The Soviet Study of International Relations

The Soviet Study of International Relations

This systematic observation of foreign policy within the Soviet Union shows how such phenomena as nuclear warfare, continued Western prosperity, and the Sino-Soviet split have forced analysts to diverge sharply from traditional Leninist orthodoxy. The result has been a Soviet analysis of world politics that is considerably more complex and politically sophisticated than westerners often assume. This is manifested in an increasingly multipolar world view, accepting the continued existence of the United States, in which the USSR is seen as an integral component of an international system rather than simply as the center of a unique and expanding system of its own. Fundamental to this changing perspective is the perception that no Soviet interests could possibly be served by nuclear war. In an extended preface to this paperback edition, Allen Lynch examines the impact of the recent Gorbachev reform initiative on the intellectual basis of Soviet foreign policy.


"Since the time of Khrushchev Soviet scholars have begun to write on the nature and system of international relations in new ways, paying heed to the realities of world politics and even to some of the writings current in the West, and adding new dimensions to the standard Leninist line without abandoning it. Allen Lynch has done an excellent job of summarizing and analyzing the literature, which certainly reflects some real changes in official thinking..." Foreign Affairs

"An excellent book...Lynch explains the genesis of Soviet theorizing concerning international relations. In doing so, Lynch not only enriches our understanding of Soviet theories, he provides a prism through which Western conceptions and theories may be viewed, enabling us to learn more about our own world view." Eugene R. Gregory, The Journal of Politics


The AAASS Marshall Shulman Prize