Published online by Cambridge University Press: 26 October 2009
After years of retirement in the academy, macro’historical commentary on contemporary events has returned to fashion. Radical domestic changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and new patterns ofEast’West relations-in short, the collapse of communism and the end othe Cold War’mark the end of an era and present an invitation to international theorizing.1 Few would deny that these changes are momentous, but there is little consensus concerning their origins, trajectory, and implications. Explaining these events will necessitate a reweighing of fundamental theoretical issues. Thesize and speed of these changes were largely unexpected,reminding us how primitive our theories really are and encouraging us to broaden our theoretical perspective. To capture these events, theorists must reach across the disciplinary divides of Sovietology, international relations theory political economy, and political sociology.
The authors would like to acknowledge helpful comments and suggestions by Michael Doyle, Randell Forsberg, Joseph Grieco, John A. Hall, Atul Kohli, Richard Matthew, Andrew Moravcsik, James Rosenau, Jack Snyder, Richard Ullman, and seminar participants at Columbia University and Princeton University. Research for this paper was supported by the Center of International Studies, the Peter B. Lewis Fund, an d the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, Princeton University.
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79 Noting the difficulties of a return to repression, Lewis Coser argues that ‘[t]he fact that the intelligentsia is no longer dispensable in the Soviet sphere is among the prime reasons why a return to a totalitarian regime or to military solutions is unlikely’, ‘The Intellectuals in Soviet Reform’, Dissent (Spring 1990), p. 183.
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84 Of course, security demands may decline but they will not disappear. And the security organs, forged n i an earlier environment, may persist in making disproportionate claims, despitechanges in the environment.
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