Cover

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Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

Several institutions have provided me with research support. I gratefully acknowledge assistance from the Institute for the Study of World Politics, the Harriman Institute at Columbia University, the Variable Term Program of the American Council of Teachers of Russian, the Peace Studies Program at Cornell University, ...

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Preface: Encounters with a Declining Power

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pp. xi-xiv

The "melancholy, long, withdrawing roar" that, as Matthew Arnold suggested, accompanies the collapse of empires has been heard recently from the East. In many ways, it began in Afghanistan—when the Soviet Union withdrew its troops in 1988 and 1989. ...

Abbreviations

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pp. xv-xvi

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1. Introduction: How the New Thinkers Beat the Old Thinkers

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pp. 3-17

The roar of the collapsing empire caught most who studied international relations and the Soviet Union by surprise. Scholars in these fields had focused for several decades on stability, both in the international system and in the Soviet Union. Many Western critics of Soviet foreign policy considered any retreat impossible. ...

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2. Explaining Change in Soviet Foreign Policy: Three Competing Arguments

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pp. 18-38

Several competing approaches drawn from international relations theory attempt to describe and explain to varying degrees the changes in Soviet policy in the late 1980s. Most explanations stress the role of the international system—either the specific nature of the system, or the influence of lessons learned from die behavior of specific states or from transnational groups of experts.1 ...

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3. Escalation in Afghanistan, 1979-1980: A Case of Old Thinking

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pp. 39-64

As one policy maker in Moscow put it, "you have to understand the intervention if you are going to understand the withdrawal."1 One could add, one needs to understand "old thinking" in order to appreciate the boldness of new thinking. The decision making process surrounding the intervention displays the conceptions of competitive security ...

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4. The Groundwork for Change, 1982-1984: Old Thinkers Rule but New Thinkers Are Mobilized

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pp. 65-91

The centralized decision making process and the traditional conceptions of national security that led to the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan were not unique to that case. Soviet decision making in the late 1970s and early 1980s regarding all policy issues, foreign and domestic, was highly centralized and driven by old thinking. ...

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5. Changing the Political Agenda, 1985-1989: New Thinkers Gain Control of Political Resources

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pp. 92-123

In the early 1980s, Gorbachev and other like-minded members of the Soviet leadership tapped into the reformist ideas proposed by various domestic and foreign policy specialists. By the mid-1980s, reformers in the leadership used these ideas to influence the development of traditional and nontraditional institutions. ...

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6. Conclusion: The Importance of Ideas and Politics in Explaining Change

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pp. 124-132

In this book, I have argued that internal political battles between old and new thinkers concerning the direction of domestic and foreign policy are central to understanding the long, withdrawing roar of the Soviet empire in the 1980s. ...

Index

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pp. 133-140

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About the Author

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Sarah E. Mendehon is Assistant Professor of Political Science in the Graduate School of Public Affairs and Policy at the State University of New York at Albany. ...