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   Course Title    "East European Policy" of the USSR and the Communist Factor (1945 - 1991)
Lecturer    Iana Chvedova
Institution    Ural State University
Country    Russia


Course Description

Recently the study of the Cold War history has been changed greatly. Only a decade ago historians and political researches had to limit themselves to the analysis of Western sources. As a result, Western policy occupied the main place in their research. It was very difficult to judge objectively about the Soviet Union and whole Communist block actions and reveal their true aims. With the disintegration of the Soviet block in the early 1990s access to the Soviet and Eastern European archives was opened and historians had an opportunity to study previously secret documents on the foreign and domestic policy of former Communist countries. As a result, a number of books, volumes of documents and articles, which help to understand many aspects of the Cold War history came out.

The East European policy of the USSR in 1945-1991 is one of the aspects whcich needs to be profoundly analyzed and rethought. The course provides a survey of the study of "East European Policy of the USSR and the Communist Factor". The major goals of the course are to develop students’ capacity to think creatively and independently about such provocative problems as the Soviet strategy in the " East European States" in 1945-1991, the motivation of the USSR actions in this or that crisis situation, to analyze documents related to the topic objectively, to develop their ability to pose purposeful questions about political, economic and military events in the abovementioned period and answer them imaginatively. The objective of the course is to present and assess the development of Soviet foreign policy in Eastern Europe and to estimate the role of the Communist ideology in the policy making process; to comprehend fundamental concepts in the historical study of the Soviet " East European Policy.

The course is divided into three blocks.The first block is introductory. It familiarizes students with the principles of the bipolar world structure and focuses on the position and role of Eastern Europe in the new international system. By the second block students are introduced to the Western and Russian ( Soviet and Contemporary ) theories of the reasons behind Communist development in Eastern Europe, to the Soviet leadership doctrines as regards the Communist block. The third block presents a survey of the Eastern European states’ development in the post-war period and the details of history of their relations with the USSR.

The course will examine the international activity of various actors such as nation-states, international, governmental organizations, individuals. In addition the course will attempt to tackle the problem of the influence of the "communist past" on the contemporary development of the East European states. The course will be introduced to the 4th year students of the Faculty of History (specialization: "History of Foreign Policy and Diplomacy of Russia" ). The course (32 hours) fits into the curriculum, because the general subject of 4th year students is World History in XX century. The course will be introduced in Russian, although readings in English are included in the tasks.

Course Requirements and Grading

Students must come to the class prepared to discuss the reading assigned for that day. For some classes students are required to make an additional oral presentation. Each student has to write one essay. There will be a final examination consisting of definitions, answers and essay questions, plus test. The evaluation process includes the following components:

Activity in class – 30%

Individual oral presentation- 20%

Final examination ( including essay and test ) – 50%.

Texts and Other Reading Materials

  1. ?ideleux R., Jeffries I. A History of Eastern Europe. Crisis and Change. – L., N.W., 1998.
  2. Calvocoressi P. World Politics Since 1945. – Moscow, 2000.
  3. Chubaryan A (ed.) Stalin’s Decade of the Cold War. Facts and Hypotheses. Moscow,1999.
  4. Documents on the Events in Czechoslovakia in August 1968 // DiplomaticheskVestnik, 1992. # 2-3.
  5. Eastern Europe in the Documents from Russian Archives, 1944-1953. – Moscow-Novosibirsk, 1997.
  6. History of Central and South-Eastern Europe in XX Century. – Moscow,1997.
  7. Hungary – 1956. Publication of the Documents from the CC of CPSU Archive // Voenno-Istoricheskiy Zhurnal, 1993. N 8.
  8. Kennedy R. Stalin’s Cold War: Soviet Strategies in Europe, 1943-1956. – Manchester, N.Y, 1995.
  9. Laqueur W. Europe in Our Time. A History 1945-1992. – N.Y., 1993.
  10. Narinskiy M (ed.) The Cold War : New Approaches, New Documents. – Moscow,1995.
  11. Near the Origins of the Socialist Friendship between the USSR and the East European states in 1944-1949. – Moscow, 1945.
  12. Nezhinskiy L. Chelyshev E. About the Doctrinal Bases of the Soviet Foreign Policy In the Cold War Years // Otechestvennaya Istoriya, 1995. N1.
  13. Pikhoya R. Soviet Union: A history of Power 1945-1991. – Moscow, 1991.
  14. Rayner E.G. The Cold War. – Hodder and Stoughton, 1992.
  15. Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917-1991. A Retrospective.- L., 1994.
  16. Soviet Union and the East European States : Evolution and Collapse of the Political Regimes ( middle of the 40th – end of the 80th.) Roundtable // Istoriya SSSR, 1991. N1.
  17. Van den Berge I. Historical Misunderstanding? The Cold War. – 1917-1990 – Moscow,1996.
  18. Young J.W. Cold War and Detente 1941-1991 – L.,N.Y., 1994.
  19. Molnar M. A Coincise History of Hungary. – Cambridge University Press, 2001.
  20. Robin H., Shephered E. Czechoslovakia. The Velvet Revolution and Beyond. – St. Martin’s Press, 2000.
  21. Wallander C.A. The Sources of Russian Foreign Policy after the Cold War.-
  22. Pearson F.S., Rochester J.M. International Relations. The Global Condition in the Twenty-First Century. – The McGraw- Hill Companies, 1998.

