This book is based on a conference of the same name which was held at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra in December 1993. The conference was co-sponsored by the Departments of Modern European Languages (Russian Section), History, and Political Science and the Centre for Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies of the ANU; and by the Department of Politics, University College, University of New South Wales, Australian Defence Force Academy. The papers have all been extensively revised since the conference, but beyond asking the contributors to address particular topics, we have taken no steps to impose any particular line or argument or methodology upon their contributions.
We would like to thank the Vice-Chancellor of the ANU, Professor R. D. Terrell, and the Minister-Counsellor of the Russian Embassy in Australia, Mr Viktor Samoilenko, for opening the conference. The organisation of the conference was in the hands of a committee convened by Mr Rosh Ireland, Head of the Department of Modern European Languages, and consisting of Professor T. H. Rigby, Dr Elizabeth Waters, Mr Kyle Wilson, Dr Kevin Windle, and ourselves. We wish to register our deep appreciation of the work of the committee, and especially its convenor. The committee was supported at all times by Professor Richard Campbell, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, ANU, and by Professor Ian McAllister, Dr David Lovell, and Commander François van der Berg of the Department of Politics, University College, University of New South Wales.