main question. Summary of your central
argument (i.e. which perspective you think best explains the Yugoslav
oPart I (2-3 pages):
Summary of argument (i.e. ancient hatreds or
manipulation/actions of leaders) that you think works less well to
explain Yugoslav conflict. Description of the evidence that supports
this argument.
oPart I I: (3-4 pages):
Summary of argument you think better explains the Yugoslav
conflict. Description of evidence that supports this argument.
Discussion of why this evidence is more compelling than the evidence
for the argument above.
What weve learned so far about fall of Communism
oCrisis of Communism in 1970s-1980s
Increased shortages, cynicism, gap between east and West
oGorbachevs Perestroika
Perestroika I:
Focus on arms control;
Cease international commitments: Afghanistan, EE
oFall of Communism in EE in 1989
Poland (June); Hungary (June-October), Czechoslovakia
(November), East Germany (November), Bulgaria (November),
and Romania (December)
Geopolitics vs. demonstration effect?
1989 an example of demonstration effect?
Happened in succession
Example of neighbouring states clearly important
Announcement of Sinatra Doctrine in October 1988
Gorbachev effort to impose reformers
Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe
oStructural causes
Shortages, gap between East and West
oVoluntarist Causes
Did Reagan/the West win the Cold War?
Star Wars --> fear of bankrupt USSR --> Perestroika
But: Korean Air Lines Flight 007 Sept 83
Medium-Short-term: Direct product of Gorbachev policies
Gorbachev very concerned about international image
Demonstration effect?
Collapse of the Soviet Union
oThe Soviet Union was called an ethic federation
oExisted of 15 ethnically defined republics
oFormed officially in 1921
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)
oWas a Tsar empire
Imposed Russian language, essentially tired to eliminate the
various nationalities
oRussian Revolution 1917
oUSSR created in 1921 out of the Russian empire
Multiple languages/cultures in empire
oLenins minority policy
(initially) rejects old Tsarist policy of Russification
Hopes that by promoting local cultures, populations will be
more likely to support Communism
15 (formally) autonomous ethnic republics
Own flag, parliament, constitution, opera house
oThe problem the soviet union had was that the strengths of national
identity varied among the nations
As you moved South, the areas lacked a sense of national
Irony, Lenin had to essentially create the identities in the
nation state's
Perestroika: 1988-1991
oBaltics seek independence
Establishment of Popular Fronts for sovereignty in Baltics
Parade of Sovereignties
oGorbachev reduces power of Communist Party
Power of Party over economy taken away 1988
Semi free elections to new USSR Congress of Peoples Deputies
in March 1989
Republican level elections 1990
Undermine party control over the economy
1999 first competitive elections
Collapse of the Soviet Union
Rise of Boris Yeltsin and Collapse of Soviet Union
o1985: picked for Politburo/head of Moscow
oBecomes popular because of stand against corruption
oIntense rivalry between Gorbachev and Yeltsin
oFired from Politburo in 87
oIn 1990, elected to Russian parliament/1991 President
oYeltsin demands Russian autonomy from USSR
oEfforts to negotiate new Union treaty
Failed Coup August 1991
oGorbachev appoints conservatives to government end of 1990
oFear of new Union treaty motivates conservatives to organize coup
against Gorbachev
oAugust 19, 1991: These conservatives attempt coup to save the USSR
The most incompetent coup d'état in modern history
oStunningly incompetent coup
Career bureaucrats suddenly forced to take initiative
Dont arrest Yeltsin
Unable to organize suppression of protests
oCoup fails after three days
Failed coup
oFailed coup discredits Soviet Union 15 republics declare