 

Course Outline

I. Introduction

Week 1. The Role of Eastern Europe in the Process of Bipolar Geopolitical Formation.

Readings: 1. ?ideleux R., Jeffries I. A History of Eastern Europe. Crisis and Change. Part V. In the Shadow of Yalta: Eastern Europe Since the Second World War. 2. Pearson F.S., Rochester J.M. International Relations. The Global Condition in the Twenty-First Century. Ch.2. The Post World War II International System (1945-1989). 3. History of Central and South-Eastern Europe in XX Century.

II. Theoretical Basis for the Soviet "East European Policy".

Week 2. Reasons behind the Rise of Communism in Eastern Europe in the Western Theories of the Cold War Origins (Orthodoxies, Realists, Revisionists, Post-revisionists, "Regimes Theories" School ), in the Soviet and Russian Contemporary Historiography.

Readings: 1. Weyts R. Western Cold War Theories // Narinskiy M (ed.) The Cold War : New Approaches, New Documents.2. Nezhinskiy L. Chelyshev E. About the Doctrinal Bases of the Soviet Foreign Policy In the Cold War Years // Otechestvennaya Istoriya, 1995. N1.

Week 3. The World Revolution Idea after World War II: Rejection, Modification or Temporary Retreat? Readings: 1. Kennedy R. Stalin’s Cold War: Soviet Strategies in Europe, 1943-1956. 2. Pikhoya R. Soviet Union: A history of Power 1945-1991. Ch.1. Social-Political Development of the USSR in 1945-1953.3. Nezhinskiy L. Chelyshev E. About the Doctrinal Bases of the Soviet Foreign Policy In the Cold War Years // Otechestvennaya Istoriya, 1995. #1.

Week 4. Change of the Moscow Strategical Line in the Late 1940’s: From the Doctrine of "National Routs Towards Socialism" to "Eastern Block Strengthening". Readings:1. Volokitina T.V. Stalin and the Change of Kremlin Strategical Course at the end of the 40’s: from Compromises to the Confrontation// Chubaryan A (ed.) Stalin’s Decade of the Cold War. Facts and Hypotheses. 2. Aksyutin Y. Why did Stalin Prefer Confrontation with the Allies after the War to Cooperation// Narinskiy M (ed.) The Cold War : New Approaches, New Documents.

Week 5. Implementation of the Communist Idea in the East European States. Readings: 1. Eastern Europe in the Documents from the Russian Archives, 1944-1953. 2. Near the Origins of the Socialist Friendship between the USSR and the East European states in 1944-1949. 3. The Soviet Union and the East European States : Evolution and Collapse of the Political Regimes ( middle of the 40’s – end of the 80’s.) Roundtable // Istoriya SSSR, 1991. N1. 4.Van den Berge I. Historical Misunderstanding? The Cold War. – 1917-1990 .

