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From Communism to Pluralism

This book reassesses a defining historical, political and ideological moment in contemporary history: the 1989 revolutions in central and eastern Europe. It considers the origins, processes and outcomes of the collapse of communism in eastern Europe. The book argues that communism was not simply an 'unnatural Yoke' around the necks of East Europeans, but was a powerful, and not entirely negative, historical force capable of modernizing societies, cultures and economies. It focuses on the interplay between internal and external developments as opposed to an emphasis on Cold War geopolitical power struggles and the triumphalist rhetoric of how the 'freedom-loving' USA 'defeated' the 'totalitarian' Soviet Union. The book also approaches the East European revolutions from a variety of angles, emphasizing generational conflicts, socio-economic and domestic aspects, international features, the 'Gorbachev factor', and the role of peace movements or discourses on revolution. It analyses the peace movements in both parts of Germany during the 1980s from a perspective that transcends the ideological and geopolitical divides of the Cold War. The history of the East German peace movement has mostly been written from the perspective of German unification in 1989-1990. Many historians have read the history of the civil rights movement of 1989-1990 backwards in order to show its importance, or ignored it altogether to highlight the totalitarian character of the German Democratic Republic.

Mary Buckley

3 The multifaceted external Soviet role in processes towards unanticipated revolutions Mary Buckley The ‘Gorbachev factor’ The Soviet role in unanticipated revolutions Mikhail Gorbachev was an essential enabler of revolutions in Eastern Europe. As General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) from March 1985, he framed changes and developments and was shaped by them in an unfolding multivariate dynamic. The revolutions were the culmination of complex processes of change, and need to be understood not merely through the events of 1989. At

in The 1989 Revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe
The ‘Gorbachev factor’ and the collapse of the German Democratic Republic
Peter Grieder

4 ‘When your neighbour changes his wallpaper’: The ‘Gorbachev factor’ and the collapse of the German Democratic Republic Peter Grieder The ‘Gorbachev factor’ Gorbachev and the collapse of the GDR Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev became General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) on 12 March 1985.1 His subsequent policies of glasnost (‘openness’) and perestroika (‘restructuring’) aimed to rejuvenate communism but ended up destroying it. This chapter will assess the part he played in the downfall of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), also

in The 1989 Revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe
Origins, processes, outcomes
Kevin McDermott
Matthew Stibbe

-Gorbachevs were waiting in the wings of the East European parties to replace the despised conservative hardliners. Indeed, what Archie Brown calls the ‘Gorbachev factor’ is a key variable that informs much of the thinking on 1989, Vladimir Tismaneanu aptly summarising the opinions of many experts thus: without Gorbachev ‘the revolutions of 1989 would have been barely thinkable’.8 In another recent overview, Constantine Pleshakov argues provocatively, and not always internally consistently, that ‘what happened in Eastern Europe was a clash of classes revealed as civil war in

in The 1989 Revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe
Cameron Ross

, The Gorbachev Factor (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), p. 287. 12 Ibid., p. 256. 13 Goldman, Lapidus, Zaslavsky, ‘Introduction’, p. 15. 14 J. Miller, Mikhail Gorbachev and the End of Soviet Power, (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1993), p. 175. 15 There were two ASSRs in Georgia and one each, in Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan. There was also one autonomous region in the republics of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Tadjikistan. 16 J. B. Dunlop, The Rise of Russia and the Fall of the Soviet Empire (Princeton University Press, 1993), p. 64. 17 A. Sheehy, ‘Russia

in Federalism and democratisation in Russia
Duality of détente in the 1970s and neo-Cold War in the 1980s
James W. Peterson

Southeast Asia, and Soviet crack-downs on reform movements in Hungary (1956) and Czechoslovakia (1968). Even though the period of accommodation came to an end, it is likely that its importance lies also in the fact that post-1991 leaders could look back on these negotiations as a precedent for future linkages. The late Cold War Gorbachev era, 1985–91 Although the theme of duality in the late Cold War era is the key reality and organizing concept of this segment of the analysis, it is apparent that the Gorbachev factor on the Soviet side was the unexpected

in Russian-American relations in the post-Cold War world
A staged evolution or failed revolution?
Tom Junes

III: Endings (Cambridge, 2010), pp. 315–24. 16 See A. Brown, The Gorbachev Factor (Oxford, 1996). McDermott and Stibbe, The 1989 Revolutions.indd 110 28/03/2013 10:42:17 The demise of communism in Poland 111 17 W. Bernacki, H. Głębocki, M. Korkuć, F. Musiał, J. Szarek and Z. Zblewski, Komunizm w Polsce. Zdrada, Zbrodnia, Zakłamanie, Zniewolenie (Kraków, 2008), pp. 355–6. 18 B. Kamiński, The Collapse of State Socialism: The Case of Poland (Princeton, 1991), pp. 195–201; S. Kotkin, Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment

in The 1989 Revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe
Toward a dialogue with foreign policy analysis
Sebastian Harnisch

–37. Boswell, Christina (2009) The Political Uses of Expert Knowledge: Immigration Policy and Social Research , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Breslauer, George and Philip E. Tetlock (eds.) (1991) Learning in U.S. and Soviet Foreign Policy , Boulder: Westview Press. Brooks, Stephen and William Wohlforth (2000) Power, Globalization, and the End of the Cold War: Reevaluating a Landmark Case for Ideas, International Security 25(3), 5–53. Brown, Arcie (1996) The Gorbachev Factor , Oxford

in Foreign policy as public policy?
John Lough

elite group to further their careers and gain an unparalleled insight into living and working conditions in the USSR, allowing them to learn Russian to a generally far higher standard than FRG students of Russian. In some cases, the contrast with the GDR made a strong impression, with food shortages, poor infrastructure and inferior living conditions challenging the propaganda image of the USSR. The Gorbachev factor Over four decades as a ‘junior partner’ of the USSR, the GDR built up an extensive cadre of professionals across different disciplines with deep

in Germany’s Russia problem