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The Soviet Empire & The Challenge of National and Democratic Movements

Uri Ra'anan, ed.
Lexington Books, 1990

This timely volume explores the revolution that is sweeping Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union and that has the potential to transform the global balance. Bringing together renowned experts on the emergent national and democratic movements and on the countries affected, The Soviet Empire examines the causes and the consequences of recent dramatic events -- from the massacre in Tiananmen Square to the demolition of the Berlin Wall.

Distinguished contributors provide unique insight both into ethnic resurgence and the democratic aspirations that have acted as catalysts for this revolution. They examine the gamut of challenges that the democratic and national movements pose to Gorbachev and the USSR, as well as to the governing strata throughout Eastern Europe and China. As world attention continues to be riveted on the Soviet Union and the communist world, this volume addresses such crucial issues as:

  • The response of the "New Class" -- the privileged groups which rule communist societies -- to recent challenges
  • The eruption of Great Russian nationalism, side by side with the self-assertion of the non-Russian nationalities
  • The contradiction between national sentiments and democratization particularly among Great Russians
  • The demographic realities behind national antagonism in the USSR
  • The growing insistence on independence in the Baltic and Transcaucasian republics and in Central Asia.

Hitherto unavailable data and fresh analyses shed new light on current conflicts and make this book essential reading for specialists, the general public, and students seeking to understand the forces transforming much of the communist world.

Order it!

Table of Contents

Uri Ra'anan

Part I The Soviet Riposte to Challenges Posed by Democratic Movements
1. Will the CPSU Survive Gorbachev's Reform?
Igor Lukes
2. The Emergence of Parliamentary Opposition in the USSR
Elizabeth Teague
3. The KGB and Democratization: A New Legal Order?
Amy Knight

Part II Challenges Posed by National Movements in the USSR
4. The "Russian Problem:" Conceptual and Operational Aspects
Uri Ra'anan
5. National Reawakening: The Ukraine and Belorussia
Roman Szporluk
6. Baltic Communism and Nationalism: Kto Kovo?
Walter Clemens
7. National Movements in the Transcaucasus and Central Asia: Moscow's Dilemma
Robert F. Baumann
8. The Soviet Armed Forces: The Challenge of Reform and the Ethnic Factor
Teresa Rakowska-Harmstone

Part III National and Democratic Challenges to Other Communist Regimes
9. The Challengeof Democratic and Nationalist Movements to
the Communist Regimes in Hungary, Poland, and Czechoslovakia
Ewa M. Thompson
10. Which Way Will China Go?
Merle Goldman
11. National and Democratic Inevitabilities in Eastern Europe
Milovan Djilas

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