Week 6. Contradictions of the USSR – Eastern Europe Relations: XX Congress and Declaration about the Variety of Forms of the Different States Transition to Socialism Versus Strengthening of the Interference into East European Domestic Affairs via the Warsaw Treaty Organization.( N. Khrushchev ). Readings: 1. Eastern Europe in the Documents from the Russian Archives, 1944-1953. 2. Pikhoya R. Soviet Union: A history of Power 1945-1991. 3. Young J.W. Cold War and Detente 1941-1991.

Week 7. "Limited Sovereignty Doctrine" ( L. Brezhnev ). Readings: 1. Molnar M. A Coincise History of Hungary. Ch.7. Under Soviet Domination. 2. Nezhinskiy L. Chelyshev E. About the Doctrinal Bases of the Soviet Foreign Policy In the Cold War Years // Otechestvennaya Istoriya, 1995. N1. 3. Pikhoya R. Soviet Union: A history of Power 1945-1991. 4. Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917-1991. A Retrospective.

Week 8. The Passifist Approach of the New Soviet Government ( M. Gorbachov ); The Breakdown of the Socialist Camp. Readings: 1. Calvocoressi P. World Politics Since 1945. 2. Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917-1991. A Retrospective.

III. The Peculiarities of the East European States’ Development in the Post-war Period.

Week 9. Political Development and Economic Recovery Problems. Readings: 1. Eastern Europe in the Documents from the Russian Archives, 1944-1953. 2. History of Central and South-Eastern Europe in XX Century. 3. Laqueur W. Europe in Our Time. A History 1945-1992.

Weeks 10,11. Essence of the Communist Parties and Estimation of their Authority in the East European States ( Comparative Analysis ). Readings: 1. The Soviet Union and the East European States : Evolution and Collapse of the Political Regimes (middle of the 40’s – end of the 80’s.) Roundtable // Istoriya SSSR, 1991. N1. 2. Van den Berge I. Historical Misunderstanding? The Cold War. – 1917-1990 .

Week 12. The Cold War Propaganda and Strenthening of the Communist Ideology Influence in the East European States. Readings: 1. Rayner E.G. The Cold War.

Weeks 13,14. Conflicts and Crises in the USSR – Eastern Europe Relations ( 1948-1981) – Estimation of the Soviet Reaction to the Conflicts and Crises (Soviet-Yugoslavian conflict - 1948; Revolt in Eastern Germany – 1953; Revolt in Poland – 1956; Hungarian Revolution – 1956; Split with Albania – 1961; Prague Spring – 1968; Soviet – Romanian Withstanding – 1968; Polish Crisis – 1981 ). Readings: 1. Documents on the Events in Czechoslovakia in August 1968 // Diplomaticheskiy Vestnik, 1992. N 2-3. 2. Hungary – 1956. Publication of the Documents from the CC of CPSU Archive // Voenno-Istoricheskiy Zhurnal, 1993. N 8. 3. Laqueur W. Europe in Our Time. A History 1945-1992. 4. Kreymer M. Crisises in the Relations of the USSR and Eastern Europe, 1948-1981// Narinskiy M (ed.) The Cold War : New Approaches, New Documents.

Week 15. The East European Revolution – The Breakdown of the Communist Regimes: The Phenomenon of " Velvet Revolution". Readings: 1. Calvocoressi P. World Politics Since 1945. 2. Laqueur W. Europe in Our Time. A History 1945-1992. 3. Pikhoya R. Soviet Union: A history of Power 1945-1991. 4. Soviet Union and the East European States : Evolution and Collapse of the Political Regimes ( middle of the 40’s – end of the 80’s.) Roundtable // Istoriya SSSR, 1991. N1. 5. Robin H., Shephered E. Czechoslovakia. The Velvet Revolution and Beyond.

Week 16. The Influence of the "Communist Past" on the East European States’ Post-Cold War Development. Readings: 1. Pearson F.S., Rochester J.M. International Relations. The Global Condition in the Twenty-First Century. 2. Wallander C.A. The Sources of Russian Foreign Policy after the Cold War. Ch.6.



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