Internationalism and the Ideology of Soviet Influence in Eastern Europe

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Overview

In this timely book Jonathan Valdez explores the role of ideology in the maintenance and subsequent collapse of Soviet influence in Eastern Europe. He begins by examining how to define ideology, proposing that it should not be viewed as any specific body of thought but as the interpretation of a body of thought for a political purpose. Valdez then looks at how Marxism-Leninism was used to legitimize Soviet influence. He shows how it was interpreted to rationalize policy actions, to communicate Soviet intent and policy desires to East European elites, and to explain change in socialist systems. Valdez argues that the use of the fundamental principles of Marxism-Leninism to perform various functions ultimately brought about a change in the basic assumptions of the theory itself. This resulted in the abandonment of the previous insistence on a universal model of socialism and of the idea that the international interests of the socialist bloc must take precedence over individual national interest. Soviet influence in Eastern Europe rested on little else than these ideological principles and consequently stood little chance of surviving their re-interpretation. Finally Valdez assesses the re-interpretation of the fundamental principles of Soviet-East European relations by reformist scholars in the Soviet Union, and the response by conservative members of the party apparatus. By focusing upon both the political debates between the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and the political uses of ideology within that relationship, Jonathan Valdez makes an important and innovative contribution to the study of Soviet external relations. Internationalism and the ideology of Soviet influence will be widely read by students and specialists of Soviet and East European studies, international relations and political science.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 Ideology and the ideologists 6
2 The ideological basis 24
3 Contradictions and internationalism in the 1970s: the Euro-communist challenge 57
4 Socialist internationalism, 1980-1989: decline of a concept 89
5 Socialism redefined 132
6 Ideological debates and Eastern Europe 163
Appendix 174
Notes 180
Bibliography 186
Index 205
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