RUSSIAN FOREIGN POLICY IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
Winter Term 1996
Alfred J. Rieber
Department of History
CENTRAL EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY



Course Description

This course is designed for both history and international relations students. It attempts to combine elements of both disciplines, that is chronological narrative and an analysis with theoretical perspectives. The weekly course assignments can be found in the bound photocopy bulk pack in the library. In addition students will be asked to prepare short written reports of from three to five pages on four of the weekly readings.

These reports should be critical and analytical in nature. That is they should not only give a clear summary of the author's position, but also present the student's point of view supported by sound arguments and alternative explanations where possible. Students are encouraged to employ insights from reading outside this course in their written reports. There will be no final examination. Rather, each student will write a comparative book review based on the list of monographs appended to the syllabus. They should be 2500-3000 words in length. They should take the same point of departure as the short essays, that is critical and analytical. Students should attempt to select two books which take different positions, either theoretically or interpretively from one another in order to provide a good contrast. Insofar as possible the reviews should incorporate insights from the assigned readings, lectures and class discussions. (Some students may wish to write a research paper based on original sources instead of a comparative book review. The topic should be agreed upon in consultation with the instructor.) Good models for comparative reviews can be found in the JOURNAL OF MODERN HISTORY or WORLD POLITICS.

Date Topic and Reading Assignment

Jan. 8. Introduction and Organization

Jan. 15. Russian Foreign Policy: the longue duree and conjonctures
Reading:
Alfred J. Rieber, "Persistent Factors in Russian Foreign Policy: An Interpretive Essay," in Hugh Ragsdale, IMPERIAL RUSSIAN FOREIGN POLICY, 315-59.
Edward L. Keenan, "On Certain Mythical Beliefs and Russian Behaviors," in S.Frederick Starr, THE LEGACY OF HISTORY IN RUSSIA AND THE NEW STATES OF EURASIA", 3-16.
Morton Schwartz, "Soviet Policy Formulation, " in THE FOREIGN POLICY OF THE USSR: DOMESTIC FACTORS, 167-208

Jan. 22. A Marxist Foreign Policy

Reading:
Karl Marx and Friederich Engels, "The Foreign Policy of Russian Tsarism," (1890) in THE RUSSIAN MENACE TO EUROPE
J.V. Stalin, MARXISM AND THE NATIONAL AND COLONIAL QUESTION, (1913) 15-28, 88-96.
L.D. Trotsky, RESULTS AND PROSPECTS, (1906), 107-115
V.I. Lenin, "Socialism and War," (1915) in Robert Tucker, THE LENIN ANTHOLOGY, 183-194.

Jan. 29. The Formation of a Soviet Foreign Policy 1917-1924
Reading:
E.H. Carr, "Self-Determination in Practice," In A HISTORY OF SOVIET RUSSIA, III, 286-363.
Richard Pipes, "The National Problem in Russia, " in THE FORMATION OF THE SOVIET UNION, 1-49.

Feb. 5. Isolation or Collective Security 1924-1940
Reading:
Teddy Uldricks, "Russia and Europe: Diplomatic Revolution and Economic Development in the 1920's," in INTERNATIONAL HISTORY REVIEW (1979) i: 55-83.
Jon Jacobson, The First Detente," in WHEN THE SOVIET UNION ENTERED WORLD POLITICS, 81-106
E.H. Carr, "The Seventh Congress," in TWILIGHT OF THE COMINTERN, 403-427.

Feb. 12. Origins of the Cold War and Formation of the Bloc 1941-1953
Reading:
Vojtech Mastny, "The Cramped Detente," in RUSSIA'S ROAD TO THE COLD WAR, 280-313
V.Zubok and C. Pleshakov, "The Soviet Union ," in Daniel Reynolds, THE ORIGINS OF THE COLD WAR IN EUROPE, 53-76
Charles Gati, "The Domestic Context," in HUNGARY AND THE SOVIET BLOC, 44-72

Feb. 19. National Communism versus Soviet Hegemony in Central Europe, 19531968.
Reading:
Brian McCauley, "Hungary and Suez, 1956: The Limits of Soviet Power," in JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY HISTORY, XVI (1981)
Jiri Valenta, SOVIET INTERVENTION IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA, 1-39, 165-193.
"Inside the Warsaw Pact," in COLD WAR INTERNATIONAL HISTORY PROJECT. BULLETIN, No 2 (Fall 1992) 1-13
Feb. 26. Peaceful Co-existence and Wars of National Liberation 1953-1979
Reading:
Alvin Z. Rubinstein, " Moscow's Forward Policy in the Third World," in Soviet Foreign Policy Since World War II, 193-218.
Adam Ulam, "China's Lengthening Shadow," in DANGEROUS RELATIONS, 145-207

March 4. Stalemate and Perestroika
Reading:
Jonathan Valdez, INTERNATIONALISM AND THE IDEOLOGY OF SOVIET INFLUENCE IN EASTERN EUROPE, 89-131. Raymond Garthoff, "The Failure of American-Soviet Detente in the 1970's," in DETENTE AND CONFRONTATION, 1068-1089.

March 11. Dissolution of the Empire and the Search for a New Legitimacy

Reading:
Helene Carrere d'Encausse, "The Breakup of the USSR," in THE END OF THE SOVIET EMPIRE, 239-270
K. Gerner and S. Hedlund, "Dissolving the Soviet Union," in THE BALTIC STATES AND THE END OF THE SOVIET EMPIRE, 106-145.



CRC-Curriculum Resource Center
CEU Budapest, Hungary
Revised: May 1996

Rie_RusFoPol.W96Hist.v2

Back to the History Syllabi List Back to the Syllabi Collection


Back to the CRC Homepage Back to the CEU Homepage